The fear of icy roads delayed start times for school classes, city government and the military on Monday, but despite the freezing forecast, Killeen only dipped into the danger zone for a brief time.
“It got down to zero degree Celsius (32 degrees) for about an hour, but it didn’t get below freezing,” said Jamie Gudmestad, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. However, freezing temperatures are expected tonight and Wednesday night.
That low Monday temperature was reported about 5 a.m. at the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport, Gudmestad said. The area got about one-half inch of rain.
The predicted icy conditions for Monday caused the city to delay its start as a precaution, said Hilary Shine, a Killeen spokeswoman. “We took the steps according to our inclement weather policy to delay our opening so our employees could arrive to work safely,” Shine said. “We have 1,300 employees that we have to consider, and we made that decision with the information we had at the time, so those 1,300 employees could be notified effectively.”
Several American Eagle flights out of Killeen were canceled because of the weather, mostly because of cancellations at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
“Inclement weather in the DFW area drove most of yesterday’s schedule disruptions with American and American Eagle,” said Kent Powell, a spokesman for the airline in an email Monday. “The cold front has also disrupted some of our morning flight schedules in and out of (Killeen-Fort Hood Regional) and we’re working as quickly as we can to accommodate our customers.”
The airline canceled about 650 flights Sunday and almost 300 today because of the weather. Five of those flights were expected to arrive in and depart from Killeen, Shine said.
Killeen Independent School District started classes two hours late Monday. “Delays are determined by driving conditions. Hours before the first bus is scheduled to run a route, staff are checking and monitoring the weather as well as test driving the roads around the district,” Superintendent Robert Muller said in an email. “Delays are used when conditions are such that delaying a couple of hours contributes to the district safely transporting students to school.”
Rain is expected to continue today with a slight chance of flurries before noon, according to the National Weather Service’s seven-day forecast.
“(Today) is going to be 32 to 33 degrees so there might be a freeze, but it should be dry on Wednesday, so it is something to be cognizant about,” Gudmestad said. “The threat (of icy conditions) isn’t real high.”
The cloud cover should be gone by Wednesday night, which will make it colder than the previous days, she said.