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Houston reports earliest recorded snow

November 14, 2018

Tuesday’s snowfall in Houston was the earliest ever recorded, but very few people got to experience the flakes before they melted away.

A trace of snow/sleet was reported around 10 a.m. at Bush Intercontinental Airport, where the city’s official weather is recorded. Tuesday’s report broke a record previously set on Nov. 23, 1979, the National Weather Service said in a tweet.

From childlike joy to bitter resentment, the snowfall brought out a range of emotions.

“I was really excited when I saw it, I texted my husband like a giddy school girl,” one Reddit user posted about the weather that broke a nearly 40-year record. “I’m sure he’s not impressed since he’s from Chicago, but it totally made my day.”

With temperatures in the upper 30s, nothing is accumulating, said Molly Merrifield, a meteorologist at NWS in League City.

“It’s just cool to watch it fall,” she said.

But other online users vented their frustrations with Houston’s swift weather change, complaining that there had not been enough of a transition from “nice weather days.”

The region’s first freeze since January was expected for Tuesday night for most of Houston except the coastal areas, reported Space City Weather. The National Weather Service also issued a freeze warning Tuesday night through Wednesday morning for the Houston area, with temperatures expected to dip down to sub-freezing levels. However, sunny skies are expected to return with a high around 49.

Agencies in the region have been making efforts to remove homeless people off the streets and into shelters to escape the cold weather.

In addition to those who already had a bed, the Salvation Army of Greater Houston counted 18 people who took shelter at their Red Shield Lodge due to Monday night’s chills. The Harris County Mental Health and Jail Diversion Bureau also tweeted that The Hope Center on Cypress Creek Parkway plans to provide shelter Tuesday night.

Flurries fell in other parts of the Houston area earlier Tuesday, including Conroe and Ellington Airport. Light sleet and snow flurries hit the ground in College Station.

Lifestyle Christian School in Conroe posted pictures of snowflakes in their young students’ hair on Facebook, writing, “Recess came early for LCS elementary...snow on the playground. #OurTeachersRock #LetsPlayInTheSnow”

Some parts of the area, including Pearland, also experienced thundersleet, where in a thunderstorm, sleet falls instead of rain. A couple of lightning strikes were reported, said Merrifield, who added the phenomenon is pretty rare here.

The National Weather Service reports that since 1895, it has snowed 38 times in Houston at an average of about once every 10 years, though some decades have several instances of recorded snowfall while others have only one each. Before Tuesday, the last recorded snowfall in Houston was on January 16, 2018.

Nicole Hensley and Michela Garcia contributed to this report

samantha.ketterer@chron.com

massarah.mikati@chron.com

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