SAN ANGELO, Texas — While Texas may not be known for its winter weather, the state has experienced historically drastic drops in temperature over the years — the most notorious being the Great Blizzard of 1899.
The arctic temperatures, described by newspapers as the worst freeze ever known in the state, swept across Texas in February and temperatures fell well below 0 degrees in every state in the continental U.S. It was so cold that over a century later, many all-time record lows remain from this event according to the National Weather Service.
The lowest temperature ever recorded in the state occurred in the city of Tulia in Swisher County in the Texas panhandle. The temperature was a chilling 23 degrees below zero on February 12, 1899, and years later Seminole, in Gaines County in West Texas also reported a temperature of 23 degrees below zero on February 8, 1933.
There were unofficial reports that were even colder such as temperatures of 30 degrees below zero in February of 1899 at Wolf Creek, Texas. The artic outbreak reportedly also caused a thin layer of ice to coat most of Galveston Bay.
Below is a list of the record-low temperatures in various cities across the state according to the NWS:
- San Angelo: 4 below zero set in 1989
- Abilene: 16 below zero set in 1899
- Austin: 2 below zero set in 1949
- Beaumont: 10 degrees set in 1906
- Brownsville: 12 degrees set in 1899
- Corpus Christi: 11 degrees set in 1899
- Dallas/Fort Worth: 8 below zero set in 1899
- Del Rio: 10 degrees set in 1989
- El Paso: 8 below zero set in 1962
- Galveston: 8 degrees set in 1899
- Houston: 5 degrees set in 1930 and 1940
- Lubbock: 17 below zero set in 1933
- Midland/Odessa: 11 below zero set in 1985
- San Antonio: 0 degrees set in 1949
- Waco: 5 below zero set in 1949 and 1899
- Wichita Falls: 12 below zero set in 1947