Every year, about this time, the local weatherman informs residents of northwest Georgia that there is a probability of snow in the forecast. While our geography gives citizens the benefit of enjoying all four seasons, a light winter snow can be more than southerners can handle, which makes for fun times as we prepare for another Winter in the South.
The mountainous region of North Georgia is included in the current Winter Storm Watch, courtesy of a strong arctic front, and the next 24 hours will see a rush on neighborhood groceries stores as milk suddenly becomes a cold-weather necessity and residents load up on carbs by purchasing every loaf of bread on the shelf.
While the bitterly cold temperatures could linger until Wednesday with the snow expected on Tuesday morning, there are some useful things you can keep in mind with foul weather pushing into the south.
Preparing for Snow in the South:
- Expect the likelihood of school delays or cancellations for Tuesday. With the frigid temperatures lingering throughout the day and all through the night, keep in mind that there may be weather delays possible on Wednesday as well. I am not saying school is cancelled at this point, however, it would be a good idea to prepare for the possibility.
- Prepare for Travel Delays. Two inches of snow are expected in some areas. While mid-west and northern states factor snow into their economic budgets and are equipped with adequate resources for handling snow, here in the south, we don’t have that luxury. This means that rural counties are only capable of clearing and maintaining roadways at a slower pace. This will make for difficult travel conditions and should be factored into travel time.
- Experience and common sense aren’t so common. Most people in the south have little experience driving on snow and black ice. The results of that become painfully obvious as accidents pile up and the roads become extremely hazardous. If you don’t HAVE to drive somewhere…. Don’t!
Pro-tips for driving Earnhardt style:
For those that must venture out during inclement weather, its a good idea to brush up on some foul weather driving tips.
- On most highways, attempt to follow in the visible tire tracks in front of you.
- Avoid accelerating or decelerating drastically. Your mantra for the drive… “easy does it.”
- Driving experts say “pretend like you are driving on ice” and operate your vehicle as if the highway is the most dangerous environment on the planet. (it is)
- Always, always, always, KEEP RIGHT. Do not impede the flow of traffic.
Snow Cream Delight
At the first forecast of a single flake, the south requires a bread and milk shopping trip. Add some sugar, vanilla, and sprinkles to the buggy for Snow Cream. A winter delicacy you can make right at home.
Recipe: When it begins to snow, place a large, clean bowl outside to collect the flakes. When full, stir in sugar and vanilla to taste, then stir in just enough milk for the desired consistency. Serve at once, because it melts really fast.
Staying Dry means Staying Warm
The best snow moments are when everyone is dry and warm. For young children who haven’t had much time playing in the snow, they will likely want to head straight out and dive in hands first. To help the little ones, and adults, get the most fun from the winter experience, try to keep in mind that snow… is just really cold rain. It is VERY WET. The quickest way to get cold and miserable is to get wet. So prepare now by gathering warm, waterproof clothes. Most second-hand and discount stores are well-stocked with winter gear that kids have outgrown so check with Goodwill, Attic Treasures, Factory Connections, Bargain Hunt and other consignment shops. Gather waterproof boots, pants and gloves and base-layer thermals to keep warm and dry.
Chapped lips and dry skin can be painfully common if you spend any length of time outdoors in the cold so be prepared with Burt’s Beeswax, chapstick, lotion and even sun block for those rosy cheeks.
Capture the Moments to make Great Memories
Winter pictures are beloved here in the south because snow fall is so sporadic and infrequent. Be ready to capture your children, pets and home in all their snowbound glory. Lighting is key so don’t be afraid to head out early.
Winter happens every year but snow is never completely predictable. When snow is “in the air,” take a little time to prepare, take a little extra focus on the roads, and stay dry and warm to make this winter snow something to look forward to, instead of something to fear!
“To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.”