April 25, 2012

Texas No Stranger To Late Snow

Q: When does Texas usually see its last snowfall?

A:  Snow can fall in Texas later than you think, says Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University. The Amarillo area has received about five inches of snow several times in the month of May. “The latest snowfall in Texas occurred May 6-7 in 1917,” McRoberts explains. “That’s when over nine inches of snow fell in the Amarillo and Panhandle areas. The two longest snow seasons have occurred in recent years. The longest was from Sept. 29, 1984, to March 30, 1985, a 183-day period. The most recent one lasted from Nov. 2, 2004 to May 2, 2005, a 182-day period.”

snow on cactus

Late snowfalls can catch people off guard

Q: What about other cities?

A: Late-season snowstorms are common in other parts of the United States, McRoberts says. “Denver is notorious for getting very late snowfalls,” he adds. “The latest snowfall for the Denver area was June 12, 1947. On April 30, 1960, the Kansas City area had a large snowfall late in the year. In Texas, an April 6, 1996, snowstorm hit the Abilene area with a whopping nine-inch snow total that really caught residents off guard. And much of Central Texas got a surprise snowfall in April 2007, with the Waco area reporting more than three inches of snow. The old saying is true — you never know what the weather is going to do in Texas.”

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Weather Whys is a service of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University.

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