A rare Deep South snow event breaks Dallas' all-time snowfall record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:55 PM GMT on February 12, 2010

Share this Blog
7
+

A rare Deep South heavy snow event is in full swing today, thanks to a powerful 1000 mb extratropical storm centered just south of Alabama. The storm clobbered Dallas with 11.2" of snow yesterday, the heaviest snow on record for the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Dallas' previous record was 7.4", set on January 15 - 16, 1964. The 14.4" of snow that has now fallen on Dallas this winter eclipses the previous record seasonal snowfall for the city--14.1" during the winter of 1977 - 1978. Yesterday's snowstorm dumped over a foot of snow along a narrow region just north of Dallas and Fort Worth, with the town of Haslet receiving 14.2".


Figure 1. The Deep South snow event of February, 12, 2010 in a visible satellite image taken at 9 am EST. Image credit: NASA GOES project.

As the storm races eastwards across the Gulf today, a wide area of snowfall in excess of four inches will affect Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, with lesser amounts in South Carolina, North Carolina, and the extreme northwestern corner of the Florida Panhandle. As of 7am this morning, here are some selected snow amounts reported by National Weather Service:

...ALABAMA...
CUBA 1.5
THOMASVILLE 1.0

...ARKANSAS...
FOREMAN 4.0
TEXARKANA 1 N 4.0

...LOUISIANA...
NATCHITOCHES 6.0
SHONGALOO 5 N 6.0
SHREVEPORT 5.4
MONROE 5.0
NATCHITOCHES 4.0

...MISSISSIPPI...
DE KALB 8.0
CATAHOULA 5.0
VICKSBURG 5.0
RAYVILLE 4.2
BROOKHAVEN 4.0
MCCALL CREEK 5 W 4.0
SICILY ISLAND 4.0
JACKSON 3.2

...OKLAHOMA...
HAWORTH 4 SW 7.5
IDABEL 8 SE 7.5
RATTAN 13 E 4.5

...TEXAS...
HASLET 14.2
FORT WORTH 12.6
DALLAS 12.5
BRIDGEPORT 12.0
ROYSE CITY 12.0
POINT 3.7 ESE 11.0
EAGLE MOUNTAIN 10.5
ENNIS 10.3
FRISCO 1.9 N 10.3
JACKSBORO 6.2 SW 10.0
LINDALE 10.0
NORTH RICHLAND HILLS 10.0
COTTONDALE 9.5
OAK CLIFF 9.5
PRINCETON 3 N 9.5
FORT WORTH 14 N 9.0
ARLINGTON 8.0

As we can see from a plot of the frequency of U.S. snowstorms between 1900 - 2001 (Figure 2), heavy snow events of 6+ inches occur about once every ten years for Dallas, and between once every ten years and once every 100 years for the portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama that may end up getting 6+ inches from this storm.


Figure 2. The annual average number of snowstorms with a 6 inch (15.2 cm) or greater accumulation, from the years 1901 - 2001. A value of 0.1 means an average of one 6+ inch snowstorm every ten years. Image credit: Changnon, S.A., D. Changnon, and T.R. Karl, 2006, Temporal and Spatial Characteristics of Snowstorms in the Contiguous United States, J. Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 45, 8, pp. 1141-1155, DOI: 10.1175/JAM2395.1.

More heavy snowstorms occur in warmer-than-average years
Another interesting result from the Changnon et al. (2006) paper (Figure 2) is the relationship between heavy snowstorms and the average winter temperature. For the contiguous U.S. between 1900 - 2001, the authors found that 61% - 80% of all heavy snowstorms of 6+ inches occurred during winters with above normal temperatures. In other words, the old adage, "it's too cold to snow", has some truth to it. The authors also found that 61% - 85% of all heavy snowstorms of 6+ inches occurred during winters that were wetter than average. The authors conclude, "a future with wetter and warmer winters, which is one outcome expected (National Assessment Synthesis Team 2001), will bring more heavy snowstorms of 6+ inches than in 1901 - 2000. The authors found that over the U.S. as a whole, there had been a slight but significant increase in heavy snowstorms of 6+ inches between 1901 - 2000. However, a separate paper by Houston and Changnon (2009), "Characteristics of the top ten snowstorms at First-Order Stations in the U.S.", found that there was no upward or downward trend in the very heaviest snowstorms for the contiguous U.S. between 1948 - 2001, as evaluated by looking at the top ten snowstorms for 121 major cities.

