It doesn't happen very often. In fact, only about every 4 years on the average!
Now I know that a lot of people like the snow, but I'm not one of them. Quite frankly, I can live without it!
Snow is nice on postcards. It's nice for the kids to build snowmen. It's nice for the tourists. However, it is NOT nice for people to have to drive on here in Houston!
The folks here have a hard enough time driving on dry streets. If you throw in ice or snow...then you have a disaster in the making! Believe me, I know what I'm talking about here!
HOUSTON — Houston had its earliest snowfall on record Friday, with several inches accumulating in counties southwest of the city.
The previous record for early snow in Houston was Dec. 10 in 1944 and again last year, said Charles Roeseler, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Snow is rare in the nation's fourth largest city. In the past 15 years, it has snowed four times, including Friday.
Accumulations of 3 to 4 inches of snow were reported in counties southwest of Houston. The city got a half inch or less of snow, and its suburbs reported 1 to 2 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
"It's going to continue to snow through the afternoon," Roeseler said in the early afternoon. "We'll pick up another inch or so across parts of Houston."
The city and other parts of Southeast Texas were under a winter storm warning that was expected to remain until Friday evening. Other parts of Texas, including El Paso and Dallas, also had snowfall this week.
Many government offices and businesses around Houston shut down early Friday, said Francisco Sanchez, a spokesman for the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Houston Mayor Bill White directed city departments to send nonessential employees home Friday afternoon.
The Houston school district did not shorten its school day Friday, but many other districts and colleges around the area sent students home early.
"We're trying to make sure people stay off the roadways," Sanchez said. "We want to get them home earlier today."
Many Houstonians took advantage of the snow day to venture outside and play. Parks were filled with adults and children making snowmen, engaging in snowball fights and posing for photographs.
"We usually like to go to Colorado for some snow, but this year it came to us," said Teri Mims, 36, as she played in the snow with her 6- and 9-year-old daughters in a north Houston park.
The snow wasn't the biggest worry for officials.
It was supposed to stop by Friday evening, but then temperatures were expected to fall below freezing, with lows in the 20s. The National Weather Service issued a freeze warning for 22 Southeast Texas counties that was to be in effect until Saturday morning.
"We're really concerned with what happens overnight with the snow melting on roadways and turning into ice," Sanchez said.
Roads and elevated bridges in Houston and other parts of Southeast Texas were being covered with deicing materials to ensure they were safe to travel, but drivers needed to prepare for some roads to be closed, Sanchez said.
The forecast for Saturday was mostly sunny skies and highs in the lower 40s to upper 50s. Temperatures were expected to climb to near 60 by Sunday.
The snow would likely be gone by Saturday, Roeseler said.
You know the worst part of a snowfall? It's when the snow begins to melt! We're talking mud...a LOT of mud! If you have never seen South Texas gumbo soil when it gets turned to mud, you haven't really seen mud!
For me? I'm staying in the house! I'm not brave enough to venture out and play "dodge cars" for real in the crazy Houston traffic! This is when you realize that being a Prepper is really a good thing, indeed! I have everything I might need for the next couple of days...or longer if necessary! No need to risk life and limb by going out in this mess!
Besides, you ever been to the store, on a Friday, when it's payday, and the roads are icy ? This is NOT a good scenario, believe me!
So, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen for a while. We can be very thankful that we had the foresight to keep our pantry stocked!