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

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

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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

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Ok, I will check for ya!!
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Quoting severstorm:
I agree Awake, Like trying to buy a heavy coat in dec down here in Fl. They already have there spring fashons on the racks


I bet. If you hear about any of the charities screaming for coats, let me know, if you'll be so kind. We have a great thrift store close by... I could stuff into flat-rate box, I s'pose.

But perhaps your temps will be returning to "normal" soon?
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
I agree Awake, Like trying to buy a heavy coat in dec down here in Fl. They already have there spring fashons on the racks
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Yay the snow is still here too bad in a few hours it will be gone. Im sure we picked up about 5 inches over here in millen, ga. It started around 4:15 and stopped around 1:00 this morning.
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I don't blame the poodle. Those flakes looked the size of golfballs. lol
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Don't most people use shovels all year round?


G'morning, Aussie, or good evening;

(I wasn't out for smoke break, I was posting vid's in other blogs, lol.)

I'm sorry, let me clarify...there was a clearance on the SNOW shovels... sheer U.S. marketing idiocy (still trying to avoid a ban)...historically, we get some of our worst snowstorms in February.

Now I'm going to have coffee and smoke break, lol!

Ike, the poodle wouldn't make yellow snow, either?
Poor thing.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
554. IKE
Quoting severstorm:
Well that looks like SNOW to me. Glad to see you finally got it.


Poodle I've got was scared of it and wouldn't go out in it. Funny.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
553. IKE
Quoting code1:
Nice Ike. Happy you got to see it! Temp is 32.1 on the beaches at present, brrrr. First frost I've seen here. Was colder a few weeks back, but cloud cover and winds kept it from forming.


My low was 30.6.


Quoting AussieStorm:


Looks like heavy wet snow.


It was. It all melted within a few minutes.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
I hear thunder again, wont be long now.
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Quoting leftovers:
they are all smoking their cigarrettes after yesterdays snow event
lol :)
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Quoting Ameister12:

That's a great cartoon. I wonder how many people are thinking like that?
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Well that looks like SNOW to me. Glad to see you finally got it.
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Quoting severstorm:
Hey Aussie, They make different shovels for different things to do. I see your getting some rain again. Good for you.


I'm not complaining but, I wish someone would turn that darn hose off, or at least turn the pressure down a bit, these tropical like rain storms that come speeding though just dump a heap of rain then bugger off.
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524: was pretty wild for a few at the Miami Beach convevtion center when that came through.

We were outside warning folks what was coming but staying close to the doors. When it came, it made a little bit of a mess with palm fronds, signs, tables, and a couple of tents. But no one hurt that I know of.
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Quoting IKE:


Here ya go....




Looks like heavy wet snow.
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544. code1
Nice Ike. Happy you got to see it! Temp is 32.1 on the beaches at present, brrrr. First frost I've seen here. Was colder a few weeks back, but cloud cover and winds kept it from forming.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
543. IKE
Quoting severstorm:
Ok, I'm working but i will check in from time to time. Can,t wait to see the pics.


Here ya go....







Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858


This is of the creek about 50yards from my front door. Video was shot today.
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Good Morning from Wilmington NC
Cloudy and 32 ...... wind chill 25...... 6 inches of wet snow on my deck !!!!
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Hey Aussie, They make different shovels for different things to do. I see your getting some rain again. Good for you.
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Ok, I'm working but i will check in from time to time. Can,t wait to see the pics.
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

NO kidding! Have gone to numerous hardware and other retail stores. A female employee at Target finally explained it to me: they had their clearance of shovels and winter items 2 -- TWO -- weeks ago...to make room for spring gardening tools.

No comment, or I would be banned.

Okay, Rachel Maddow piece is a hoot.

Was anybody else disappointed that Patrap's pup didn't make yellow sneaux?

Don't most people use shovels all year round?
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537. IKE
Quoting severstorm:
Hey Ike, How deep was the SNOW yesterday? lol


Not very...lol.

Zilch to be exact. I had 1.31 inches of rain. But it did snow here...stand by for a picture or 2 of it!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Microsoft co-founder Gates tackling climate change
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has broken from philanthropic work fighting poverty and disease to take on another threat to the world's poor -- climate change.

"Energy and climate are extremely important to these people," Gates told Friday a TED Conference audience packed with influential figures including the founders of Google and climate champion Al Gore.

Gates dismissed climate change skeptics, saying terrapower would render arguments moot because the energy produced would be cheaper than pollution-spewing methods used today.

"The skeptics will accept it because it is cheaper," Gates said. "The might wish it did put out CO2, but they will take it."

