Let's talk SNOW

HOUSTON - There's no quicker way to lose your job in broadcasting than using the "S" word on the air. I'm not exactly sure why. It's a popular noun and often used as a verb. Most people have said it.  I reckon it's offensive to some people, especially those who have moved south to escape it and yes, it even has its own fun emoji!

You guessed it, I'm talking snow! It may be steamy now but relief is on the way with our next big cold front. It won't bring snow but pop-a-squat with me and lets daydream about the times we've really gotten dumped on with white stuff.

It has snowed in Houston before and it most certainly will again. I want to emphasize here that there is no snow in the forecast here anytime soon and I don't see any on the horizon through the end of the month.

Here are some fun, interesting facts about snow here in Houston!

Biggest Snowfall: 20 inches!

On Valentines Day 1895, a blizzard of epic magnitude slammed the northern gulf coast from Texas to Louisiana setting records that still stand today. This wasn't just any snowfall. It far and above exceeds any snow record in southeast Texas by miles.

There are many accounts of this storm that you can read HERE. This is a great account as to the events that unfolded that day including a look at the official weather log from that month HERE.

Frozen Point

There's a place on Galveston Bay named "Frozen Point," aptly named after the blizzard of 1895 where hundreds of cattle drown in the bay trying to keep warm from the blistering cold of that February day.

According to the Crystal Beach News, the blizzard of 1895 was raging. Twenty inches of snow had fallen in Anahuac with three feet falling in Double Bayou, Chambers County. On the Jackson Ranch were thousands of head of cattle -- numbering about 6,000. As the temperatures plunged and the snow piled higher, the cattle turned tails to the wind and were huddled together on the edge of the bay. Eventually, they walked in, seeking shelter by the relatively warmer water, and nearly every one of them drown. From that day forward, that spot of land was known as Frozen Point.

Snow Engineering -- In Houston?

The 8th Wonder of the World, aka Astrodome, when conceived likely had to be engineered to withstand monumental snow events with the 1895 snow event being the bench mark. The cite for this information is lost to me currently but stands to reason that it makes sense especially given the span of the dome.

Earliest Snow Event

According to NOAA, the earliest snow event in southeast Texas occurred on November 22nd, 1937. While Houston proper did not see accumulating snowfall, Crockett recorded 5.0 inches, Madisonville and College Station both recorded 3.0 inches.

Latest Snow Event

The night before Easter, April 7th, 2007, a late season snow event coated the northern third of southeast Texas with 1 to 2 inches of snow. While no snow was officially recorded in the city of Houston, seeing snow on the blue bonnets as far south as Huntsville was baffling. I remember it well.

Most Accumulating Snow Events in 1 Year

Answer: Three! According to Chief Meteorologist David Paul, Houston recorded three separate 1 inch or more snow events in 1973. Looking at the records from the Weather Research Center, snow fall on January 11th, 1973 (2.0 inches), February 9-10, 1973 (1.4 inches) and February 17-18, 1973 (1.4 inches). 

Most Consecutive Years of Back-to-Back Accumulating Snows

Answer: Two. On December 10th, 2008, 1.4 inches fell in Houston making for the earliest snowfall ever observed IN the city of Houston. A year later on December 4th, 2009, one inch of snow fell again in the city of Houston setting a new record for the earliest snowfall ever observed in the city of Houston proper.

White Christmas in Houston? Pfft, Yeah Right!

No really, it happened -- sort of. On December 24-25th, an 1895 snow-like event took place in areas of southwest Houston, central and south Texas. An astonishing 13 inches fell in Victoria and Brownsville recorded its first accumulating snowfall in 105 years and their first white Christmas on record, as did Corpus.

In Houston, the official recording spot is Bush-Intercontinental. If it doesn't snow at IAH then it didn't happen. Unfortunately, IAH only recorded at trace on Christmas Eve and nothing on Christmas Day. Therefore "officially" Houston has never had a White Christmas. However, areas south of I-10 got blasted with 4-6 inches of snow from League City to Friendswood to Galveston.

Any Snow in the Near Future?

Define "near future." Next 10 years: almost a sure thing. Next two weeks? Not a chance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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