Texas is normally recognized for its sunshine, heat and naturally, beneficiant parts. This time round, Mother Nature had completely different plans for the Lone Star State.
Beginning in the center of February, the Polar Vortex plunged into the northern tier of the US, bringing artic air to locations like Montana and the Dakotas. With temperatures falling to 30 beneath zero in Montana, this outbreak meant enterprise. As it traversed to the south, the first data in Texas had been damaged on February twelfth. Mainly in the northern half of the state. This grew to become far more widespread with document chilly air stretching all the technique to the Gulf Coast every day afterwards via the seventeenth.
Winter climate associated watches, warnings and advisories from February 14, 2021. Winter Storm Warnings are shaded in pink.
Image courtesy of the Nationa Weather Service.
Additionally, there have been Winter Storm Warnings widespread throughout the whole state of Texas. This unfold via all of Oklahoma and Arkansas with winter associated alerts in all of Louisiana, Tennessee and continued on to the northeast. In reality, there have been over 2000 consecutive miles of winter alerts from Texas to Maine! This is one thing that isn’t seen too typically and was fairly the sight. It may be very uncommon that whole states get put below Winter Storm Warnings, particularly a state with the magnitude of Texas and stretching all the technique to the Gulf of Mexico (which is round 55 – 65 levels on common in the winter).
These warnings had been warranted as effectively with snow and ice storms walloping the southern states. Snow and ice reviews got here in from as far south as Brownsville, TX. For reference, that is nearly the similar latitude as Naples, FL… So sure, they’re very far south and that is extraordinarily irregular for them. Also, as a lot as 6 – 12″ of snow fell in components of Texas throughout this wintry stretch. Unfortunately, this resulted in quite a few energy outages which lasted weeks in some spots in addition to resulting in a number of multi-car pile ups. So as a lot as that is outstanding, it’s harmful in case you are not ready for it.
In phrases of data, loads of each day snow and ice data had been damaged or near damaged throughout this stretch. Brownsville, TX obtained measurable snowfall for less than the second time since 1898! On the different hand, whereas Austin, TX snows a bit extra often, they’d their largest 2-day snowfall since 1949 with 6.4″ recorded. Remember, this wasn’t only a Texas storm, Arkansas got in on the action too and Little Rock had 2 storms in 3 days with at least 6″ of snow from every. Dating again to 1875, they’ve by no means had 2 storms in the similar winter produce at the very least 6″ of snow! This was 3 days apart! They usually receive around 3.5″ for the yr, so these 2 storms alone gave them almost 4-6 years value of snowfall… This record can go on and on, however we now have to get to the temperatures, and let me let you know, it was chilly.
Before we get right into a a few of the data that had been damaged or almost damaged, let’s get a baseline of the common temperatures for a couple of places.
Oklahoma City, OK – High: 55 Low: 33
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX – High: 60 Low: 39
Houston, TX – High: 66 Low: 46
Oklahoma City, OK had a document setting streak of temperatures beneath 20 levels with 210 consecutive hours beneath that threshold. This spanned from February ninth – seventeenth which is even spectacular for many main cities in the Northeast, not to mention Oklahoma. Dallas had its second longest streak of beneath freezing temperatures, beginning the night time of the thirteenth and lasting via noon on the nineteenth. Something to consider, simply a few days afterwards, Dallas was again in the mid-70s. Otherwise, sticking to Texas, Houston had a excessive temperature of 25 levels and a wind chill of 1 diploma, that are each high 5 on their respective lists. On the sixteenth, Houston tied their document each day low temperature at 13 levels and a document low most temperature of 35 levels on the seventeenth, which beat the earlier document of 36, set in 1895 (Yes, 1895).
We may get into each document that was damaged, however over 3000 each day temperature data had been damaged with this chilly stretch which is an astonishing quantity. Some seasons don’t even break this many data throughout the whole nation, not to mention a 1-2 week stretch from the Northern – Southern Plains. Nonetheless, data damaged or not, this was certainly one of the coldest patterns that folk in the southern US have seen in a long time (if not ever) and could also be one thing we by no means witness once more in our lifetimes.