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Headline News 2
Arctic punch heading south
Mon Dec 11 2000 11:11am EDT
Kevin Chambers & Julie Galle,

The Arctic air shocking much of the Midwest is plunging into Texas, sending wind chills well below zero. Forecasters said snow and sleet could spread across sections of the Lone Star State by tomorrow.

The mercury stood at 12 degrees in Amarillo, Texas just before rush hour today, with a wind chill of 15 degrees below zero. 

By mid-morning, residents in Dallas bundled up against a 17-degree wind chill. Temperatures were only in the upper 30s.

And it will be colder tomorrow, according to forecasters. Temperatures in the Dallas area are expected to warm only into the 20s on Tuesday, which would be nearly 35 degrees below average. In contrast, Sunday’s high temperatures in Dallas were in the upper 60s.

Wind gusts behind the southbound cold front are expected to reach 30 mph, according to meteorologists at The Weather Channel. Then, an upper level disturbance moving in from the West should combine with the cold air to bring wintry precipitation to portions of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, forecasters say.

"You'll have a layer of warm air on top of a very cold layer at the surface. Those are the conditions for freezing rain or sleet," said John Scala, storm analyst at The Weather Channel.

In North Texas, forecasters said this would be the coldest weather in two years.

And residents are getting ready for the cold blast. Firewood dealers did a brisk business on Sunday. 

“We had a couple people busy loading wood all day,” said storeowner Jeff Patton in an interview with the The Dallas Morning News.

The wintry weather also was expected to spread across parts of the South. For example, forecasters said snow, sleet or freezing rain were possible for northwest Mississippi Tuesday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.