Saturday, February 5, 2011

S(no)w Day, Texas Style

This is the massive amount of ice that shut the city down for a day.

Oh, be quiet, I can hear the laughter from here. 

It has been below freezing in Houston for days!  Yes, that is a state of emergency here.  I know there are people all over the country, and the world, who are living in a winter wonderland/nightmare and it is below freezing for months at a time.  I lived in a place like that for a few winters...  Houston is not a place that experiences many days or nights below the freezing mark.  Therefore, they are ill prepared to deal with cold weather.  I forgot that pipes freeze here and plants die.  We do not typically drain our sprinkler systems in the winter because many winter days are in the 60's and all those flowers in your garden need water.  When a cold snap happens you are caught off guard and the pipes can freeze or the sprinklers can freeze and break.  Power outages happened all over the state.  Don't even get me started on the roads.  There are no snow plows and no salt trucks.  We are left to slip and slide on the roads if we dare drive. 

The storm that has paralyzed the Midwest has made it's way to Texas.  On Monday, the temps were in the 70's and frozen pipes were the last thing on our minds.  Then on Tuesday morning it was 22degrees F.  A rare occurrence in Houston.  There were statewide rolling power outages.  They were predicting snow and sleet for Thursday night and Friday.  Talk about craziness....Houston and snow.  People here do not know what to do with snow, especially on the roads.  I waited with guarded anticipation.  These things are usually much hyped and rarely deliver.

This is what my indoor/outdoor thermometer read on Thursday night...

The city shut down, schools closed, both airports cancelled all flights and they told everyone to stay home....and not a flake of snow had fallen!  No sleet, no ice and no snow....BUT it might be coming, so shut it all down NOW!   I sit in amazement at the over- reaction.  TJ said the day would be considered a spring day in Toronto!  I could only wait like a kid for the snow to arrive and hope that when I woke up in the morning I would not be disappointed by the green grass and clear streets.  I slept with visions of my snow covered streets and houses in my head.

As you have probably gathered, the only snow I saw was on my indoor/outdoor thermometer.  In the city's defense, the bridges did ice over and driving was indeed treacherous for much of the day on Friday.  The temps did not get over freezing until late afternoon on Friday and only for a few hours and then back down to the sub freezing zone.  Don't feel too bad for us though, today it is going up into the 50's and tomorrow the 60's.  Such is winter in tropical Houston.

My most sincere thoughts are with those of you who are dealing with "real" winter.  I know you are tired of it and we all seem silly shutting down an entire city because it is "supposed" to snow.  I'm with you!  I hope the snow gives you a break...soon. 
And if this post wasn't amusing enough, watch this


Yvon said...

Today is a glorious winter day. Sunny, clear and everything white. Perfect spring skiing conditions. And yes we have lots of snow. Today is the kind of day you are happy to live in a northern climate.

Yvon said...

That was Noreen that commented not Yvon. He is enjoying a rainy day in Libya....

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