From the Houston Chronicle
Melissa Phillip Chronicle
Jose Umana builds a snow ball as he plays with his brother and father in the snow fall at Affordable Cars & Trucks on I-45, where his dad, Mario Hernandez, Sr. works.
Falling snowflakes glimmered in streetlights, so wide that they billowed to the ground like parachutes, and so tantalizing that even awestruck adults reached out their hands or stuck out their tongues to catch one.
By Wednesday evening, the flakes were big enough to hold their shape for a moment on the street before melting into the pavement, and a dusting had collected on parked cars in some parts of town.
The flurries tied a record for Houston’s earliest snowfall ever and warmed the hearts of winter weather lovers who have pined for snow since it last made an appearance on Christmas Eve 2004.
“I’ve got a pot roast in the Crock-Pot, and I’m going to go home, change into my warmest pajamas and eat pot roast and enjoy what may be the only real winter day we have all year,” said Tina Arnold, an Illinois native who took advantage of the wintry backdrop to pick up Christmas presents Wednesday at The Woodlands Mall.
Since 1895, records indicate, snow has fallen this early just once — on Dec. 10, 1944.
Late Wednesday, there were no reports of school or business closings Thursday morning in the Houston area.
Patrick Trahan, a spokesman for the city, said the icy weather was expected to taper off overnight and was not expected to disrupt morning traffic. He added that if conditions did not improve, the Public Works Department would clear the roads this morning.
Forecasters at the Houston/Galveston office of the National Weather Service said clouds and precipitation should give way today to sunshine and temperatures in the upper 50s.
Overnight lows for all areas but those north and west of Harris County were expected to stay above freezing tonight, said the weather service’s Paul Lewis.
Snowfall in the metro Houston area Wednesday caught forecasters somewhat by surprise. A significant chance for snowfall didn’t show up in computer models until about 9 p.m. Tuesday.
“The midnight crew adjusted the forecast at that time,” Lewis said.
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