The world is at "an extraordinary moment" in the struggle to save the climate balance, according to former US vice president Gore.

A vital step will be to put a price on carbon dioxide emissions so the cost of polluting the air gets factored into the global economy.

Legislation to do that has cleared the US House of Representatives and must fight its way through the Senate, where it needs only a few more supporters to send the law on to the willing pen of President Barack Obama, Gore said.

"A price on carbon dioxide emissions can help us make the right decision, not only on nuclear, solar, and wind but on the gamut of energy alternatives available to us," Gore said.

Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection has organized groups in 22 US states with "swing senators" in the hope getting the legislation passed "before the political season gets completely wild."

"These next few months represent the last feasible political window for quite some time to get this done," Gore said. "So much is at stake we have to double down."
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h_iNFAG254im4XHNHGNRIpKj6bLA
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Hey Ike, How deep was the SNOW yesterday? lol
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Pheeeew, quiete in here this morning.
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Quoting largeeyes:
And not a shovel to be bought....

NO kidding! Have gone to numerous hardware and other retail stores. A female employee at Target finally explained it to me: they had their clearance of shovels and winter items 2 -- TWO -- weeks ago...to make room for spring gardening tools.

No comment, or I would be banned.

Okay, Rachel Maddow piece is a hoot.

Was anybody else disappointed that Patrap's pup didn't make yellow sneaux?
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
532. IKE
30.6 my low this morning...so far.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
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Morning all, Here we go again with these cooler temps.
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Anyone here want to watch a Live game of Rugby League go here, Sydney Radar here, Storms moving there again, last night my suburb got 3in in 45mins.
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The comparison to 1717 is significant because that storm occurred during a period of reduced solar activity that many astro physicists believe we are once again entering. Long periods of reduced solar activity occur as part of a centuries long cycle of high and low activity that have been recorded in the past. In the past the periods of low activity have coincided with significantly lower temperatures.
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Snowing in Raleigh tonight, 3" so far, but looks like coming to an end.
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Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
>Want more? Just ask.


um no haha :p
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the amamonitor used on Wunderground for Miami had a 50mph recorded from earlier.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3759
Quoting hurricane23:
Straight line winds moving through dade county a few hrs ago...recorded a gust here at the house of 67 mph. Transformers flashing along with crazy horizontal rain hitting the doors. Was a crazy few minutes for sure.


I heard them too I'm back in Miami for the weekend and heard some howling winds when I went to the bathroom near my backyard.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3759
Quoting BobHodges:
This storm is stronger than anticipated, while staying south. Expect accumulating snows by mid afternoon in the Panhandle of Florida, and a rain/snow mix as far east as Monticello. Tallahassee should see a period of all snow somewhere around 5-7pm until it all comes to an end.


Indeed! Now each state in the union has measurable snow on the ground(if you count the peaks of Hawaii)!!!

Quoting Jeff9641:
The panhandle is going to get dumped on as this low moves past. The pressure is still dropping down to 997 milibars. Tampa can expect strong winds maybe gusting to 50 with very heavy rain and this will move into Orlando late today.
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Strong front blew through Central Florida earlier today, peaking around 4 pm over here on the east coast.

It's colder than we like here, now!
Anyway, beautiful Olympic opening on tv tonight.
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Quoting Ameister12:

Colbert mocks Fox News for using snowstorm to deny global warming

http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/12/colbert-mocks-fox-news-for-using-snowstorm-to-deny-global-war ming/




Climate-Change Debate Is Heating Up in Deep Freeze
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/11/science/earth/11climate.html?emc=tnt&tntemail0=y

Want more? Just ask.
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A tad windy around here:

30-60mph for a tad there.
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I have a big feeling It's gonna be much colder then what their even projecting for next week.
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So what's the outlook for Sunday night with that next system swinging through? Any decent snow chances with it?
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
been sittin around the fire. It's been snowing since ~9pm(so near 3 hours). It's gotten cold....even with the warming effects of the margarita
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Sorry for the quardripple posts. My computer is acting up.:)
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oh-My bad.
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Been snowing here in Goose Creek, SC since 6:00 pm. Still coming down at a fair rate. No real estimates yet, but looks to be around 3 inches or so have fell so far.
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Quoting weatherbro:
Sorry for the quardripple posts. My computer is acting up.:)


The low that was pointed out is for the possible storm Monday.
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Sorry for the quardripple posts. My computer is acting up.:)
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Quoting mikester:


Loops shows a pretty good low forming just over the canadian border in the upper midwest. I assume this will be the weather maker for monday?


I thought the low was just southeast of Cape Canaveral?
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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