Snow in Mississippi

article by Kathy Root Pitts,
top photo by Ben Root, Sr., bottom photos by Bill Pitts



This is a photograph of February 13, 1960 in Jackson, Mississippi (right). I’ve often heard Mississippians ask, “What ever happened to snow in Mississippi?” Mississippians seem to recall there having been more snow in years past.

We looked up snowfall statistics in Jackson between 1929 and 2000, and found that Jackson received measurable snow for only 25 winters out of 72. In the first half of this time span, 10 out of 36 winters had snow. In the second half of this time period, 15 out of 36 winters had snow. This indicated to me that we are actually having more snow fall as time goes on.


Yet, the winters during which we received four inches or more were: 193536, 193940, 194748, 194849,195051, 195960, 196162, 196364, 196768, 197677, 198182, and 199798. I was just reminded that there was a snow in 2000. These seem to be loose groupings that gradually dwindle, so that after 1968 we have only approximately one major snow per decade, excepting that one at the turn of the millennium. Still, we can’t really draw any conclusions from such intractable statistics. Besides, statistics vary from one source to the next.


Maybe we remember childhood snows as greater and more frequent events because snows in Mississippi are a little rare, no matter what decade we recall. A snow in Mississippi is exciting because it is different. Snow days in Mississippi are no-school, play-outside days. Festive occasions. Magical childhood memories of snow in Mississippi stick far beyond any spring thaw.



The snowfall of February 1960 dropped about nine inches on the Jackson area, forcing some people to walk to their local grocery stores, pulling their supplies home behind them on homemade sleds, a rarity in the South.



Almost fifty years later to the day, on Friday, February 12, 2010, a snow storm moved east from Texas, across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South and North Carolina. Jackson received its deepest February snow in 50 years, measuring six inches deep in these current photos — a record for the area and a joy for the school kids who got a rare snow day.





Valid CSS!