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

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 03:55 PM GMT del 12 Febbraio 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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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!!
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Dangit, where are IKE and Drak? Could use their analysis right now for the panhandle...
Member Since: Marzo 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
When is it supposed to snow over here in southeastern ga? We are under a winterstorm warning but the temp is 43 been rising all morning. Our forecast high today was 41 with us expecting anywhere from 3 to 5 inches of snow. Here are current observations.... temp 43 dewpoint 30 windchill 37. Im anxiously awaitng this snow. Last time it was an appreciable amount was in 2006 when we got 2 inches.
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Quoting quakeman55:

Hope so...getting ready to slap my thermometer if it doesn't start dropping the temp reading...


ya i hear ya.. but then again we r close to the gulf for a reason tho.. lol
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Quoting FLPandhandleJG:


as u can tell we r still experiencing that warm lift L passing south of us.. But the cold air should eventually make its way down and with sum moisture that is still left that i believe.. sum ppl still believe that there is still a good chance since there is another at the ala/ms border heading east.. right now mobile reporting winds from NNW from 9 at 33degrees with light snow.. We r closing in near 40 degrees and winds ene or nne 12mph with light rain.. So i believe it will change later tho..

Hope so...getting ready to slap my thermometer if it doesn't start dropping the temp reading...
Member Since: Marzo 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
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!
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


Those are some great pics, and when I looked at them I thought "worthy of 4-wheel drive...and please everybody there be careful;" it's still treacherous in spots here -- I know Texas has lots of extreme weather events, but how are ya'll at driving in snow? Is ice going to be a problem, or will this snow melt soon (as in, I haven't checked your projected temps).

Note: As one would expect, downtown DC traffic a mess, but incident is "under control." K and L Sts. closed.
345 passengers, 3 very minor injuries reported as of now, "cuts and bruises."

In TX, snow driving is treacherous at best, unless you are in the panhandle. In DFW area, I wouldn't expect most people to have a lot of experience driving, but most drivers should at least have all-season tires. (not so in Houston, where 3-season tires are more common). Ice can be an issue, but (usually) TX DOT is on top of it on overpasses and such. As Flood mentioned, it usually melts off in a day or two.
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Quoting quakeman55:

Well we dang sure don't need it to be anywhere near 40...more like 35 or so...just wondering when that's going to happen.


as u can tell we r still experiencing that warm lift, L passing south of us.. But the cold air should eventually make its way down and with sum moisture that is still left that i believe.. sum ppl still believe that there is still a good chance since there is another chance snow at the ala/ms border heading east.. right now mobile reporting winds from NNW from 9 at 33degrees with light snow.. We r closing in near 40 degrees and winds ene or nne 12mph with light rain.. So i believe it will change later tho..
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Good thing that storm over florida didn't decide to track northeast out of texas. Washington dc and baltimore may have been completely covered in another 12-24" of snow.
Member Since: Aprile 4, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 134
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Comment, and question, request for advice/counsel...

Yesterday we transported a medical doctor to the hospital where she works.

Her street hadn't been plowed, and her trusty Suburu auto couldn't handle it because it didn't have the ground clearance.

We were in a Fire&Rescue service Chevy Blazer, remarkably comfy, I thought. Unfortunately, hubby hates Chevy because of previous disasters with old Citation (big ugh, arrrggghhh.)

I really do not like big SUV's (shorty legs, lol)! Any recommendations for small SUVs with some ground clearance -- one of my sis-in-laws JUST traded her Honda CRV for a Toyota RAV -- just recalled, unbelievable. I don't know what to think, or look at for possible future purchase.


The best value out there right now is the Kia Sorento

I got to see the new model when I bought a Forte 2 months ago. Amazing vehicle!
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Quoting FLPandhandleJG:
yay.. it looks like im goin to hit the 40 mark in Niceville, FL.. lol im sure it will drop shortly.. Quake I hear ya but thats what mother nature does, is frustrate alot of us in different ways..

Well we dang sure don't need it to be anywhere near 40...more like 35 or so...just wondering when that's going to happen.
Member Since: Marzo 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Comment, and question, request for advice/counsel...

Yesterday we transported a medical doctor to the hospital where she works.

Her street hadn't been plowed, and her trusty Suburu auto couldn't handle it because it didn't have the ground clearance.

We were in a Fire&Rescue service Chevy Blazer, remarkably comfy, I thought. Unfortunately, hubby hates Chevy because of previous disasters with old Citation (big ugh, arrrggghhh.)

I really do not like big SUV's (shorty legs, lol)! Any recommendations for small SUVs with some ground clearance -- one of my sis-in-laws JUST traded her Honda CRV for a Toyota RAV -- just recalled, unbelievable. I don't know what to think, or look at for possible future purchase.

