Athens Review, Athens, Texas

March 21, 2014

Cold winter

2014 season had its ups and downs

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Spring has arrived with the promise of sunshine, wildflowers and thundershowers, but the winter of 2014 will be remembered for its abundance of chilly days.

Between the first day of winter on Dec. 21 and the arrival of the new season, the Athens low temperature dipped to freezing or below on 50 occasions, according to information from the National Weather Service. On more than 20 other occasions, the temperature failed to climb out of the 30s.

The freezing spell began on Dec. 23, when the low hit 25, and included a low of 28 on Christmas Day. On New Year’s Eve, the low was 26 degrees. Due to the dry conditions, the temperatures warmed up in the afternoons reaching the 40s and 50s.

Things got worse in January, a month that saw 23 freezing lows. On Jan. 6, the low fell all the way to 14 degrees, before rebounding a high of 38 that afternoon. The following day, the high didn’t climb out of the 20s, stopping at 29 degrees after a low of 13 degrees.  The average low temperature for the month was 28.13 degrees. The normal January low is about 34 degrees.

February brought a bit of a warmup, with the average Athens low of 35.93. On 13 of the days, the low temperature registered 32 degrees or below. The coldest day was Feb. 7, when the low temperature measured 20 degrees and the high stopped at 29.

The area got a winter mix of rain, sleet and snow on Feb. 12, with precipitation measuring .64 of an inch. The low temperature for the day was 28, and only increased to 36 degrees in the afternoon.

March began with pleasant highs of 73,75 and 67 degrees before an ice storm blew through Henderson County on Sunday, March 3. The overnight low slid all the way to 18 degrees, causing closures of area schools and businesses, as well as the Henderson County Courthouse.

The final freezing temperature of the winter was recorded on March 13, when the low reached 29 degrees after a high of 75 the previous afternoon. The average date of the last freeze is March 11. March 2014 had a total of five freezing days, and seven more that the low temperature was 38 or below.