Essay

Does It Snow in Texas?

Ever wonder if Texas has snowfall? This state is, after all, rather well known for being hot and dry, or hot and humid when it’s close to the shore. The answer is straightforward, but it is made more difficult by elements like height and closeness to the Gulf of Mexico. It does snow in Texas, yes. In reality, Texas had so much snow and ice in February 2021 that the electrical grid collapsed, resulting in the deaths of 246 individuals. Let’s investigate Texas’s snowfall patterns in more detail.

The Snowiest Part of Texas

The Texas Panhandle receives the greatest amount of snowfall annually on average. In the Panhandle, snow can arrive as early as September and occasionally as late as May. The Texas Panhandle receives between 9 to 21 inches of snow on average annually, with the eastern, lower-elevation region receiving the least. The panhandle can also experience exceptionally low temperatures, with record lows of more than 50 degrees below freezing. The biggest city in the Texas Panhandle, Amarillo, averages 17.9 inches of snowfall annually.

Houston Rarely Gets Snow

The number of times it has snowed in Houston, Texas, is countable for meteorologists. Less than 100 times since 1881 has the white substance touched the ground. Houston experiences little to no snowfall most years, and when it does, it’s usually just a trace. 1895 is therefore a true anomaly. That year, Houston got an incredible 20 inches of snow on Valentine’s Day! There hasn’t been any snowfall above 4.4 inches.

Dallas Snowfall Varies Widely

Since the year 2000, the Dallas region has experienced 2.32 inches of snowfall on average every winter, according to the National Weather Service. However, the yearly average snowfall near Dallas is only 1.65 inches if the outlier of 17.1 inches in the winter of 2009–2010 is taken out of the picture. Since 1898, the average annual snowfall in Dallas has ranged from a trace to five inches. Since the National Weather Service began recording, the amount of snowfall in this area of Texas each year has averaged more than five inches less than twenty times, and more than ten inches only five times.

Snow in Other Texas Cities

Texas Tech advisors inform prospective students that the Lubbock, Texas area experiences up to nine inches of snowfall on average.

There is rarely more than 0.2 inches of snowfall in Austin, the location of the University of Texas. When 11 inches of snow fell over two days in November of 1937, it was the greatest snowfall ever recorded in Austin.

According to data from the National Weather Service, Waco, the location of Baylor University, has received an average of just 1 inch of snow annually since 2000. Waco has gotten less than 0.1 inches of precipitation in around half of the years since the year 2000.

In contrast, San Antonio receives almost no snowfall—even with notable anomalies, the city receives only 0.1 inches on average annually.

Monthly Snow Amounts in Texas

Although there are variations in the amount of snowfall throughout Texas, December through February typically see the most of the state’s snowfall. The western and panhandle regions of the state receive snow earlier than the eastern and southern regions. Higher elevations and close closeness to weather systems approaching from the northwest are mostly to blame for this.

Based on statistics from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, which is located roughly in the center of the large state, snowfall in October is rare and occurs in trace amounts. In November, too, there is hardly any snowfall, save for a few strange occasions. In December, the area rarely receives more than a trace of snow; when it does, the accumulation typically ranges from 1.5 to 3 inches. In January, central Texas receives snowfall in most years, ranging from 3.5 to 12.1 inches. February returns to largely trace levels, with notable outliers and heavy snow storms in a few years. Snowfall in Central Texas in March is sporadic at best and nonexistent in April.

Snowfall Overview

In Texas’s eastern and southern regions, snowfall is not common every month. In those areas, anything greater than a trace is typically an outlier. Based on information from the Lone Star State’s central, western, and panhandle areas, the table below provides an overview of the likelihood of snow.