DALLAS – Texans don't need a reminder that the Great Texas Freeze from Feb. 10-20, 2021, was extremely cold, but they weren't alive to experience one of the coldest outbreaks to ever invade the Plains in February 1899.
Two years ago, the Great Texas Freeze brought the coldest temperatures in over seven decades to some parts of the Lone Star State during a historic cold snap that impacted millions of Americans from the Canadian border to South Texas.
According to FOX Weather senior weather data specialist Shane Brown, Dallas spent 232 non-consecutive hours (93 consecutive followed by 139 consecutive) at or below freezing. The 139 straight hours was the Metroplex city's fifth-longest period with consecutive below-freezing temperatures.
Nearby Waco, Texas, spent 205 consecutive hours below 32 degrees, which was a record for that city.
Dallas plunged to -2 degrees on the morning of Feb. 16, which was its coldest temperature in over 70 years. That only tied Dallas' second-coldest temperature of all time, so that means it was once colder than -2 degrees. In fact, it was much colder, and that was in February 1899.
"February 1899 was much colder nearly everywhere," Brettschneider said in a tweet.
Dallas fell to -8 degrees on the morning of Feb. 12, 1899, setting its all-time record low that has now stood for more than 120 years. The city's high that afternoon was only 12 degrees.
Those temperatures are 45 to 50 degrees below average for North Texas in mid-February. The average high in Dallas on Feb. 12 is 60 degrees, and the average low is 39 degrees.
To the north in the Sooner State, Oklahoma City also set its all-time record low in 1899 when it plunged to -17 degrees on the morning of Feb. 12. The coldest it got in February 2021 was -14 degrees on Feb. 16.
Nearly every location Brettschneider analyzed in the Lower 48 reported lower temperatures in February 1899 than in February 2021. The only exceptions were very small areas of northern Texas, central Oklahoma and southeastern Nebraska.