Wednesday, December 7

The 10:00 Back Down

Greetings. The title of this post comes from a theory that I've heard on the radio from time to time. It has to do with severe weather, in the snow and sleet category. It says that, weathermen on TV (and possibly on radio as well), when a winter storm is approaching the Dallas area, will overstate the obvious and claim that we might get several inches of snow. But then the night before, they will "back down" from the prediction, and lower it to as little as half or a quarter inch of snow or sleet, or none at all. Case in point, I remember 10 years ago, I was going on a ski trip with my church college group. Before I left for the trip, the weathermen were predicting 4 inches of snow. 5 days later, when we were on our way back, I heard a similar prediction, but this time, the weatherman said it would only be half an inch, if that much.

Since the Dallas area doesn't get lots of snow/sleet to begin with, at least not compared with parts of the central or northern U.S., or even far north or west Texas, people tend to freak out when snow and/or sleet, or even freezing rain, is predicted. And even more when it begins to fall. In short, the entire Dallas and Fort Worth metroplex shuts down.

I bring all this up because today, we're under a winter storm warning. Now, I don't expect too much of The 10:00 Back Down to happen, since it appears to be true, and we very well might get some acumulation on the ground. However, this also depends on where you are. If you live north of the DFW area, then you're more likely to get snow and sleet acumulation, verses living in the southern portion of the area where you will likely get freezing rain or sleet that will freeze and could become real icy on the roads.

Keep in mind that we are talking about Dallas, Texas; the place where it can be snowing one day and in the forties the next. So its not like its going to sleet or snow, and we're going to be shut down any longer than one or two days. Not to mention the fact that these winter storms have tended to only happen once every 4 or 5 years. Granted, they are becoming more common in recent years, happening once a year, but we're still only talking about Dallas. When I went to school in Denton, at the University of North Texas, we got snow and slush more times than Dallas did, since Denton is about an hour north of the DFW area. As I say though, even in Denton, the snow was gone whenever it got above 35 degrees.

So here we are, in the midst of another winter storm; the Metroplex is shutting down and people are being encouraged to stay inside if they don't have to get out. There may be those that will say, "But, even though Dallas doesn't get snow all the time, it can get real bad there." And, I would agree. There are some years when the winter storm has created layers and sheets of ice on the roads, the sidewalks, and other places. I remember once in Denton several years ago where it really iced over, and in fact in many parts of the Dallas area. From where I was in my dorm, the ice covered the metal steps on several of the outdoor uncovered dorm stairways. So, in those cases, it was highly recommended that you stay inside. Or, if you were adventurous, you get a box top and as some have said, "Hit the brakes and go for distance." I was not that adventurous, partly because I didn't have a box top, but mainly because I was too scared to attempt going down the icy stairs.

I guess we'll see what tonight and tomorrow hold for the area.

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