Saturday, December 5, 2009

Snow? In Houston...? REALLY...??

It doesn't happen very often. In fact, only about every 4 years on the average!

Now I know that a lot of people like the snow, but I'm not one of them. Quite frankly, I can live without it!

Snow is nice on postcards. It's nice for the kids to build snowmen. It's nice for the tourists. However, it is NOT nice for people to have to drive on here in Houston!

The folks here have a hard enough time driving on dry streets. If you throw in ice or snow...then you have a disaster in the making! Believe me, I know what I'm talking about here!

HOUSTON — Houston had its earliest snowfall on record Friday, with several inches accumulating in counties southwest of the city.

The previous record for early snow in Houston was Dec. 10 in 1944 and again last year, said Charles Roeseler, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Snow is rare in the nation's fourth largest city. In the past 15 years, it has snowed four times, including Friday.

Accumulations of 3 to 4 inches of snow were reported in counties southwest of Houston. The city got a half inch or less of snow, and its suburbs reported 1 to 2 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

"It's going to continue to snow through the afternoon," Roeseler said in the early afternoon. "We'll pick up another inch or so across parts of Houston."

The city and other parts of Southeast Texas were under a winter storm warning that was expected to remain until Friday evening. Other parts of Texas, including El Paso and Dallas, also had snowfall this week.

Many government offices and businesses around Houston shut down early Friday, said Francisco Sanchez, a spokesman for the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Houston Mayor Bill White directed city departments to send nonessential employees home Friday afternoon.

The Houston school district did not shorten its school day Friday, but many other districts and colleges around the area sent students home early.

"We're trying to make sure people stay off the roadways," Sanchez said. "We want to get them home earlier today."

Many Houstonians took advantage of the snow day to venture outside and play. Parks were filled with adults and children making snowmen, engaging in snowball fights and posing for photographs.

"We usually like to go to Colorado for some snow, but this year it came to us," said Teri Mims, 36, as she played in the snow with her 6- and 9-year-old daughters in a north Houston park.

The snow wasn't the biggest worry for officials.

It was supposed to stop by Friday evening, but then temperatures were expected to fall below freezing, with lows in the 20s. The National Weather Service issued a freeze warning for 22 Southeast Texas counties that was to be in effect until Saturday morning.

"We're really concerned with what happens overnight with the snow melting on roadways and turning into ice," Sanchez said.

Roads and elevated bridges in Houston and other parts of Southeast Texas were being covered with deicing materials to ensure they were safe to travel, but drivers needed to prepare for some roads to be closed, Sanchez said.

The forecast for Saturday was mostly sunny skies and highs in the lower 40s to upper 50s. Temperatures were expected to climb to near 60 by Sunday.

The snow would likely be gone by Saturday, Roeseler said.

You know the worst part of a snowfall? It's when the snow begins to melt! We're talking mud...a LOT of mud! If you have never seen South Texas gumbo soil when it gets turned to mud, you haven't really seen mud!

For me? I'm staying in the house! I'm not brave enough to venture out and play "dodge cars" for real in the crazy Houston traffic! This is when you realize that being a Prepper is really a good thing, indeed! I have everything I might need for the next couple of days...or longer if necessary! No need to risk life and limb by going out in this mess!

Besides, you ever been to the store, on a Friday, when it's payday, and the roads are icy ? This is NOT a good scenario, believe me!

So, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen for a while. We can be very thankful that we had the foresight to keep our pantry stocked!


Wyn Boniface said...

I like the weather. I do not drive in it. I do go walking in it.

Wyn Boniface said...

I should add that I also walk in 100 degree weather.

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

I´m much like You, snow is pretty on a post card but otherwise it can keep away :-) But I live in what used to be winter wonderland. Nowdays however the winter comes later an later. I´m not sorry about that at all :-)

Yesterday night we had snow falling here, but temperature rised and then icy rain fell over it all. If I had known how bad the roads were I would never had left my home.

Some school buses didn´t go so the kids "had" to stay home :-) I don´t think they complained :-) :-) It´s very unusual that schools close during snowstorms here since we used to have it all the time. But things change.
Have a great day now and enjoy Your coffee!

Tatersmama said...

There are times that I do miss snow, but then I think about having snow chains on for months out of the year, and I'm glad to be out of it!
What always got me, (my ex was a CA Highway Patrolman and I was a nurse) were the folks who thought that since it looks so soft and fluffy, they didn't need to slow down or have any 'snow-driving' skills. All that cotton wool would keep anything bad from happening! Yeah... right.

HermitJim said...

Hey Wyn...
Walking in it here is definitely safer than trying to drive in it with a bunch of amatures!

I like the 100 degree type weather better!

Thanks for coming by today, my friend!

Hey Christer...
I would think tat because of where you live, you would like the snow! I don't blame you for NOT liking it too much, though!

You're right about the road conditions being bad. Folks here just don't pay attention at all!.

Hey, thanks for coming by, my friend!

Hey Tatersmama...
Thank goodness we don't have to deal with snow chains here! Every 4 years is enough snow for me!

You are totally correct about the drivers not realizing just how dangerous the snow can be to drive in. Some people just never learn though!

