A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 05, 2007
Panhandle Hook (or Texas Hooker)

A “Panhandle Hook” (sometimes called a “Texas Hooker") is a low pressure system the originates in the Texas/Oklahoma panhandle, moves east, but then “hooks” to the upper Midwest. The term has been in use since at least 1976.


National Weather Service (Weather Glossary)
Panhandle Hook
Low pressure systems that originate in the panhandle region of Texas and Oklahoma which initially move east and then “hook” or recurve more northeast toward the upper Midwest or Great Lakes region. In winter, these systems usually deposit heavy snows north of their surface track. Thunderstorms may be found south of the track.

National Weather Service (Weather Glossary)
Texas Hooker
Same as Panhandle Hook - low pressure systems that originate in the panhandle region of Texas and Oklahoma which initially move east and then “hook” or recurve more northeast toward the upper Midwest or Great Lakes region. In winter, these systems usually deposit heavy snows north of their surface track. Thunderstorms may be found south of the track.

14 January 1976, Delta Democrat-Times (Greenville, MS), pg. 5:
A powerful snowstorm threw a hook at the Midwest, burying towns, closing schools and slowing air travel before racing eastward today to pester already snow-weary New England.

Wisconsin weathermen termed the storm a “Panhandle hook,” because it formed in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle and hooked into the upper Midwest.

Google Groups: bit.listserv.wx-talk
Newsgroups: bit.listserv.wx-talk
From: “Eric A. Helgeson”
Date: Sat, 5 Nov 1994 05:04:10 -0600
Local: Sat, Nov 5 1994 7:04 am
Subject: Re: PANHANDLE HOOK

On 5 Nov 1994, Matthew D Will wrote:
> While watching the Thursday 9 pm news on WGN Television, Tom Skilling

Best TV Met in the country, IMHO.

> used the term “Panhandle hook” to describe the way storms come in
> the Pacific Northwest and travel Southeast to the Texas “Panhandle
> and then hook” Northeast.

> Question #1: Is this a term he made up or is this an actual word in
> the weatherpersons vocabulary?

I’m not sure if it defined anywhere in some paper (research-types, chime in), but is a common weather term for storms that bottom out in a mean upper level trough and the move to the northeast in the southwest flow. The surface reflection usually picks up well as it rounds the bend.

And by the name, they bottom out in the Texas Panhandle.

Ever wonder it that “panhandle” ever, like, hits another state when it gets mad? 

Google Groups: ne.weather
Newsgroups: ne.weather
From: “Brian Bernard”
Date: 1999/12/02
Subject: Re: wreck of E. Fitzgerald

The storm that sank the EDMUND FITZGERALD was a Texas Hooker or Panhandle Hook. Storms that develop over the Texas/Oklahoma Panhandle are very common in the fall and winter, however every few years one storm will be stronger than normal. 

Iowa Chaser (12-18-2006)
Now as for this system, a low pressure system breaking off from the southern jet stream should move nearly northward from the Texas panhandle into the Nebraska panhandle or at least some portion of NE. This type of low is called a Texas Hooker, sorry just had to share the great name.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, April 05, 2007 • Permalink