Personal Days: First Snow

We had our first snow of the year yesterday!

Even though we live in West Texas it still snows here. It never gets very deep. Usually just a dusting. Our winter precipitation tends to be freezing rain. We don't get snow days in West Texas, the snow never accumulates to any depth, but we do get ice days.

If you've never seen freezing rain it's quite something, meteorologically speaking. Two main ingredients cause freezing rain. First, the surface temperature has to be below freezing. Next, you have to have layers of different temperature air above. Frozen precipitation high above in a cold layer has to fall through a warmer layer, which leads to melting and returning the water back to a liquid state. That rain then falls through layers of cold air at the surface, supercooling the water. So the water reaches you as liquid rain. But that supercooled rain, upon hitting a surface below freezing, immediately turns to ice. Everything becomes encased and encrusted with a layer of ice, sometimes quite thick. Roads turn into massive ice skating rinks. And school gets canceled.

I much prefer snow. I grew up in Pennsylvania on the shore of Lake Erie. So I was raised in the land of lake effect snow. I have memories of massive snow drifts. Job #1 in the morning growing up was shoveling out to Mom's car, cleaning the snow and scraping the ice off the car, shoveling out the driveway (the snow plows passing in the night push huge mounds of snow into the end of the driveway), and then starting up the car to get it warm.

I don't miss that part of snow, but what I do miss is walking in snow. One of my most favorite things to do in the world is to take a walk in a softly falling snow.

So that's what I did yesterday morning. Snow doesn't fall here very often. So I grabbed my coat and took a walk. One of the few Texans, I suspect, who head outside for walk on a snowy morning.

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