Record snowfall covered southern and eastern Texas on December 25, 2004, in this true-color Terra MODIS image. Anywhere from two to six inches of snow accumulated on an otherwise tropical area. This was the first snow accumulation in Brownsville, Texas (the southernmost American city along the US-Mexico border) in 109 years. Just days after the snow fell, temperatures rose back into the 80s (Fahrenheit) and melted the surprise away.
The snow highlights Padre Island, which lies just three miles off the Texas coast in the Gulf of Mexico. Padre Island is over 115 miles long (about 185 km), and while today it is a popular vacation spot, it has the historical reputation as a ship graveyard. During a hurricane in 1553, most of the Spanish treasure fleet of twenty ships broke up on the island.