Report from Louisiana: SNOW!

by Pat Austin | January 17th, 2018

Readability

Report from Louisiana: SNOW!

By: Pat Austin

SHREVE­PORT – Louisiana is expect­ing snow this week. Say what?

I know peo­ple in the north must laugh at us. The inevitable “bread and milk” memes show­ing empty gro­cery store shelves come to mind. I went to the gro­cery store yes­ter­day out of neces­sity rather than any snow-​minded panic, and the cashier lamented how busy they had been all day.

I don’t know what’s going on,” she said.

Snow in the fore­cast for Mon­day night,” I explained.

She had no idea. “That explains it,” she said.

All the jokes are true. The mete­o­rol­o­gists on the local sta­tions broke the news Fri­day after­noon that mod­els were set­ting up for a “win­try mix” which would “quickly turn over to snow” and that “accu­mu­la­tions of one to three inches are possible.”

Panic ensues.

My hus­band is from Iowa and he just laughs. He is one of those who walked twenty miles up hill both ways in five feet of snow to get to school; he milked cows after walk­ing through ver­i­ta­ble bliz­zards to get to the barn and chipped ice out of frozen water troughs. You know the type.

But around here if you say ice, we close the schools. We can’t drive in that stuff. The rural kids that ride school buses will freeze, not to men­tion that rural roads and bridges ice over.

This is a true story: one day about three years ago we were in school when it started to snow; it was about 10:30 in the morn­ing, right before lunch. Not big, heavy wet snowflakes but just flur­ries. They closed the schools parish wide. By the time I got to the inter­state five min­utes away it was all over.

Over­abun­dance of pre­cau­tion, they called it.

As soon as the local news said the “S” word Fri­day, every­one is on pins and nee­dles check­ing Face­book and the news sites for notice of school clo­sure. Par­ents are stress­ing out about whether or not to find babysit­ters or take of work. The school super­in­ten­dent says he will make the call some­time Mon­day after­noon (Mon­day we are closed for MLK day). This delay in mak­ing the call is anger­ing par­ents as mete­o­rol­o­gists speak with increas­ing con­fi­dence of “a win­ter event” and mea­sur­able precipitation.

Snow days are a rare treat for us down here. While the Mid­west and north­ern climes accept shov­el­ing snow and not park­ing on the street because of snow plows as a part of win­ter life, we don’t have those issues down here. So when we can get enough snow to scoop up in our hands, or look out­side and see a blan­ket of wet, white snow on the lawn, it is in fact an event. The high humid­ity here means we have heavy, wet snow, not pow­dery light stuff.

I can pre­dict with near cer­tainty that by Mon­day after­noon all of the news sta­tions will have their intre­pid reporters out stand­ing by the per­fectly dry inter­state to report on road con­di­tions. Once the event occurs there will be tiny snow­men on the hoods of cars or the messy, muddy ones that required every bit of snow in the yard to create.

It could be a mag­i­cal day.

Or it could just be rain. Then we will feel robbed and cheated.

All of that bread and milk stowed away for nothing.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreve­port.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Louisiana is expecting snow this week.  Say what?

I know people in the north must laugh at us.  The inevitable “bread and milk” memes showing empty grocery store shelves come to mind.   I went to the grocery store yesterday out of necessity rather than any snow-minded panic, and the cashier lamented how busy they had been all day.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” she said.

“Snow in the forecast for Monday night,” I explained.

She had no idea. “That explains it,” she said.

All the jokes are true.  The meteorologists on the local stations broke the news Friday afternoon that models were setting up for a “wintry mix” which would “quickly turn over to snow” and that “accumulations of one to three inches are possible.”

Panic ensues.

My husband is from Iowa and he just laughs.  He is one of those who walked twenty miles up hill both ways in five feet of snow to get to school; he milked cows after walking through veritable blizzards to get to the barn and chipped ice out of frozen water troughs.  You know the type.

But around here if you say ice, we close the schools.  We can’t drive in that stuff.  The rural kids that ride school buses will freeze, not to mention that rural roads and bridges ice over.

This is a true story: one day about three years ago we were in school when it started to snow; it was about 10:30 in the morning, right before lunch.  Not big, heavy wet snowflakes but just flurries.  They closed the schools parish wide.  By the time I got to the interstate five minutes away it was all over.

Overabundance of precaution, they called it.

As soon as the local news said the “S” word Friday, everyone is on pins and needles checking Facebook and the news sites for notice of school closure.  Parents are stressing out about whether or not to find babysitters or take of work.  The school superintendent says he will make the call sometime Monday afternoon (Monday we are closed for MLK day).  This delay in making the call is angering parents as meteorologists speak with increasing confidence of “a winter event” and measurable precipitation.

Snow days are a rare treat for us down here.  While the Midwest and northern climes accept shoveling snow and not parking on the street because of snow plows as a part of winter life, we don’t have those issues down here.  So when we can get enough snow to scoop up in our hands, or look outside and see a blanket of wet, white snow on the lawn, it is in fact an event.  The high humidity here means we have heavy, wet snow, not powdery light stuff.

I can predict with near certainty that by Monday afternoon all of the news stations will have their intrepid reporters out standing by the perfectly dry interstate to report on road conditions.  Once the event occurs there will be tiny snowmen on the hoods of cars or the messy, muddy ones that required every bit of snow in the yard to create.

It could be a magical day.

Or it could just be rain.  Then we will feel robbed and cheated.

All of that bread and milk stowed away for nothing.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

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