Remember When Snow Blanketed East Texas With a White Christmas?
Will a White Christmas happen anywhere in East Texas this year?
It's a question that comes up every December, and the answer is always the same.
Snowfall in East Texas is rather rare, especially when you travel south of the Tyler/Longview region. Of course, there are exceptions, such as the Winter of 2021 when all of Texas was in the deep freeze and major ice and snow events took place all the way to the Texas coast.
I also remember the freak snowstorm that took place in the Lufkin area on April 7th, 2007. Two to four inches of snow fell on the ground that weekend. It gave us a White Easter weekend, but do you recall a White Christmas in Lufkin/Nacogdoches?
Chances are you don't remember it, because it happened nearly 100 years ago.
In October 1929, the Stock Market Crash crippled the U.S. economy. Less than two months later, a massive December snowfall brought much of central and east Texas to a standstill.
A powerful Arctic blast swept through Texas on December 20th and 21st. Temperatures plummeted into the single digits in some areas. A storm system dropped record-setting snowfall across a swath of central and eastern Texas, as well as portions of Louisiana.
Hillsboro, Texas was covered with 26 inches of snow (the single-day snowfall record for Texas). A little further south, the Waco Metro received a foot or more of snow. However, the Dallas metro only got a dusting. That swath of snow continued to move eastward.
East Texas Snowfall
On December 21, many Deep East Texas cities were covered with a least half a foot of snow. Here are some of those totals:
- Lufkin - 11 inches
- Nacogdoches 12 inches
- Groveton - 9 inches
- Crockett - 10 inches
- Huntsville - 8 inches
- Palestine - 9 inches
- Jacksonville - 11 inches
- Henderson - 10 inches
Although the snowstorm had moved out of the area by December 25, a lot of snow remained on the ground for a 'White Christmas'.
Official Definition of a White Christmas
According to the National Weather Service, a White Christmas is defined as having one inch of snow on the ground as of 7 a.m. on December 25, or snowfall on Christmas Day covering the ground with at least one inch of snow.
I vividly remember the surprise Christmas snow that covered parts of southeast Texas with up to a foot of snow. I remember it so well because I was so envious of Galveston and the many other towns along the Upper Texas Coast.
How could the beaches several hours to our south get a White Christmas, but not a flake of snow for the Pineywoods. That's just how the swath of precipitation lined up that Christmas Eve.
If you lived south of Highway 59 from Victoria to Rosenberg or south of Houston from Rosenberg to Port Arthur, chances are you got hammered with snow. Take a look at these snowfall totals:
- Brazoria - 13 inches
- Ganado - 12 inches
- Alvin - 6 inches
- Jamaica Beach - 4 inches
- Galveston - 4 inches
- Pearland - 2 inches
Much of Houston received only a trace of snow, which is not enough to qualify for a White Christmas.
We may not be getting snow for Christmas 2023 in East Texas, but here's a look back at some of the pictures of the snowfall we had nearly 3 years ago.
Snow Pics 2021