Wow! When Did it Last Snow in Houston, Texas?

December 4, 2009

December 4, 2009 will go down in the record books as the earliest snowfall in Houston, Texas history. It was a wow moment because we rarely see snow at all down here.

According to a MSNBC source, Houston has only experienced snow falling thirty-three times since the year 1895 so one must realize with a statistic like that just how rare an occasion it is to see snow.

To top it off, it has never previously snowed two years in a row.

Thus...all kinds of records have been broken this year.

In the Houston Chronicle newspaper, the front page last year featured a snowman on the beaches in Galveston. That was quite a sight!

Snowman in Houston, Texas!

Snowman in Houston, Texas!  A rare sight!
Snowman in Houston, Texas! A rare sight! | Source

Snowman in Houston

Snowman in Houston
Snowman in Houston | Source


Texas Climate Data...click HERE to see averages.


The snowman shown here was in our subdivision about five houses away from where we live.

I realize that this might not be impressive to those of you who live up north and can build your gigantic snowmen each year dressed with colorful woolen neck scarves and other adornments, but hey!...whoever built this snowman probably does not even own a woolen neck scarf.

Also one has to act fast down here and scrape together every available bit of snow to even construct a snowman.

Notice the grass devoid of most of the snow?

Mr. Snowman has most of it along with the fallen leaves, twigs and anything else that happened to be laying on the ground when he was constructed.

In our eyes...Mr. Snowman is a real beauty!


Croton plant with snow

Croton plant in our backyard with snow on it
Croton plant in our backyard with snow on it | Source

Lunch with a chance of snow...

We happened to be hosting a lunch today in our home for a recent widow friend of ours and her son. A few flakes were falling as our company arrived but before long the snow started falling in earnest.

The flakes were so large and coming down so fast that as we were sitting in our living room and later the kitchen eating area, we could hardly keep our eyes from the entertaining show outside our windows.

"Oohs" and "aahs" relating to the rare spectacle that was unfolding before us brought smiles to many faces.

It took a while for any accumulation of snow to take place due to the warmth of the ground and the above freezing weather. But the rapidity of the heavy large flaked snowfall finally started to blanket the ground, trees and rooftops.

A winter wonderland was ours to enjoy for a rare moment in time.

Snow in Houston, Texas!

My mother's dog, Skippy, wondering what is all that white stuff?
My mother's dog, Skippy, wondering what is all that white stuff? | Source
Source
Our backyard
Our backyard | Source

Snow events in Houston


I remember the second or third year after my husband and I were married, there was a similar snowfall and we handily built a spectacular snowman in the apartment complex where we were living at the time.

At that time in the early 1970s as well as today, Houston goes into play mode except for the people responsible for keeping the roadways safe and other key personnel whose jobs are pertinent for keeping the populace safe.

Schools were let out early.

Businesses let many of their workers out early.

Today was no exception.

Snow accumulations were reported in the one to four inch range depending upon where one lives in and around Houston today.

Most other years if it snows at all , it is generally a fraction of an inch so this type of snowfall which we enjoyed today was an amazing sight enjoyed by almost everyone.

The only snow generally seen around here is man-made and for special occasions only.

Subdivisions like the one in which we live hire the snow machine operators to come once during the winter so that children who may never have seen snow get to frolic in it for a brief time. Those moments are savored from year to year.

Anyone reading this must know the excitement that this real and heavy snowfall generated today for children and adults alike.

The news channels on television this evening were filled with snow photos sent in from viewers.

One photo showed two children with upraised faces, their mouths open and tongues catching the large snowflakes. We actually saw a teenager walking outside our home doing the very same thing. Her face was beaming.


A markerHouston, Texas -
Houston, TX, USA
[get directions]

Driving? Forget it!


People are actually being advised to stay home if at all possible once they get off from work.

The roads will ice up tonight from the moisture and accidents were already occurring and being reported on the 6 PM newscasts tonight.

No one knows how to drive in snow down here...and for sure...not ice!

Best to take the advice and just enjoy the weather anomaly and enjoy this rare occasion. Tomorrow is another day to get back into the groove...

Our childhood photos

My brother Jim
My brother Jim | Source
My brother John
My brother John | Source
Me
Me | Source

Childhood memories...


After our company departed to go back home, we continued to watch the snow fall although it was starting to diminish in intensity. The large heavy flakes had ceased falling and a light dusting was now taking its place.

Childhood memories of the times when my mother and I were growing up in Wisconsin were discussed. She discussed some of her memories and I reviewed some of mine.


Snow forts...


I was remembering playing with my two younger brothers. We would build a snow fort and then draw straws as to which one of us got to stay inside the fort and which ones would be outside the fort for our snowball fights.

There were advantages both ways.

Outside the fort there was an endless amount of snow in which to construct our snowballs while it was more limited inside the fort. But inside the fort, one had more protection against the airborne snowballs once launched.

Each of us got our fair share of hits with the snowballs and much laughter was replayed in my mind today of those episodes.

Our parents would also join in playing with us occasionally. Those snowball fights were really good ones! :-)


Building snowmen...


With my parent's help, the snowmen would get ever so much larger than the ones that we could create on our own. My Dad would have to lift the second part of the body onto the first giant ball and then hoist the head on top. After dressing the snowman, we got to enjoy him for a long time as the Wisconsin winters were very friendly to keeping snowmen intact for long periods of time.


The clothing we wore...


Clothing was different back then and to stay warm we were bundled up with layers of socks, pants, sweaters, jackets, scarves, hats, mittens and boots. Now with the new micro-fibers which are lightweight and yet warm which also repel moisture...people no longer look like the Michelin Tire Man when dressed for the outdoors like we resembled back in those days.


Other outdoor activities included sledding, tobogganing and ice skating.


My Dad would shovel a great big circle on the frozen lake where my grandmother lived and we would all go ice skating several times in the Winter. My Dad was a great skater! He could ice skate backwards as easily as forwards which always impressed me.


Thus this snowfall in Houston, Texas was not only beautiful to see today but it brought back many happy memories for those of us who had grown up in northern climes where snow was expected each winter. And for others, the wow factor alone made this a very special and memorable day.

Making a snowman

Did you grow up making snowmen and having snowball fights?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not as a child but I have done this as an adult
See results without voting

More from Peggy Woods here...


To read a wide variety of subjects written on many topics, you can click on THIS LINK.

Dean Martin - Let it Snow!

© 2009 Peggy Woods

More by this Author


Comments 107 comments

Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 2 months ago

Yes, I remember the chains. I never used them though.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Robert,

I guess that happens in just about any cold climate where it snows. Driving skills become honed after a while. Tires were different when I was a child. There were specific snow tires. I seem to remember that people once put chains on their tires to get through snow and ice. I was not driving back then. Ha!


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 2 months ago

Here in the DC metro area the first snowfall of the season tends to cause a mess. Then people remember what they learned from previous years.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Robert,

Yes...people really do not know how to handle a bit of snow down here compared to those who are used to driving in it routinely. It is an oddity when we get to see any where we live in Houston.


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 2 months ago

That sounds familiar. When I was in San Antonio they had about 1/2" of snow one day and they were acting as if it was a foot of snow. The joke was they would call out the military except they closed down as well.


    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working