Wednesday, January 17, 2007


In case you haven't noticed, we've been getting some interesting weather down here in Texas. Over the weekend we started getting a little freezing rain, which really wasn't supposed to be that big of a deal. Of course, anytime the temperature drops below freezing here, the weather service issues a severe weather warning, etc. The ice was supposed to turn to rain, but the temperatures kept hovering around freezing and we ended up getting a bunch of rain and then ice. By Monday, we had 1/4 inch of ice.

So, watching people down here drive on ice is absolutely hilarious. I pulled up to a stop sign behind a guy in a pickup on the way to work. When he started to go, naturally his tires began to slip. Nothing to him, he just kept giving it more gas. And more gas. And then he really laid on it. Finally, he wore through the ice, chirped his tires and lurched through the intersection, tires a blazing with his back end flying all over the place. This was repeated at every intersection until we got to work, when I realized that the guy in the truck was someone I work with. hehe.

So, we had 1/4 inch of ice and the roads are little slick, but not too bad. Of course this means that pretty much everything is shut down including FedEx, UPS, and almost all trucking companies. Commerce basically ground to a halt.

The weather was somewhat better on Tuesday and everything was open again. Late in the afternoon someone came running into my office to tell me that it was snowing. This was big news and we all went to the windows to check it out. It was flurries... and mild ones at that. A few minutes later it stopped.

This morning I woke up and looked outside to check on the weather. I was a little suprised to see that 3 inches of snow had fallen overnight. This is the first time this area has had any accumulation of snow since about 1980. This was really entertaining for me. Here's what the backyard looked like this morning:

Everything was closed. Schools, the University, most stores, shoot... they even closed the Alamo. The drive to work was even more entertaining today than it was on Monday. Everyone was going 5 - 15 mph, white-knuckles and the whole nine yards. Fedex, UPS, and all the other trucking companies weren't running. Interstate 10 was closed. Several local highways were listed as "impassable".

I came home for lunch and made a snow man for the kids. I was going to take a picture of it, but it turned out to be pretty pathetic and so I decided not to embarass myself by recording it. I got a good chuckle when the mail lady pulled up to drop off the mail while I was at home. She had snow chains on her tires. Chains for 3 inches!

I heard some other good ones at work. One person told me that the snow was so deep that she barely made it out of her driveway. Another told me that she couldn't believe how much snow it had "poured" last night. I had one person take the day off because the last time he saw snow he was 5 years old. He wanted to stay home and enjoy it. Two other folks took off after lunch to join him.

Of course, one of the fun things about weather like this down here is reading the weather service announcements and listening to the radio announcers talk about this stuff. The weather announcements say things like "Severe cold", "significant snow", "stay inside", etc. This morning, one of the local radio hosts was lamenting the fact that she reached outside last night to grab her mop off of the back porch and it was frozen solid. She couldn't believe how horribly cold it was. The temperature hadn't been above freezing for 3 whole days.

The whole event has been very entertaining. I just wished it had happened over Christmas.