The unfathomable has happened.
We The People of Alabama have gotten two measurable snowfalls in the same winter.
I’ve always said that I want to experience one True Northern Snowstorm, but I also believe that every one of you northerners should absolutely experience one True Southern Snowstorm.
Because Southerners react to snow with a fantastic mixture of awe and hilarity.
I already told you how it goes down if we don’t know it’s coming. But when we do know it’s coming, it’s a completely different event.
Here are the steps to a True Southern Snowstorm.
1. 72 Hours Beforehand: It looks as if there might be snow!!!! Perhaps even two snow events back to back!!!!!!! All news anchors and meteorologists bring their sleeping bags to the studio, and the Governor goes ahead and declares a State of Emergency while it’s still warm out – just in case he’s unable to get to his Easy Button when we need him.
2. Forget school for the rest of the week, as well as medical care (except emergencies), eating out (except Waffle House), and any Church or social functions. We didn’t get snow until Wednesday night, but I didn’t leave the house from Sunday to Thursday – because there was nothing to do.
3. Wait expectantly for 48 hours, kids home from school and playing outside in the mild but snowless weather.
Finally, snow starts falling, resulting in wall-to-wall news coverage, weather radios blaring out warnings, families quickly bundling into their waiting snow gear, and general ecstatic hysteria.
“The snow is deep enough to leave FOOTPRINTS!!!”
4. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds immediately multiply to hundredfold of their normal rate, vomiting photos of measuring tapes and rulers in the snow (some up to the four inch mark!!), deck furniture coated in white, trees covered in snow, and children with looks of ecstasy that could only be justified by Publisher’s Clearinghouse showing up at their door.
Okay, parents too.
5. News anchors fill up their continuous coverage (sometimes even forgoing commercial breaks due to the urgent nature of their information) excitedly switching between camera views of cities throughout the state and viewer photos of snowmen, snow angels, and bikini-clad women and shirtless men* laying in the snow.
(*Bikini-Clad Women and Shirtless Men are always in separate photographs, obviously. This is The South, after all.)
6. As the snow keeps falling, the news anchors begin using statements such as,
“Look at the football field in Slap Out, Alabama! It must have an inch of snow covering it by now. That looks more like Lambeau Field in Green Bay than a High School in Alabama!”
“Can you believe these pictures? I’d think they were taken in Antarctica if I didn’t know better!”
“I think we can expect a penguin to waddle through this LiveCam shot any minute.”
“The Mayor has announced that he will put in a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics!”
4. If it happens to snow at night, you either let your children stay up late or wake them up in the middle of the night to play in it, taking photos of adorable midnight snowmen.
7. After finally making the kids go to bed, parents stay up way too late, romantically gazing at the magical white ground covering.
And then they wake up super early and drag the kids out to play in the snow before it melts.
8. Southern Snow Play includes a frenzy of activity of every type of snow activity we’ve ever seen on television. In less than one hour, we can make a snowman, have a snowball fight, sled, make snow angels, have snow cream, walk around the neighborhood, take dazzling photos of the white magic, and in general feel like our life goals have been met.
Did I mention what expert sledders we are in the south?
Yes, that sled is being pulled by an extension cord. Isn’t that normal?
9. Before lunchtime, it goes back to fifty degrees and our snow melts away, leaving barely a trace of evidence of that which shut down our entire state for nearly a week.
10. Within 48 hours, we’re back at seventy degrees.
And all we have left are the memories. And the fifteen hundred photos. And the piles of laundry. And, if we had the forethought to build in the shade, a mostly melted, dirty, sad remnant of a snowman.
But we will never forget.
22 thoughts on “Ten Steps to a Southern Snowfall.”
Fun, fun, fun. This is what we are like in the first snow of December here in New Brunswick, Canada. However, now that we have hit Frebruary, we have had enough. Bring on spring. :)
Yes. If we got many more, we’d be totally done with it. Mainly because we don’t know how to properly keep our skin from drying out and our lips from cracking.
Well, from this old Alabama boy now living in Colorado Springs Colorado; You just enjoy it all, because life is way to short.
We did! It was great. And we still have a ton of snow cream in our freezer…
So glad you and your family enjoyed the snow. Everything you said is so true!! Our small town has shut down!!