Could look into the ford escape. They are nice and good ground clearance but not to high you can't get in them. Make a great winter vehicle.
Member Since: Aprile 4, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 134
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Comment, and question, request for advice/counsel...

Yesterday we transported a medical doctor to the hospital where she works.

Her street hadn't been plowed, and her trusty Suburu auto couldn't handle it because it didn't have the ground clearance.

We were in a Fire&Rescue service Chevy Blazer, remarkably comfy, I thought. Unfortunately, hubby hates Chevy because of previous disasters with old Citation (big ugh, arrrggghhh.)

I really do not like big SUV's (shorty legs, lol)! Any recommendations for small SUVs with some ground clearance -- one of my sis-in-laws JUST traded her Honda CRV for a Toyota RAV -- just recalled, unbelievable. I don't know what to think, or look at for possible future purchase.

Look into a Subaru Forester or a Ford Escape.
Link to the new Subaru Forester below:

Link
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Quoting Bordonaro:


The main streets and highways for the most part are clear of snow and ice, with slushy overpasses/bridges and side road/parking lots. My daughters and I went out for Starbucks this morning, looks absolutely spectacular!!


wish i can have sum beautiful snow on the ground and enjoy with family and friends :) and great pix Bob!
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Quoting stormsurge39:
Its POURING SNOW!!

That should be the headline for washington dc/baltimore/texas/florida snow storms.
Member Since: Aprile 4, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 134
yay.. it looks like im goin to hit the 40 mark in Niceville, FL.. lol im sure it will drop shortly.. Quake I hear ya but thats what mother nature does, is frustrate alot of us in different ways..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Comment, and question, request for advice/counsel...

Yesterday we transported a medical doctor to the hospital where she works.

Her street hadn't been plowed, and her trusty Suburu auto couldn't handle it because it didn't have the ground clearance.

We were in a Fire&Rescue service Chevy Blazer, remarkably comfy, I thought. Unfortunately, hubby hates Chevy because of previous disasters with old Citation (big ugh, arrrggghhh.)

I really do not like big SUV's (shorty legs, lol)! Any recommendations for small SUVs with some ground clearance -- one of my sis-in-laws JUST traded her Honda CRV for a Toyota RAV -- just recalled, unbelievable. I don't know what to think, or look at for possible future purchase.
Member Since: Agosto 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting SouthALWX:
Im near citronelle .. I have pics that I sent to local people. I assure you, sir, whatever he is saying is completely true and I dont see how he doesnt have more (unless Im lucky as heck)
Your snow probably started before mine! Its POURING SNOW!!
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Ahh. Im just Northeast of turnerville (between mt vernon and citronelle) ... it's been snowing since just before dawn. I had melt after that to about 2" and now Im working on building it back
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


Those are some great pics, and when I looked at them I thought "worthy of 4-wheel drive...and please everybody there be careful;" it's still treacherous in spots here -- I know Texas has lots of extreme weather events, but how are ya'll at driving in snow? Is ice going to be a problem, or will this snow melt soon (as in, I haven't checked your projected temps).

Note: As one would expect, downtown DC traffic a mess, but incident is "under control." K and L Sts. closed.
345 passengers, 3 very minor injuries reported as of now, "cuts and bruises."


The main streets and highways for the most part are clear of snow and ice, with slushy overpasses/bridges and side road/parking lots. My daughters and I went out for Starbucks this morning, looks absolutely spectacular!!
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WOW flood and Bob! Don't think I will see any on the beaches, but it's been fun watching for it. I'm not going to run north to see it though. Had enough of the heavy stuff in my life. Just wanted to see it on the beach.
Member Since: Settembre 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


Those are some great pics, and when I looked at them I thought "worthy of 4-wheel drive...and please everybody there be careful;" it's still treacherous in spots here -- I know Texas has lots of extreme weather events, but how are ya'll at driving in snow? Is ice going to be a problem, or will this snow melt soon (as in, I haven't checked your projected temps).

Note: As one would expect, downtown DC traffic a mess, but incident is "under control." K and L Sts. closed.
345 passengers, 3 very minor injuries reported as of now, "cuts and bruises."


