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When Did It Last Snow in Houston, Texas?

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Snowman in Houston, Texas!  A rare sight!

Snowman in Houston, Texas! A rare sight!

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 an MSNBC source, Houston has only experienced snow falling thirty-three times since 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 front page, last year featured a snowman on the beaches in Galveston. That was quite a sight!

We happened to be hosting lunch today at home for some friends. A few flakes were falling as our company arrived, but soon the snow started falling in earnest. The snowflakes 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 brought smiles to our faces.

It took a while for any accumulation of snow due to the warmth of the ground. But the rapidity of the large-flaked snowfall coming down from the sky finally started to blanket the ground, trees, and rooftops. A winter wonderland was ours to enjoy for a rare moment in time.

Photo of me and the snowman in the early 1970s

Photo of me and the snowman in the early 1970s

Snow Events in Houston

I remember the second or third year after my husband and I married, there was a 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 closed, and businesses let many of their workers go home early. Today was no exception. Snow accumulations were in the one to four-inch range depending upon where one lives in and around Houston.

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

The only snow generally seen around here is manmade, and only for special occasions. 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 memorable 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 broadcast snow photos sent in from viewers. One photo showed two children with upraised faces, their mouths open and tongues catching the large snowflakes. We saw a teenager walking outside our home doing the very same thing. Her face was beaming.

Snowman

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 made 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 make a snowman.

Notice the grass devoid of most of the snow? Mr. Snowman has most of the snow along with the fallen leaves, twigs, and anything else that happened to be on the ground. In our eyes, Mr. Snowman is a real beauty!

December 8, 2017

The date above was another unusual but fun day! It was almost eight years ago at the same time of the year when we saw snow! It started falling at night, and just about all of it has now melted as of 2:30 this afternoon. But it was exciting to see for those of us living where we rarely get to see a snowflake, much less an accumulation of snow!

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January 16, 2018

Meteorologists gave us another update as to freezing precipitation in Houston on the date above. Is this going to be our new reality? I guess time will tell. Schools closed, and most people were to stay at home unless truly necessary to be out and traveling the roads.

We got more sleet at our home, but in other parts of the Houston metro area, they saw more snow mixed with sleet. The effect when gazing out of our windows is the same. Frozen glistening white precipitation now lies atop our frost blankets and rooftops. Our temperatures were in the low 20s.

Advice is given to people 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 reported on the 6 PM newscasts tonight. No one knows how to drive in the snow down here, and for sure, not icy roads! Best to take the advice and enjoy the weather anomaly and this rare occasion. Tomorrow is another day to get back into the groove.

The nurseries should be doing a brisk business again this spring when people will be replacing lost plants. See the photos below taken at our home.

February 14, 2021

Last night on Valentine's Day, sleet mixed with snow started falling. Weather reports had warned of possible snow and icy conditions.

This morning, February 15, 2021, we woke up to a white landscape. Much of Texas is under a winter storm warning. Near record-breaking and bitterly cold temperatures are happening. People should stay where they are because the roads are dangerous. Many of them are impassible. Rolling power outages are ongoing.

It is windy, and the wind chill feel-like temperatures can be life-threatening for people and animals without warmth and shelter. It is just past noon, and the temperature in Houston is 18 degrees Fahrenheit. It feels like it is 4 degrees outside! We are in for several bone-chilling days ahead!

I'll show you some photos that I took from the windows inside our home. This snow and ice is a rare occurrence in Houston. I had fun watching a squirrel digging for nuts. What delighted me the most was seeing a neighbor pulling her two young children on a homemade sled.

Childhood Memories

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

My mother and I had some fun talking about our childhood memories of enjoying the snow when we lived in Wisconsin. I'll share some of them below.

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 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. Our parents would also join in playing with us occasionally. Those snowball fights were good ones and brought about much laughter.

My brothers building a snow fort.

My brothers building a snow fort.

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.

The Clothing We Wore

Clothing was different back then, and to stay warm, we 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 as we resembled back in those days.

My brothers straddling the snow fort we were building.

My brothers straddling the snow fort we were building.

Additional Outdoor Fun

Other outdoor activities included sledding, tobogganing, and ice skating. My Dad would shovel a large 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 backward as effortlessly as forward, which always impressed me.

Sources for Additional Information:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 11, 2017:

Hi Robert,

Glad you enjoyed your drive.

Hi Ziaullah Khan,

From what you wrote, you must love seeing snow. In that case you would love our northern states in the wintertime!

Ziaullah Khan from Pakistan on December 11, 2017:

Beautiful - Very fascinating , I am in love it .

Robert Sacchi on December 10, 2017:

Yes, I did. It should all be gone tomorrow.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 10, 2017:

Hi Kristen,

Nice to know that you enjoyed these pictures of the rare snowfalls in Houston and the old pictures of my brothers and me as children.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 10, 2017:

Hi Robert,

Corpus Christi is even further south of Houston. Snow down there is amazing as it is here! Hope you enjoyed your nice drive in the snow where you live.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 10, 2017:

Hi Sharon,

Dallas gets snow and ice much more often than we do in Houston. It is very rare down here. I am glad to have experienced snow as a child but am glad that I no longer have to worry about driving on snowy and especially icy roads now.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on December 09, 2017:

Peggy, that's a real long time ago that snow had fallen in Houston. Those pics are amazing, even of the snowman, and when you were younger. Thanks for sharing your story in this hub about your childhood days.

Robert Sacchi on December 09, 2017:

I heard over the radio they had snow in Corpus Christi. It is snowing where I am right now. The temperature is above freezing so it isn't much of a traffic hazard. It made for some nice winter drives.

moonlake from America on December 09, 2017:

We were driving through Texas in 1956. Moving to a new post, my dad was being stationed in NY. We hit a snow storm in Dallas scary and slippery. Dallas is not as far south as you are but still unusual. I know you love seeing the snow I don’t. We had snow last night. Enjoyed your hub and loved the photos.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 09, 2017:

Hi Susie,