That extension cord is hilarous ! We tied a rope to a sled and my husband pulled our kids and 3 others from the neighborhood with the ridding lawn mower. Hey. Whatever works! Snowed here off and on for 3 days. About 7 inches! Unheard of for where we live.
Oh – ha! I just got to this comment. You DID get more snow! Hooray!!
That’s a fantastic amount, too – and over three days? Southern Winter Wonderland.
Please excuse my spelling. It’s “riding”, i know. I blame it on my tiny android keyboard!! :)
I love the picture of the snow-covered tree with the sun behind it!
Auburn canceled class today, and it ended up being one of the most pleasant days in recent memory (no more snow for us, though). It’s been a weird winter.
It really has been a most bizarre winter. I wonder what that means for our summer…
You nailed it! In a way I think it’s awesome that nearly everything shuts down when it snows like this. It is so rare, so families should stay home and enjoy it…the past 3 days there were times I could have went to work but why…the kids were home from school and we had snow!!!
We did! North Alabama has become very special to us. I can’t wait to go back – I bet it was beautiful this week!
So I responded to a tweet yesterday about a snowy picture! that where I live we were sick of the snow. I am about an hour outside Philly, to the west of it. So we get more snow then Philly and yesterday they predicted that this storm would give us 10 to 14 inches. Well…We have 16 inches out there on top of the remaining 8 to 10 inches from last weeks storms and we are expecting another 3 to 6 tonight. The thing is, if they did not top off the snow with 3 to 6 tonight schools would have been open tomorrow. I lOVE the snow but I am okay with this being our last storm. Losing power for 3 days last week was not awesome either.
Oh and here, we have had years in which we have 20 inch storms, not common but not unheard of- so you would think the news stations would not go as insane for all of this snow. Nope, here too you get the 24/7 broadcasts until the evening. It could be a nightmare out there but between 7 and 10, no news. I loved it this morning, one of the reporters asked a person who had just driven to work how the wind was while driving. He said “well mam, I was driving and had the windows closed so I did not feel the wind”
Oh and one of our local school districts posted a YouTube closing, their rendition of Let it go was fabulous
Yes, we would not like it nearly as much if we were there! Plus, when we were playing in the snow yesterday it was above freezing. So “warm” snows are a little more tolerable as well.
Hope you guys are able to dig out soon and return to normal!!
We got ice down here on the coast, but that’s enough for me. You crack me up with the Anchorman’s announcements!
At least two of those announcements were verbatim. :-)
It all seemed like a dream. Without the pictures(i took a ton) to prove it, it might have been! We got 5 inches in Gardendale and stayed out in it until 11 Wednesday night and got up at 6:30 Thursday, it was amazing and beautiful. The last time I remember it looking like a winter wonderland was March of 1993 and I was 10! Its a very rare thing and was euphoric seeing my kids getting to experience it.
That’s fantastic! From polling my friends, it seems like the only Birmingham suburb that got more than we did was Gardendale/Fultondale. I’m glad y’all got to enjoy it!!
This settles it….I was meant to be a Southerner! I could definitely handle that snow! Up here in Milwaukee, we’re all a little stir-crazy!
Also, I’m pleasantly surprised you own a sled. And I LOVE your house! So pretty!
What a bizarre winter!! I’m so glad you guys got to enjoy some snow. I would be that excited about snow too if it would warm up to 70 degrees afterwards! I’ve been excited about our recent 50! We have had almost no snow all winter and then it got down to -12, warmed up a bit and dumped almost a foot last week and then all melted in a span of 48 hours which of course caused flooding problems. I’m pretty much over winter and ready to move on to spring!
#2!!! Oh my word!!! Come Friday I was RUNNING out of the house LOL
With your snow this winter, I keep thinking of the email I sent to you before Christmas of last year, wishing you all the snow your heart could desire. Then I put a winky face never thinking you would actually get that much snow. I’m glad to see you did and you got your chance to take your snow pictures. Do you find you were able to capture the beauty of the snow with your camera? How fun to enjoy the snow for an evening and 70 degrees the next day. That would be cause for northern hilarity..
We did get great snow! I found that I was able to get better snow pictures our first snow (this post and the one before it: http://www.graspingforobjectivity.com/2014/01/an-hour-with-the-horizon.html) than the second snow, but I highly enjoyed both.
And yes, it was 70 yesterday, and now we’re supposed to get another “wintry mix” starting tomorrow night! Craziness.