The weather we just went through is called a “Blue Norther,” and why Dallas doesn’t have a Winter as a Season

Is winter in Dallas always like this – TM

No, because Dallas doesn’t have a winter.  We have a season called “northers” and when it ices over real bad that particular storm is called a blue norther or Texas norther.   Seriously this isn’t just a home spun term, the weather channel acknowledges it.  Here let me explain.

In Dallas we have basically five seasons.  Jim Rogers back in 1951 labeled the best I’ve ever heard

Spring, just regular spring with rain, expect ours come with thunder and lighting, from about the end of February to the beginning of May.

Summer, a fairly pleasant time of clear skies, and temps in the 80s and into the 90s that last from May until mid July

Sol, or Latin for the sun, from July into August where the glare of the sun is the most striking thing about the world for ten to twelve weeks

Autumn or porch weather or the best weather in Dallas from September into December 11, 2013

Norther, i’ll just directly quote Rogers here

The fifth and final season ordinarily begins in December and continues well into February.  It is designed as a Norther and not winter because Dallas does not have winter as the northern part of this country knows it.  Mild sunny weather persists and then icy biting winds sweep straight down from Canada and freeze the marrow of Texan’s bones.  This sudden blast of cold when the temperature drops as much as twenty or thirty degrees in an hour and slides from balmy air and open windows to a howl of wind and ice overnight is as a blue norther.  Northers usually blow themselves out in a few days, the wind changes direction, coming from the south and a gulf breeze once more brings mildness.”


Notice where the longest dagger is pointing? Right at North Texas and Dallas

Does that sound familiar, kinda like what we just went through?  I’ll remind you that the a few days before the temperature dropped as low as twelve, and we had two inches of solid ice; temperatures in Dallas were as high as 80 degrees.  And though this bleu norther as latest longer than normal, next week temps will be back at 65.

The most famous northers and blue northers in the past few years, include the almost white Christmas of 2011, the Super Bowl week storm, the unseasonably early Thanksgiving Day Leon Lett miscue for the Cowboys.  And personally for me once in the late 80’s early 90’s when the edges of White Rock froze and the child version of me got to take a few closely watched and careful steps on the frozen lake.

The norther that blew down during the Super Bowl Week, wrecked havoc with the Super Bowl

cowboys stadium

Lett about to botch a Thanksgiving day game with the Dolphins.  It’s okay Leon, you were a two time Prob-Bowler and won three Super Bowls


This is partly why snow is Dallas is almost always greeted with excitement and enjoinment by most.  It’s here for a day or two, schools shut down for day maybe, people throw snow balls, sled down Flag Pole Hill on cafeteria trays, take a few pictures, drink a little too much wine or bourbon, and then within a short while, everything’s back to normal; and you see people in short sleeves again.  This can be particularly true for adults that are transplants to Dallas from northern cities.  Those who talk about months of snow on the ground, constant freezing temperatures and blizzards that not only shut people in for longer then a week, but also seriously endanger people’s lives.

What happens when it snows in “Winter”


What Happens when it snows in Dallas during a “Norther”


Of course it’s always fun to see these new transplants down here the first time they experienced a good icing and blue norther.  Right before the storm blows in, when the news is talking about SNOW…ICE…AN INCH OF ACCUMULATION…SCHOOL CLOSINGS.  They get all proud and scuff at how we freak out about a inch of accumulation.  Of course they are often the last ones into work, coming in all white faced, asking, “how the hell anyone can drive on this ice, cause they were sliding around all over the place doing 180’s every twenty feet.”  Because though Dan in accounting from Cleveland can drive through four feet of snow fall on the roads, every Dallasite and most seasoned north Texans know how to slide over an inch of ice accumulation on the roads.

Or to just stay put, build a snowman and get drunk.

Drunk Snowman