It’s just over a month into 2016 and Mother Nature has already blessed us with a blizzard. Fortunately Chattanooga didn’t get hit too badly in the last round, but my friends and family in other states got hit with over three feet of the white stuff.
Winter stinks. It’s just not a fun three months. It’s cold, gray, dreary and colorless. And then there’s snow and icky winter weather. As soon as the s-word is mentioned on TV, my mind goes into overdrive. Not to mention the weather forecasts change every day, if not every hour; snow accumulation ranges aren’t always descriptive or accurate enough.
So my area is supposed to get six to ten inches of snow. What does six inches of snow look like? How do I prepare? How long can I expect to stay inside?
What does that even mean? #SouthernProblems
I’m often reluctant to admit that I lived above the Mason-Dixon Line for a while, but that time does come in handy in the winter. I hate winter and snow, but I know how to deal with it.
If anyone hates winter more than I do, it’s my mother. Inspired by my sweet mother’s snow-fueled sass, here’s a more accurate and more descriptive snow accumulation scale.
The Only Snow Accumulation Scale You Ever Need
0 – 6 inches: No worries. You can shovel your way out easily, and it’ll probably all melt by the end of the day, if not before. You may not even need to shovel anything (but buy a shovel just in case). Oooh and ahhh at it while it’s around.
6 – 12 inches: Girl Scout mode. Be prepared, but it’s not the end of the world. The shelves won’t quite be empty this time. Maybe go out and play in the snow. Build a snowman. Get some cookies, too, because, you know, Girl Scout mode and all.
12 – 18 inches: Grocery store, Target and Chick-fil-a run. Make those runs as early as possible. Shelves will empty faster this time. Make sure you have bread, eggs, milk, your favorite food (preferably non-perishable), batteries, blankets, etc., and charge all of your electronic devices. Portable chargers/battery packs are also magical, if you can get your hands on one. Maybe grab an extra Chick-fil-a sandwich or two, just in case. What if you don’t get out until a Sunday and then you have to wait a whole other day?
Yes, these are things I think about.
18 – 24 inches: Hunker down. It might be a while before you can get out. Accept that cabin fever will set in eventually. Be prepared for that, too. I’m a fan of board games and coloring books.
24 – 30 inches: Hope and pray that maybe the weatherman missed it and it won’t be so bad. They’re wrong sometimes, you know. That’s a lot of snow.
36+ inches: Just pray. Pray and wonder how unfair it is that people can get paid six figures for being wrong, one way or another. Accept that you won’t be going anywhere for several days. You’re way beyond Girl Scout mode now. It’s Eskimo time.
Once you’ve assessed the appropriate accumulation, you can prepare and plan accordingly. Oh, and when you’re digging out, remember your snow etiquette, especially if you live in an apartment complex. Don’t dump your snow on your neighbor’s car. That’s just rude.
Now, if only the meteorologists on TV could get behind this more accurate snow scale, then winter might be more bearable. Until then, I’ll be sitting on my couch, wrapped in my heated blanket, drinking hot chocolate and waiting for winter to go away.
I really hope that groundhog was right. I can’t take six more weeks of this.
What’s your favorite way to pass the time when it snows?
A version of this post also appears on PrettySouthern.com.