We have to go back over 100 years to find the most memorable cold snap on record in Texas and Oklahoma: Feb. 12, 1899. On that day, all of Oklahoma got below -10F, and over half of Texas was below 0F. Ice reportedly covered most of Galveston Bay.
Wow - ice covering most of Galveston Bay, that must have been a sight to see!
You know, I see people all the time mentioning the 1989 freeze. That was certainly a bad cold snap here in the Red River Valley of North Texas - it dropped below zero in portions of Grayson County.
But the big kahuna in my lifetime was definitely Dec. 1983. We were around 300 consecutive hours below freezing here in Denison, water mains broke all over town, and much of Lake Texoma froze over.
I know that freeze was also bad along the Gulf Coast.
Shannon Thompkins (outdoor writer for the Houston Chronicle) did a piece back in 2003 remembering the 20 year anniversary of that freeze along the Gulf Coast. If memory serves correct, it (83 freeze) was far more devastating on the inshore fisheries and marine organisms than the 1989 freeze was - virtually wiped out the redfish population along the Tx coast.
Somebody official estimated that upwards of a billion fish and organisms perished in that 83 freeze. Biologists with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department battled ice along the shoreline (saltwater shoreline!) down to the Laguna Madre to get out and assess the biological damage after that freeze.