Just in time for another round of snow again.
Member Since: Aprile 4, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 134
Quoting SouthALWX:
where are you storm surge? I have 4" in NNE mobile county (7ish total but I had bad melt at the onset)
Georgetown Wilmer,Al.
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Im near citronelle .. I have pics that I sent to local people. I assure you, sir, whatever he is saying is completely true and I dont see how he doesnt have more (unless Im lucky as heck)
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Yep you guys get plowed out and cleared out just in time for another snow storm.
Member Since: Aprile 4, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 134
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?
Member Since: Marzo 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
Quoting CycloneOz:


Show us! Upload a pic! :)
Sorry Oz i dont have a camera to do it with! If you can find someone around the Semmes,Wilmer,georgetown,citronelle area that can do it , they can show you plenty, because it is really coming down right now!
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Quoting Bordonaro:

AIM, look at post #26, SE Arlington, TX has about 14" of SNOW on the ground. And thanks for sharing your snow with us :0)


Those are some great pics, and when I looked at them I thought "worthy of 4-wheel drive...and please everybody there be careful;" it's still treacherous in spots here -- I know Texas has lots of extreme weather events, but how are ya'll at driving in snow? Is ice going to be a problem, or will this snow melt soon (as in, I haven't checked your projected temps).

Note: As one would expect, downtown DC traffic a mess, but incident is "under control." K and L Sts. closed.
345 passengers, 3 very minor injuries reported as of now, "cuts and bruises."
Member Since: Agosto 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Panhandleites! Tune in to WEAR 3, pouring snow in Brewton. Total white!!
Member Since: Settembre 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
Quoting NEwxguy:
Can this winter get any crazier!!!

The answer to that question is a "YES"!
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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.

That would b nice..
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Rain just changed to sleet in Daphne AL, Lower Baldwin County...
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where are you storm surge? I have 4" in NNE mobile county (7ish total but I had bad melt at the onset)
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Here are a few photos from the Haslet area...I measured 15" here using the accepted method of snow measurement


No BBQing today


Looking down my street

The funny thing about DFW is that the snow typically melts off within a day or two; the highs here tomorrow are supposed to be in the upper 50s...
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snow makes it no further se
now already pulling back nw
as system tracks e then ne
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Quoting stormsurge39:
Snow is stickin in NNW Mobile county 1.5 inches so far!


Show us! Upload a pic! :)
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Temp needs to drop here...why's it going up slightly??
Member Since: Marzo 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
Quoting CycloneOz:


I think I finally found a webcam that is showing snow in Mobile. It ain't stickin', though.
Snow is stickin in NNW Mobile county 1.5 inches so far!
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For me personally, I'd rather see a crazy winter than cane season. Not as much destruction and loss.

Thanks CRS! When you search hut, and find for sure to be empty of creepy crawlies, let me know. I can bring the ice. ;-)
Member Since: Settembre 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
Quoting wishcasterfromfsu:
from twitter--

@ryancohn "Sheriff's Office of Tallahassee is reporting snow by TCC. Confirmed by emergency services. Time to make a snowman!"

i don't see any snow where i am in tallahassee...yet...fingers crossed, entering into full wishcast mode now.


yeah I just see rain here.
Member Since: Settembre 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3782
Feels like temp is dropping in SW Pensacola. Nothing scientific...just refuse to put on shoes and socks! Not gonna do it! This is Florida...only flip flops :)
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Quoting IKE:
02/12/2010 1042 am

Mobile Airport, Mobile County.

Snow e0.2 inch, reported by Emergency Mngr.


Rain has changed to snow now south of Airport Boulevard
in Mobile. Since about 10 am CST... it has been
accumulating on grassy surfaces.


I think I finally found a webcam that is showing snow in Mobile. It ain't stickin', though.
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Quoting NEwxguy:
Can this winter get any crazier!!!

Personally, I would rather not find out.
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Snowing pretty hard in Dothan now
here
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yes, Mobile has changed to snow atleast temporarily. they are getting clumped snow in a band of heavier precip.. like I did earlier. For me, it changed to a mix after the heavy stuff passed and only within the last hour &1/2 has it been solid snow again (this time much smaller flakes but many many more)
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ALDOT Cam was on Channel 10. They are doing winter storm coverage instead of regular tv :)

Try this website...

Link
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Why's the temp not dropping here yet? It needs to...
Member Since: Marzo 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
62. IKE
02/12/2010 1042 am

Mobile Airport, Mobile County.

Snow e0.2 inch, reported by Emergency Mngr.


Rain has changed to snow now south of Airport Boulevard
in Mobile. Since about 10 am CST... it has been
accumulating on grassy surfaces.
Member Since: Giugno 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting MTWX:


Mikester I loaded those photos from '93 to the WunderPhotos. Take a look when you get a chance. Government computer wouldnt let me put it on the blog...


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.
Member Since: Aprile 4, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 134
Still waiting for proof of snow on the ground at Mobile, Pensacola, or Tallahassee....
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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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