Blizzard conditions descended on Stephenville and Erath County Thursday.
The heavy snowfall, which began about 7:30 a.m. Thursday, produced as much as six inches of snow in the northern part of the county. The Christmas eve snow boosted December’s moisture to .91 of an inch. Average December rainfall in Stephenville is 1.60 inches.
Thursday’s snowfall was the second noted this month. The first came Dec. 2 with only a trace being recorded. This snowfall produced .08 of an inch of moisture.
Stephenville’s snowfall received national attention Friday. The Fox News Television Network reported Friday morning Stephenville recorded one of the heaviest snowfalls in Texas on Thursday.
A number of automobiles skidded off US Highway 281 north of the city Thursday night. Six were counted in one area, just north of the Hwy. 281 overpass. Some of the stranded motorists had to wade through snow drifts, measuring up to their knees. Wrecker companies were kept busy towing vehicles out of ditches.
Power outages, up to an hour, were reported on Harbin Drive and Lydia Street. During the heaviest snowfall on Thursday afternoon, Oncor crews were kept busy restoring electrical power.
Many long-time county residents reported this was the heaviest blizzard seen here in a number of years. Sustained winds of 35 to 40 miles per hour Thursday afternoon blew the snow in a horizontal direction.
The Thursday snowfall was the heaviest to fall here in nine years. A six-inch snowfall (.33 of an inch of moisture) was noted here on Dec. 27, 2000. Other recent snowfalls of three or more inches fell on Jan.17, 2007 — four inches (.31 of an inch of moisture), and three inches (.21 of an inch of moisture) on Fe. 14, 2004.
By 4 p.m., the Thursday blizzard had moved out, and the sun appeared in the west with some blue sky making a welcomed entrance.
The low temperature Christmas morning was 22 degrees, causing treacherous roadways. Above freezing temperatures finally appeared by 11 a.m. with the mercury hitting a high in the low 40s Friday afternoon. More cold weather is predicted this coming week with lows expecting to drop to the mid to upper 20s.
When Irving Berlin wrote the memorable song, “White Christmas,” perhaps he had an expertise with Texas weather. At least Berlin’s song hit the spot in Stephenville for a “White Christmas” on Dec. 25, 2009.
Dr. Stuart Chilton, a Weather Team Volunteer for Channel 8 in Dallas, lives in Stephenville.