A Comparison of Snowfall Events on 24 December, 2004 and 7-8 December, 2017 in South and Southeast Texas (137)

Amanda Reinhart, NWS - Weather Prediction Center, College Park, MD

 

Abstract:

From Deep South Texas to Southeast Texas with upwards of 7 inches of snow on 7-8 December, 2017. The city of Rockport, TX, which was where Hurricane Harvey made landfall just 4 months prior, received up to 3 inches of snow. This event would mark the earliest snowfall date for Brownsville and Corpus Christi it would be the second earliest snowfall for the city of Houston. On 24-25 December, 2004, a similar event played out giving these areas their first &ldquoWhite Christmas&rdquo. Corpus Christi received 4.4 inches of snow, with areas to the north of the city measuring a foot of snow.

Since these events are rare, especially for South Texas, when they occur it leaves an enormous impact. During the &ldquoWhite Christmas&rdquo event, three people died due to icy, treacherous road conditions. Consequently, most of the coastal Texas highways had to shut down. The 2017 snowfall event yielded thousands of power outages across South and Southeast Texas along with hazardous road conditions. An analysis of both events will draw comparisons and key aspects forecasters can recognize for future events. Additionally, communication aspects from a national forecast perspective, such as the Weather Prediction Center, will be discussed for uncertainty and potential impacts to areas that do not receive snowfall on a regular basis.