Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile

Advanced

big snow January 1964

big snow January 1964
October 24, 2020 06:56PM
We just got a really big snow here in NE Washington, 8.5" on my deck, started yesterday morning, and just kept snowing without letup all day and well into the night. It reminded me of the big snow in January 1964 in Dallas. That was my freshmen year in college, Arlington State (became UT Arlington).

What do others remember about that snow? It was a tad over 13" IIRC, and until some ten years ago was the all time record snowfall for Dallas. I had a final exam at 8 am the morning after the mostly night time snow. I commuted from Oak Cliff to Arlington. When I got up extra early and saw the foot of snow, I knew I had a job ahead of me. The radio reported that the college would hold final exams on the regular schedule. So, I started. Just took it slow and easy through Oak Cliff, Cockrell Hill through the deep but slushy and not difficult to drive in snow. When I got just outside of Cockrell Hill, Jefferson had been plowed and I saw the plow ahead of me, a county road grader normally used on the still extant unpaved roads that Dallas County had in some areas. The road was clear to the Tarrant County line, and after a few blocks on Abrams, the same thing happened, a road grader ahead of me. My trip to the college was only a little bit longer timewise than usual.

I took my final exam in Chemistry, improved my grade from B to A. That afternoon, the college announced that exams the rest of the week were cancelled.

Dave McNeely
Re: big snow January 1964
October 24, 2020 11:01PM
Welcome back Dave, Brrrrrr!

Close but not quite. The heaviest on record in Big D was 11.20" Feb 11, 2010
The Jan 15, 1964 was 2nd at a mere 7.80"

My real reason for chiming in is to reiterate how much I HATE snow.
So if I was home from CA in Jan '64 and there was even a hint of
a chance of snow, I'm certain I would have scurried my behind
back to SF. Brrrrrrrrrr!

[www.iweathernet.com]
Re: big snow January 1964
October 24, 2020 11:30PM
Just remembered, DUH, my daughter was born Jan 12, 1964
in San Francisco, CA
Re: big snow January 1964
October 25, 2020 08:14AM
Frank Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Welcome back Dave, Brrrrrr!
>
> Close but not quite. The heaviest on record in Big
> D was 11.20" Feb 11, 2010
> The Jan 15, 1964 was 2nd at a mere 7.80"
>
> My real reason for chiming in is to reiterate how
> much I HATE snow.
> So if I was home from CA in Jan '64 and there was
> even a hint of
> a chance of snow, I'm certain I would have
> scurried my behind
> back to SF. Brrrrrrrrrr!
>
> [www.iweathernet.com]
> p-20-snowstorms-dfw

Frank, the total was actually 12.1" for the January 1964 storm, so my memory was a bit off:

[www.weather.gov]

This is a National Weather Service site, providing the information directly from the primary source.

Look down the table for January 15 and find 7.8". Then look at January 16 and find 4.3". Add the two, and get 12.1". You are correct that it was 2nd in the record, but as I said, it held the record until the February 2010 event. That was actually a little more than the 12.2" for the 11th, because it also occurred overnight, but was under 13".

I actually enjoy snow, and here in Washington my wife and I snowshoe for our winter hikes. Wonderful activity.

Dave McNeely



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/25/2020 08:17AM by old man from dallas.
Re: big snow January 1964
October 25, 2020 10:49AM
Don't know why my link didn't go to the right page when clicke on.
I can put the URL into my browser, and this is the list that come up.
The Jan 1964 record was over a 48hr period Jan 15-16 1964 12.1"
the Feb 11-12 2010 was 12.5"

As a kid, I always looked forward to the first snow of the season,
but invariably my excitement would only last 15-20min and I was
thru 'til the next season. At some point I realized my expectation
was based on other people's excitement.


This chart shows the largest amounts on record for a calendar day.
Snow Amount Rank Date
11.20" 1 Feb 11, 2010 (Thu)
7.80" 2 Jan 15, 1964 (Wed)
7.50" 3 Feb 17, 1978 (Fri)
4.70" 4 Nov 13, 1976 (Sat)
4.50" 5 Mar 01, 1942 (Sun)
4.30" 6 Jan 16, 1964 (Thu)
4.00" 7 Jan 30, 1977 (Sun)
4.00" 8 Jan 24, 1948 (Sat)
4.00" 9 Jan 22, 1940 (Mon)
3.90" 10 Mar 07, 1947 (Fri)
3.80" 11 Jan 18, 1956 (Wed)
3.70" 12 Feb 07, 1978 (Tue)
3.70" 13 Feb 23, 1975 (Sun)
3.50" 14 Feb 05, 2002 (Tue)
3.00" 15 Dec 24, 2009 (Thu)
3.00" 16 Feb 14, 1951 (Wed)
2.90" 17 Jan 30, 1949 (Sun)
2.60" 18 Feb 04, 2011 (Fri)
2.60" 19 Feb 14, 2004 (Sat)
2.60" 20 Feb 06, 1961 (Mon)
*Note: Two of the largest calendar-day snowfalls at DFW occurred on consecutive days:

7.8" on 01-15-1964
4.3" on 01-16-1964

The greatest snowfall on record at DFW occurred on February 11, 2010 (11.2 inches). The storm total at DFW for that event (Feb 11-12, 2010) was 12.5 inches. Many parts of the metroplex saw over 15 inches of snow.
A snow day is a great day to be a husky.
Historic snowstorm in North Texas on 2/12/2010. DFW recorded its greatest 24-hour snowfall of all time (12.5"winking smiley.
Historic snowstorm in North Texas on 2/12/2010. DFW recorded its greatest 24-hour snowfall of all time (12.5"winking smiley.
2020 © iWeatherNet.com
Re: big snow January 1964
October 25, 2020 12:00PM
Frank, thanks for posting a very complete record.