More snow headed for the mid-Atlantic next week
The extreme amounts of snow on the ground in the Mid-Atlantic from back-to-back blizzards over the past week will get some more company on Monday night, when a new snowstorm will hit the region. I'm thinking that the new storm will drop another 2 - 6 inches of snow on the Baltimore-D.C.-Philadelphia region. The computer forecast models have not yet come into agreement on where Monday's storm will hit, or how much moisture it will be able to tap into, so there is still high uncertainty over how much snow will fall.

A historical precedent for "Snowmageddon": the "Great Snow" of 1717
I've commented several times this week that there is no precedent in the historical record, going back to the late 1800s, to the incredible snow blitz the Mid-Atlantic has endured. Well, it turns out there is a comparable winter, at least for Philadelphia, if one goes back in time nearly 300 years. According to Chris Burt, author of the excellent book, Extreme Weather, in 1717 four storms between February 27 and March 9 dropped a total of 3 - 5 feet of snow from Philadelphia to Boston. Snow drifts as much as 25' deep occurred in the Boston area. An account of the 1717 event was one of the first journal entries of the Massachusetts Historical Society by Cotton Mather. Chris told me he wasn't aware of any comparable events affecting Washington D.C. or Baltimore, however. Chris will be joining wunderground this April as a featured blogger, and I greatly look forward to having him put our modern weather records into historical context.

Next post
I'll probably do a short post on Saturday.

Jeff Masters

Blizzard Car Shadows (BocaJoe)
Blizzard Car Shadows
Snow Damage in Arlington (mikekttx)
Snow Damage in Arlington on 2/11/10. Apartment covered parking structures are failing all over the city.
Snow Damage in Arlington

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 160 - 110

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13Blog Index

Quoting sdcbassman:


I spent plenty of time in Meadeville. So I know what it's like up there. Very true about people that dont know how to drive in the white stuff.


and the fact that there is no removal equipment here or salt trucks...and charleston is nothing but little islands all connected by bridges...most of them metal...we both know what that adds up to....just glad my fridge is full, i have gas heat, water heater and stove...our power lines aren't equiped for ice and snow...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NttyGrtty:


I've been here 29 years and mother nature does indeed have the last call. She quite often exercises that call in the form of the Crestview line, which is holding. Warming effect of the bays won't let the temp drop enough to snow until the moisture moves out and then it'll be too late...


Like i have said earlier.. its all about the timing and there is still another band the al/ms border.. but if we dont get it.. big whoop.. there is still more winter left and specially when it is looking like we r goin to b dealing with more cold weather til the end of february as of now.. from the models i have been seeing.. but right now there is still a chance, but u may disagree and thats fine.. we all got different opinions.. hopefully we c sumthing nice out of this!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tiggeriffic:
bassman...i grew up on lake erie...in the south now...the snow doesn't bother me...driving here with people that have no clue as to how to drive in it does...rofl


I spent plenty of time in Meadeville. So I know what it's like up there. Very true about people that dont know how to drive in the white stuff.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
bassman...i grew up on lake erie...in the south now...the snow doesn't bother me...driving here with people that have no clue as to how to drive in it does...rofl
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:


Lol.. u have to be patient if it does snow or not.. its not like it does snow here anyways, its a rare event.. its goin up b/c of the warm air lift.. it should shortly leave soon.. Dont assume too earlier, mother nature has the last call.. lol


I've been here 29 years and mother nature does indeed have the last call. She quite often exercises that call in the form of the Crestview line, which is holding. Warming effect of the bays won't let the temp drop enough to snow until the moisture moves out and then it'll be too late...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
air temps dont have to be at 32 degrees for it to snow...only for it to stick...upper atmosphere temps are much colder than what we actually feel...you also have to take into consideration that the sun is still up even if we cant see it...as it gets later, the temps will drop...that is when the snow will really begin to show up
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The inches and inches of GLOBAL WARMING continue to pile up. lol. Glad you all down south are getting a taste of true winter. We still have OVER 30in of snow ON THE GROUND in central NJ.

Enjoy!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
152. code1
And BTW? It's 40F in Destin.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Well, no snow here in Pinellas... but it's pouring rain to be the band... Upper 40's and miserable...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
150. code1
Quoting NttyGrtty:


You just posted 41 degrees in Bluewater, it's 41 in Mary Esther, 41 at Hurlburt...what am I missing? Where do you see 41 degree snow?


