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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!
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!
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 Events in Houston
I remember the second or third year after my husband and I were married there was a similar snowfall. 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.
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.
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.
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!
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 microfibers 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.
- Family Fun Days ~ Outdoor Activities for Kids ~ Winter Ice Skating
My dad taught us how to ice skate on the lake when we were young. See some fun videos and learn more about ice skating back in those days of the early 1950s.
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.
Did you grow up making snowmen and having snowball fights?
© 2009 Peggy Woods