Thanks, lady, for coming by today!

Kyddryn said...

Heh...Mister Hermit, sir, I grew up in a place where the snow piled as high as! I love the stuff.

As Georgia is a day or three behind you for weather, we're expecting a mix of rain and snow for tomorrow (Saturday). I view it as a photo opportunity.

Meanwhile, because people here are thrown into a tizzy over even a single flake of the white stuff, I'll be making soup, working on ornaments, addressing holiday cards, and generally staying home and letting the idiots remove themselves from the gene pool.

Shade and Sweetwater,

JoJo said...

Good Morning My Special One, I'm with you I don't like the snow either. Yes its pretty to look at as long as I don't have to go out in it. We had a freeze last night but I am glad I was back in my house nice and warm. Propane was just about in the MH and I sure didn't want to go pulling out just to buy some. So lets just gather at the kitchen table, I will bring the fresh ground coffee and I hope I can get you to mix up a batch of something for the oven.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are prepared. Not haveing to go out in snow is good. Hope it don't last. We are in the rain that came from you.(texas)

See ya

HermitJim said...

Hey K...
I think that staying at home is a real good idea! Never know what the crazy driver next to you i going to do!

Letting folks take themselves out of the gene pool is good as well!

Thanks so much for coming by toay!

Hey JoJo...
Glad you got back into the house before you went totally empty in he MH. Looks like they finished just in time!

Gathering at the table is always good! Freshly baked gingerbread is on the menu today! How's that?

Sweetie, thanks for coming by today!

Hey Tony...
Sort of makes it all worth while, doesn't it? Of course, I'll need to restock when the weather gets right, but that's OK. Rather do that than have to go outside to the store during an ice storm!

Thanks for coming by, buddy! And sorry about sending you the rain!

Angela said...

Well, you've officially had more snow this season than we have in my spot of Utah. :( I need some. I'm used to having snow in winter. It's not quite feeling Christmasy without it. Could you just pack some up and ship it over? :)

HermitJim said...

Hey Angela...
You can have any snow that's left after today, believe me! Actually, most of the stuff melted last night and the rest went away this morning!

Nothing left now but mud and melting ice and mud and puddles and...did I mention mud?

I've had enough snow for a while, thank you very much!

Thanks for coming by today!

Anonymous said...

You are right. Now we have mud. But the kids sure did enjoy yesterday afternoon.

HermitJim said...

Hey Kris...
Yeah, the kids on my street seemed to be enjoying it a lot as well! I don't think I've seen such a collection of sad looking snowmen in all my life! But putting them together was an act of love for the that's what counts!

Anonymous said...

It was cold last night in RGV as well, but no snow. Some sub freezing for a couple of hours and that was all. Stay warm - was sure cold in the house last night, as we very rarely use the heater - 59 degrees inside at 11 a.m.! Cats looked pretty grumpy, but they are fine.

HermitJim said...

Hey Anon 1:23...
I know what you mean about the cats! My two Roomies were torn between wanting to go outside...and staying warm! They would go outside for a bit, then scramble to get back in! One ended up staying out most of the night, but was very happy this morning to come in for a nap!

Must be hard being a tomcat!

Thanks for coming by today...

Gwen said...

Hi, HJ! I like snow for a day or two. But I've never had to live with it for an entire season and probably never will if it's left up to me. I remember when we were still in Houston, living on Briar Forest, it snowed on Christmas Eve. There were a couple of wrecks on our street. I didn't get to enjoy the snow that day because I was running errands all day. Yuck! Anyway, I hope you're staying warm over there.

HermitJim said...

Hey Ginger...
I know what you mean, my friend. One or two days is bad enough, but more days than that is not any fun for me!

I am staying warm, and I hope you are staying snug in the RV as well!

Hey, I sure do thank you for coming by today! Always a pleasure to see you!

DianeLynn said...

As an adult and living is so many different climates, my attitude has changed about many types of weather I have had to experience. LOL I find myself wanting the "perfect" weather that is just right for me these days.
Dry roads, sunshine, no mud, the right temperature and no flies nor mosquitoes. "laughing"

Anonymous said...

Being in the south , I understand the disability that the south is succomed by when it snows. However I alos have lived half my life in the frozen north and If I had to deal with it I can. The problem is everyone else, There is no way to stop someone else from ramming into you while you are blocked in by other cars, Or going through stop lights. I used to haul snow out of the City of Anchorage in a Dumptruck, Angela its a wayz off , but I know a guy who for the right price will bring to you...LOL ( $1 million bucks probably)

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

Well, I guess we're all blessed with the white stuff Jim. It sure seems alot of different places are getting unusual weather lately.

HermitJim said...

Hey Diane...
Now that sounds like a weather I can easily live with! If you find such a place, be sure and let me know, alright?

You would have a neighbor for sure!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey OGT...
You hit the nail on the head with the fact that the other drivers are the biggest problem! That is what makes it dangerous!

Hey, thanks for coming over!

HermitJim said...

Hey hermit...
You're right about the fact that many, many places are having some unusual weather this year! Just part of the infamous "climate change" thing!

Buddy, I sure do appreciate you dropping by today!