It’s very unusual for it to snow here in the deep South, but it does happen. Our last significant snow event was 2010 with some four inches of the white stuff. It’s usually a wet, heavy snow that rarely lingers for more than a day before turning into a sloppy mess. Nevertheless, we are ecstatic when the forecast calls for any semblance of snow. In fact, we experience a fair amount of jubilation when just a miniscule chance of snow is in the forecast.
When local meteorologists forecast the slightest possibility of snow, folks make a mad dash to the grocery stores; emptying all shelves of bread and milk. Why bread and milk seem to be the go-to items, no one seems to know. Threat of snow causes schools to close, ALDOT puts sand trucks on stand-by, and State and local governments shut down. I have to admit, here in Alabama, we are physically and psychologically inept when it comes to handling the consequences of this illusive phenomenon called snow. It’s just not in our genetics to know how to cope. We have no snow plows, no salt spreaders or chemical solution spreaders to combat freezing roads. We rely on sand being spread on the icy road surfaces for traction which leaves quite a mess afterwards. Why no equipment? It’s just not cost effective. Consider Birmingham, Alabama for example. It hasn’t snowed there in January there for 21 of the last 30 years. Icing events are rare as well. Even our pets don’t know quite what to make of this white stuff that covers their once green potty location.
Winter storm Leon took us by surprise. You ask how could that be since it was plastered on the news and The Weather Channel the week leading up to the storm. First, it hit earlier than anticipated and second, it was not as much a snow event as it was an ice event. Instead of hours of snowfall as was predicted, rain came first, then the temps dropped; dramatically, followed by hour after hour of relentless sleet. Roads froze quickly with a thick layer of ice just as folks began their commute from work to home.
Baylie enjoyed her first glimpse, ever, of snow as it fell even though there was not much accumulation. She was mesmerized by the sound of the sleet hitting the window panes. As the snow began to fall, I let her out and she ran around the yard looking up to the sky as she tried to figure it out. Unfortunately, the snow was just a light dusting; not enough to get wild and crazy with but she did enjoy watching it fall from the sky. Unfortunately, she was fascinated more with the ice; specifically, realizing that as the sheets of ice melted, she could break up the ice by stomping her front paws; revealing water which she quickly turned into her favorite substance; mud. She would stop now and then to run around the yard with a sheet of ice in her mouth.
After day two of dealing with winter storm Leon, Baylie was just as glad to see rising temps as the rest of us weary southerners.