The Science Behind Austin’s Snow Day



Captured on January 10th, 2020, this day was momentous to all those living in Austin. As a diversion to the current pandemic, the snow day allowed for families and friends to have a fun day outside.

On January 10, several inches of snow fell throughout Central Texas, knocking out power to thousands of residents while welcoming a reprieve from pandemic-induced mundaneness for many.

“A winter storm warning was in effect through midnight Sunday for Travis, Llano, Burnet, Williamson, Bastrop, and Lee counties, advising the half-foot of snow that would accumulate in some areas in the region,” the National Weather Service stated. “Starting in the morning and lasting until late afternoon, residents from multiple counties shared images of blankets of white covering lawns, roads, and other inanimate surfaces. One to two inches of snow were expected in most areas of Austin on Sunday.” 

The unusual amount of snow was due to an upper-level disturbance coming in from the Pacific Northwest. Austin last received snow when a trace of it fell on Feb. 5, 2020. The average January snowfall is 0.4 inches, according to the weather service. 

“The record accumulation in Austin was 11 inches on Nov. 22 to 23 in 1937. The last time the city received more than an inch of snow was on Dec. 7 to 8, 2017, when 1.3 inches fell at Austin Bergstrom International Airport,” the National Weather Service said.

More than 36,000 residents were without power across Austin at one point on Sunday, according to Austin Energy. The utility company called in extra crews as they spent hours restoring power while heavy snow dropped. However, it was also a momentous day where family and friends came together to have fun together in the snow.