Monday, December 13, 2010

Too Cold To Snow

It's been a blustery, frigid Monday this side of Flint Ridge. We went to bed Sunday night with about an inch of snow on the ground, and woke up this morning to a blanket of the white stuff. Not too much really, but enough to make the roads messy, close school, and give Tim the rare snow day. Really, I was surprised. There wasn't enough to amount to anything, but our cold, cold temperatures had the roads a slick, icy mess. By the time I made it out for pictures though, the sun had burned a bit of it off.

I'd phoned my dad last night to give him the snow totals for Sunday (he keeps a weather station with records), and asked if he thought we were going to get much more.  He said, "I don't reckon. It's too cold to snow." Too cold to snow?!? I'd heard this a thousand times before, but had never given it a second thought.  Here recently, though, I've taken kindly to learning more about "mountain speak" (more popularly known as "Appalachian English" or "Hillbilly Talk").

It's a dying language, Mountain Speak.  The thick dialect thins more with every new generation. But I grew up with people speaking this way, and to me, it's natural. One of the most prominent features are the old adages. "Cold as all get out." "Colder than a well digger's a**." "Rainin' cats an dogs." "The cows are layin' down, gonna snow." Hence my familiarity and new curiosity concerning "too cold to snow."

So, I looked it up. Is it ever really "too cold to snow?" Apparently there have been recorded snows at -40 degrees F. So, I'd say no. It just so happens that the colder it is, the less likely it is to snow - due to moisture retention in the clouds not temperature. So, our old timers weren't completely wrong!

  With temperatures here topping out at 27 degrees F today, I can happily report that it's still flurrying a little here and there. So, even though 27's cold - it's not too cold to snow. And it's not too cold to play either (provided you bundle up!).