Reflections on Texomaland Weather Since the February 2021 Deep Freeze




On January 4, 2024, The San Antonio Express-News reported on what it called a fake viral Facebook post. This particular post claimed, “2024 will begin with an arctic freeze coming at the end of the month.” According to the Express-News, Facebook users had shared this post 34,000 times as of January 4.  

Both the Facebook poster and the Express-News were wrong. The freeze this year came in the middle of January on the 13th. The Express-News alleged that the original poster was after click clout. Texomans have now spent four freezing winters in a part of the world that does not have infrastructure for single-digit temperatures.

I am still catching up from the freeze on January 13th and then the flood that came after in the Gordonville area. As I was running to town three times this week to get everything done that needed doing before February, I thought, “Wow, I wonder how much productive time I lost because of the severe weather since 2021.”

After this freeze and the rain, the ground had to dry enough for the plumbers to crawl under houses. After that, no one did anything else but get their water pipes repaired for two or three days. My neighborhood coterie included four houses in need of repairs—which could not begin until January 25th.

We had to laugh at 13 to 15 days without indoor plumbing, so we did not cry. So, this recent weather event put my productive time down to the first 10 days of January. I spent the 11th and 12th mostly preparing and helping others prepare. This is so frustrating. The 2021 freeze cost me at least six weeks of time before I got back to my normal schedule. 

The March 2022 tornado that whipped through Sherwood Shores and Kingston has not been completely cleaned up almost two years later. That tornado took four months or more for some people to resume normal living conditions, and some never did recover. The 2023 summer heat wave sapped enormous amounts of energy from everyone I knew. 

I am really curious as to how Texomans spent their down time during weather events since 2021. I feel I was creative most of these times. My main problem is that I work from home, and I was not able to stay home during these weather events and work online. No one I know that I can stay with has high-speed internet.

Please email me if you would like to share how you cope with these severe weather events. Our local businesses were generous with any help they could give. Let us know how your local businesses helped too. If I receive enough replies, I can post them in an article here. Kendall Davis: [email protected]. 

Texomans Are not Alone with Severe Weather Events

Undergraduate physics students established the Austin College Weather Station (ACWX) in 2001. Austin College's Sneed Environmental Research Area provides the space for ACWX approximately ten miles west of Sherman. The December 2022 wind chills left us in the teens again. 

Austin College Physics Professor and Director of Austin College Weather Station, Dr. David Baker, reported then that we might have to get used to these climate variances. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported on weather disasters that cost $1 billion dollars or more in damage from 1980 to 2023. 

In 2023, the U.S. suffered 28 $1 billion dollar weather disasters. Most of the disasters in 2023 occurred from the TX and LA coast north and northeast through OK, AR, MO, IL, IA, and WI, and from AL north to TN, KY, and IN. 

The disasters in these states came in the form of droughts/heat waves, hail, severe weather outbreaks, and tornado outbreaks. Floods broke out on the East Coast, in California, and in Florida. Since 1980, NOAA recorded 376 weather and climate disasters where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion.

The following NOAA map shows that the number of U.S. $1 billion or more weather disasters began increasing significantly in 2008. The year 2023 presented the most weather disasters than any other year since 1980. NOAA reported the causes of them as:

  • Droughts
  • Floods
  • Freezes 
  • Severe Storms
  • Tropical Cyclones 
  • Wildfires
  • Winter Storms 

United States Billion-Dollar Disaster Events: 1980 – 2023 

(Consumer Price Index Adjusted)

 

 Graph: Courtesy of NOAA*

This is absolutely historic weather. When we go looking for the reason why, we find a lot of information that we cannot verify. The rising number of severe climate and weather events has brought about large scale and high profile scientific debates for years. Then there are general opinions.

The reason why is too hot of a topic to get into. During this recent freeze, so many of us on the west side of Lake Texoma thought we were prepared. We have indeed had enough experience since February 2021. While we fared better than previous years, I do not feel my party prepared enough.

Hit me up with your weather disaster coping skills if you like. 

I would like to know: 

  • How you coped
  • How you spent your time 
  • What businesses in Texoma helped out you or your community 
  • How much time it took you to get back to your normal schedule 
  • What you did to prepare 

Our stories can help someone else in Texomaland for winter 2024-2025!’  

Kendall Davis: [email protected]

* NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2024). 

https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/billions/, DOI: 10.25921/stkw-7w73




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Tuesday

Mostly Sunny

Hi: 75

Tuesday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 55

Wednesday

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Wednesday Night

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Lake Texoma

Fishing Report from TPWD (Feb. 14)

GOOD. Water normal stain; 38-41 degrees; 0.06 feet below pool. Striped bass are fair on flukes drifting 35-45 feet of water near the rivers as we get closer to the spawn. Slow rolling swimbaits in coves and on points in 8-15 feet of water are still working for bigger fish. Glow and smoked shad are colors of choice. Crappie are slow on minnows in 10-12 feet of water on brush and dock piles. Look for the fish to move into the coves and creeks with the warmer weather. Catfish are slow on dead shad drifting 30-40 feet of water on ledges for keeper size fish. Bigger fish are shallow, look for dirty warmer water with inflow from rains. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are fair on swimbaits in stumps on points in 8-12 feet of water, and swimbaits along the bluffs in the backs of the coves on warmer days. Report by Jacob Orr, Guaranteed Guide Service Lake Texoma. Striped bass are starting to gorge on bait, so fish can be slow to bite but overall the bite is good. The most active bite in 3-30 feet of water on the humps and ledges using Alabama rigs, swimbaits, and some anglers are having success long lining. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors.

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