Old Man Winter comes knocking before Thanksgiving

Associated Press

Old Man Winter apparently smells the turkey already.

A large storm already blamed for at least eight deaths in the West is slowly pushing Sunday through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and other parts of the southwest. The storm is expected to target the South and eastern half of the country in the coming days, boosting the likelihood of snarled roads and airports as travelers head out for Thanksgiving travels.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for chunks of North Texas from noon Sunday until midday Monday. Parts of Oklahoma are also under a winter storm warning, while an advisory has been issued for other parts of the state. Large portions of New Mexico — especially in some of the higher elevations — have a few inches of snow, and near white out conditions were reported along stretches of Interstate 40 west of Albuquerque.

Then along the New Mexico-Texas, into the El Paso area, a mix of snow, sleet and ice forced some road closures and created messy driving conditions.

By early Sunday, the weather was to blame for at least eight deaths in several fatal traffic accidents.

Dallas prepared for the ice by declaring "Ice Force Level 1," code for sending 30 sanding trucks to trouble shoot hazardous road conditions. And officials at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport held a flurry of conference calls and meetings to prepare for the first wintry blast. Some flights are expected to be cancelled, airport spokeswoman Cynthia Vega said.