The Texas Gulf coast is known for hot steamy weather and has been the site of some of the most destructive and deadly hurricanes ever to strike the United States, but on February 15, 1895 a weather extreme of another sort struck the region. In the days leading up to the February 15th artic cold plunged into the south with a vengeance. At the same time a storm was spinning inland in southern California. The cold weather was firmly established by the 14th and that western storm was forced southward into northern Mexico. It set the scene for the greatest snowfall event to ever hit the Gulf coast. Snow began to fall in some places on the evening of the 14th and by the time it stopped in the afternoon of February 15, 1895 record snowfall was measured from Texas to Alabama: Rayne, Louisiana recorded 22" a state record; Houston, also had, 22"; an incredible 15.4” fell on the beaches of Galveston, Texas, there was 8.2” in New Orleans, Louisiana, 6” in Brownsville, Texas and Mobile, Alabama. All land travel came to a halt for days and the extreme cold and snow killed many livestock. No accurate accounting of the impact on the people of the region was recorded, but estimates are than many perished in the cold and snow that was more usual for the northern plains states. Most homes had inadequate heating and people attempted to heat their homes with fires inside and that led to further disaster. The scale of winter weather was unprecedented. Nothing like it has been seen since.
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