Geez, don't see anyone disagreeing with you that it most likely won't happen, but, do you have to be so negative towards others wishing it would? You are definitely in the minority of posters here right now not wanting to see it. Live and let live!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
wow...sitting in Charleston, SC waiting for the snow to hit
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm prepared to go freaking drive somewhere if something doesn't start happening SOON...
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
Quoting NttyGrtty:


You just posted 41 degrees in Bluewater, it's 41 in Mary Esther, 41 at Hurlburt...what am I missing? Where do you see 41 degree snow?


Lol.. u have to be patient if it does snow or not.. its not like it does snow here anyways, its a rare event.. its goin up b/c of the warm air lift.. it should shortly leave soon.. Dont assume too earlier, mother nature has the last call.. lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:


ya it def needs to drop.. i think he was talking about the northern counties..
It is 35 degrees just west of defuniak springs
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
See snow I-65 I-10 interchange

Live streaming cam

Link

Mobile Causeway
East Of Mobile towards Pensacola
Link
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
144. IKE
Jeff Morrow is in Mobile,AL. Snowing there now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:


okay if u say so


You just posted 41 degrees in Bluewater, it's 41 in Mary Esther, 41 at Hurlburt...what am I missing? Where do you see 41 degree snow?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting quakeman55:

No snow over here...temp needs to drop...


ya it def needs to drop.. i think he was talking about the northern counties..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
141. ATCr
Quoting ATCr:
long time lurker, first time poster...Snow now falling in Gulfport, MS(HUGE Flakes). Im bout a mile from the coast line.


Just as quick as it started, it ended. Now just some light rain again. Hopefully if you have not seen it, you get under a heavier band that can bring down the cold air with it so you can see some.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
Snow starting to drop down into the extreme western Florida panhandle...according to the radar on the Weather Channel...in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.

No snow over here...temp needs to drop...
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
Quoting NttyGrtty:
Up to 41 with the same cold drizzle on the beach. Not gonna snow in the panhandle south of I-10. I'll up that to a $.03 prediction...


okay if u say so
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
snow makes it no further se
now already pulling back nw
as system tracks e then ne

i'll will repectfully disagree with that, seems the farther west we go reports south of i-10 are beoming more frequent with reports of snow or mix not the other way around.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
FYI and BTW, excellent information and advice from our Blog Red Cross Pros & Volunteers (that would NOT be myself, I'm just a fan) on this Blog. They just posted RC recent pet advice/info.

NEFL Red Cross (with nat'l & international info, too)
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
134. IKE
Snow starting to drop down into the extreme western Florida panhandle...according to the radar on the Weather Channel...in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Oz...will u post Dougs weather station again?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ATCr:
long time lurker, first time poster...Snow now falling in Gulfport, MS(HUGE Flakes). Im bout a mile from the coast line.


Now this is what I call leaning forward!!!

Red Cross opens cold shelter in Gulfport
Posted: Feb 11, 2010 11:32 PM EST Updated: Feb 12, 2010 8:50 AM EST
By Jessica Bowman – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - As the cold weather moves in, the American Red Cross is making sure everyone in South Mississippi has a place to stay warm. The Isiah Fredericks Community Center is once again serving as a cold weather shelter.

As brand new cots were brought in Thursday night, shelter residents helped volunteers unfold the metal frames and put together make shift beds.

The Executive Director of The American Red Cross Gulf Coast Chapter, Josh Joachim, said, "We were under the impression we would be sheltering for one night, but we already prepared for three nights just in case it was for a longer time. And it looks at this time we will be sheltering for two nights, maybe further depending on the weather."

As shelter residents made their way in, Red Cross volunteers helped them find a place to call home for the night.

"Feels good, you give back," volunteer Rick Campion said. "I guess there's always a verse we go by. It says, 'To those who much has been given, much is demanded.' And that's what the Red Cross does."

The Red Cross has teamed up with Coast Transit Authority and Feed My Sheep. The soup kitchen is providing free meals for people staying at the shelter.

"They're also providing transportation from Isiah Fredericks to Feed My Sheep for breakfast," Joachim said.

Thursday night it was fresh brewed coffee that greeted those coming in out of the cold.

"They also have the opportunity to take comfort kits that have, hygiene products and deodorant and things. And we also have shower facilities that they are able to use here if they need to," said Joachim.

Joachim said the shelter will hold up to 200 people. They're expecting about 60 to 70 people to stay there this week. And remember, CTA buses are providing free rides to the shelter.

