Photos: Unusually early, heavy snow creates 'winter wonderland' from Texas to Georgia

By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather staff writer
December 10, 2017, 1:58:15 AM EST

As unusually cold air arrived in the southern United States during the latter part of this week, it provided opportunities for residents to experience rare snowfall.

The wintry weather created slick and hazardous travel conditions from southern Texas to Alabama on Friday morning with numerous accidents forcing road closures throughout the region.

The snow continued to spread northeastward to northern Georgia, including Atlanta, and the western Carolinas on Friday into Friday night.

In southeastern Texas, 7 inches of snow was reported on the south side of Corpus Christi, Texas, and thundersnow was also reported in the area. According to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, the most recent accumulating snowfall in the city came back in 2004.

Houston officials urged motorists to drive with caution due to the snowy and icy conditions as at least 14 locations on greater Houston roadways were reporting ice or snow. A total of 1-2 inches of accumulating snow had been reported in the city.

The snow in Houston was the earliest seasonal snowfall on record and the first time the city received measurable snow since Dec. 4, 2009.

Snow even fell as far south as Brownsville, Texas, which sits along the U.S.-Mexico border. The only previous report of measurable snowfall in Brownsville in recorded history came on Dec. 25, 2004.

Elsewhere, around 5 inches of snow was reported in Jackson, Mississippi, and around 4 inches was reported around Birmingham, Alabama.

As the flakes continued to fly, residents took to social media to express a combination of bewilderment and excitement.

An area of high pressure situated over the Rockies forced cold air down into the Gulf states. Along with moisture moving into the region from the Gulf of Mexico, it provided the right combination for snow and ice to develop, according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams. 

"Temperatures climbed above freezing across the South on Saturday, allowing the recent snow to melt," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said. "However, any wet or slushy areas on untreated surfaces will turn icy on Saturday night as temperatures plummet."

A hard freeze is expected down to the I-10 corridor.

One fatality was reported Saturday morning after several crashes occurred on an icy bridge on U.S. Highway 29 in McDavid, Florida, according to McDavid is located about 50 minutes north of Pensacola in the Florida Panhandle.

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corpus christi snow

Accumulating snow was measured in Corpus Christi, Texas on Friday. (Photo/NWS Corpus Christi)

mississippi snow 12817

A snowy scene was observed in Mendenhall, Mississippi. (Photo/Twitter user @Futurechaser24)

Txdot snow

Snow fell on Texas Department of Transportation trucks in the Corpus Christi region. (Photo/Texas Department of Transportation)

umbrella snow

Snow coated the ground in Scooba, Mississippi, on Friday. (Photo/John Baker)

Santa snow

Dressed as Santa Claus, Eldon Hansen stands in front of the Alamo as snow falls in downtown San Antonio, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Snow deep south travel

A heavy morning snow falls in Jackson, Miss., Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, as an electronic sign posts a winter weather advisory for drivers along I-55. The forecast called for a wintry mix of precipitation across several Deep South states. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Texas snow

Christine Co builds a snowman Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in Spring, Texas, north of Houston. Rare snowfall in many parts of southern Texas has knocked out power to thousands, caused numerous accidents along slick roadways and closed schools. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Texas snow child

Emmaline Dendinger enjoys a hearty bite of snow in her mid-Jackson, Miss., neighborhood, Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. The forecast called for a wintry mix of precipitation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Falfurrias snow

Snow observed at a home in Falfurrias, Texas. (Photo/Twitter user @Kristine_Galvan)

ATL snow Dec 9

Saturday started with this wintry scene in Atlanta. (Image/Georgia Department of Transportation)

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