At this point we are quibbling about details, but it seems important to you. I'm a weather geek and my memory also matters to me, perhaps more as I get older. My memory is that the 1964 event started in late afternoon, and that the snowfall had ended by the time I got up at about 4 a.m. the next day, so that would not be 48 hours, but something around 12 hours. I cannot find a primary source that gives the duration of the snowfall, but here is a secondary source that says it was the record snowfall for a 24 hour period in the DFW area until the February 2010 event:

[dfw.cbslocal.com]

Since this is a secondary source, the data are unofficial. However, given the confidence with which the information is stated as being official, and CBS being a reliable news source, I trust it.

Yes, the storm occurred on two calendar days, but not over a 48 hour period, and it was a single storm, not two.

Interesting discussion, and thank you. I find that most people I know don't actually remember weather very well. I've had people who were alive and present in the Dallas area when some particular weather event took place who tell me that, "Oh, it's never been that cold (or hot, or rained that much, or whatever) in Dallas." Then they'll tell me that it never gets colder than .... , and they cite the long term AVERAGE low, usually in the teens F, or even in the twenties. But Dallas has experienced single digit temperatures typically every 4-5 years, and the records are below zero. Most people's weather memories seem to be for averages rather than extremes. I've been told that Dallas has never experienced a tropical storm, but the records show that it has. And no, I don't care to start looking up examples, but Hurricane Camille in the sixties was tropical storm force at Dallas for one.

Most people don't really seem that interested either, and thank you for your interest.

Dave McNeely
Re: big snow January 1964
October 25, 2020 03:19PM
Dave

I misspoke, although I was in CA in '64, I "think" the 2010 event
was also late one day and into the next morning.

We spent almost all of our married life after I returned from CA,
around Lake Ray Hubbard and making a short commute back
into Dallas and I always drove her in and back if the weather
was a problem or go pick her up if bad weather happened
after she was already in town.

Because of C-19 and my self-isolation, and trying to prevent
boredom, I spend too much time at my keyboard. Fortunately
my curiosity is never quenched so the Information Age is a boon
for me.

Stay Safe
Frank
Re: big snow January 1964
October 25, 2020 04:57PM
Well, I too spend too much time on the internet. Like you, I find it a valuable source of information. Probably unlike you, my instincts are to make sure that I inform people, a trait not always admired. It's the old professor in me, and I sometimes find I need to back up, and remind myself that most people don't want a bunch of detail, whether that detail is correct or not.

Frank, I mean this post in a friendly tone. smileys with beer Sometimes people misunderstand my meaning, as I do theirs.

Stay healthy.

Dave McNeely



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/25/2020 07:42PM by old man from dallas.
Re: big snow January 1964
October 25, 2020 09:27PM
Some coincidence: Paula Bosse just today posted several pictures of that 1964 snowfall on her wonderful Flashback: Dallas blog. The images come from the 1964 Highland Park High annual and include a snowman and a snowball fight (along with other pix of goofy kids doing goofy stuff).

[flashbackdallas.com]

Dave: Your penchant for sharing details is quite welcome on a board meant for the serious discussion of history. I learn a lot from the postings, but even more from the sources you cite. Detail is welcome!
Re: big snow January 1964
October 26, 2020 12:19PM
Thank you RWilliams.

Neat photos from Paula, who posts a lot of really interesting stuff on her blog. I do note that the HPHS annual photo caption misstates the record snowfall, probably using the calendar day datum rather than the total for the storm. Likely the annual staff took the datum from the newspaper accounts for 16 January, with a midnight deadline for the DMN.

Dave McNeely
Re: big snow January 1964
October 27, 2020 10:22AM
Frank, I must apologize for I did not thank you for your above "I misspoke.... ." To me, what matters is that we recalled and discussed an event of some minor historical significance, and neither of us was necessarily "right" or "wrong." It took me a while to consider how to say this, again hoping to be understood.

Back to Dallas and snow, it seems to me, though my memory could be flawed, that most often when it snowed in Dallas, the snow fell overnight. Usually it was a minor amount, and melted away by afternoon. That was not true a few times, and the big 1964 snow was one of those times.

Dave McNeely
Re: big snow January 1964
November 11, 2020 11:04AM
My memories of the 1964 storm are of huddling on the bathroom floor in front of the wall heater because it was the warmest place in the house and I had never been so cold. My most direct experience with driving under storm conditions was during the winter of 1977-78. I lived in Irving, had just started a new job at Redbird Mall and spent half my time in Plano with my fiance. I learned that I was capable of driving across 2 counties on black ice and that I never wanted to do anything like that again.

Victoria Snyder Alvey



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2020 10:03AM by northdallasgirl.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login