©2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.
Action: Quote | Modify Comment


(
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Up to 41 with the same cold drizzle on the beach. Not gonna snow in the panhandle south of I-10. I'll up that to a $.03 prediction...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
snow makes it no further se
now already pulling back nw
as system tracks e then ne

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54283
129. IKE
.NOW...AT 11 AM CST...A BAND OF HEAVY SNOW WAS LOCATED ALONG THE I-65
CORRIDOR FROM MOBILE COUNTY TO NEAR GREENVILLE. MODERATE TO HEAVY
SNOW WILL CONTINUE FALLING UNDERNEATH THIS BAND. IT WILL SLOWLY
ROTATE EASTWARD WHILE CIRCULATING AROUND THE GULF SURFACE LOW. THIS
WILL PROVIDE FOR ONE TO TWO INCH PER HOUR SNOWFALL RATES AS IT
TRANSLATES ALONG AND EAST OF I-65 DURING THE AFTERNOON. ACCUMULATIONS
WEST OF THIS BAND ARE LESS THAN A HALF INCH PER HOUR. THE RAIN SNOW
LINE WILL BEGIN TO SAG SOUTHWARD INTO THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN
PORTIONS OF THE COASTAL COUNTIES OF ALABAMA AND NORTHWEST FLORIDA.
SNOWFALL REPORTS AT THE SURFACE GO AS FAR WEST AS WESTERN
LOUISIANA...ALBEIT MUCH LIGHTER IN INTENSITY.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
gulfport is reporting 36 to 37 degrees with light snow.. hmmm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Grrrrr....I mean Brrrrr...

I want snow! Not fair!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:


Mine just dropped to 38.8 outside....

That's a good sign. Maybe it's because I'm in a lull in the precip right now...hope it starts dropping once it starts back up again.
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276


thats from my sister's cell phone 5mins ago in Gulfport MS.. its not sticking but pretty nice size flakes..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
124. IKE
Quoting quakeman55:

Yeah what's up with that temp rise? That's not good...needs to go the other way...


Mine just dropped to 38.8 outside....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 850Realtor:
Oz...check out Channel 10 (Fox 10/ WALA)...either their website or facebook page. They have been broadcasting all morning. Citronelle and surrounding area seems to be the spot!


If I were local to Pensacola today and had not seen snow in over a decade, I'd be heading due north up Hwy 29 right now.

But, since I already have mountainous snow here in New Mexico...and have had to deal with winter after miserable winter here for over a decade...if I never see snow again, that would be fine with me.

Thinking about buying a condo on Hollywood Beach for the winters...and summering here in the mountains.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BIG snowflakes at the Beau in Biloxi!!!!! woohoo!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ATCr:
long time lurker, first time poster...Snow now falling in Gulfport, MS(HUGE Flakes). Im bout a mile from the coast line.


ya my sister just sent me a picture.. im going to c if i can post it..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting washingaway:
Current GFS




GFS Sunday 28 Feb


Interesting


Florida snow round like what 10 this year?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:


Rain w/some sleet...up to 39.7 outside.

Yeah what's up with that temp rise? That's not good...needs to go the other way...
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
118. IKE
Quoting quakeman55:
This is starting to frustrate me...temp is going the wrong way. I don't know why. How's it up your way IKE? This just temporary or what?


Rain w/some sleet...up to 39.7 outside.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
117. ATCr
long time lurker, first time poster...Snow now falling in Gulfport, MS(HUGE Flakes). Im bout a mile from the coast line.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
snow in gulfport MS but not sticking yet..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It's snowing in Biloxi. This time some good flakes!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Current GFS




GFS Sunday 28 Feb


Interesting
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks for the small SUV recommendations, guys; I definitely asked the question at the right time in the right place (which might be a first for me)!

"Mikey" (j/k) just narrowly avoided getting my slipper-spanking, reminding us that we're slated to get another round of dis mess!

Thanks for pointing out that Flood had already addressed ice issue...it's not that I don't read...it's just that I couldn't believe he posted a MANUAL and I went into denial, lol!

RE & Re-post, our old crew of techs: "Manual? MANUAL??? We don't need no frackin' manual!!!"
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
brewton al is gettin sum big flakes.. accumulating well.. must be nice..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
110. MTWX
Quoting mikester:


Yep i remember having snow that deep. Actually might have been deeper though. I remember playing in the road digging down to the road and standing up and my mom couldn't see me in the road. I was about 4'-10" tall then. We had alot of drifting snow too.


Those were taken a couple of days after the storm. I was almost 9 at the time.. Fun times!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 160 - 110

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.