Wow, the south really are a bunch of pansies

Intriguing map of counties in the U.S. that indicates how much snow must fall before schools close:

Map of What Schools Close Depending on Snow Amount
See all that green? That’s for “any amount of snow.”

As in, if one special snowflake hits the ground, the world simply stops turning down there.

The dark blue is for 24 inches.  Yes, literally 2 feet of snow has to blanket the earth before they even think about canceling school.  Funny stuff, but I actually find this map quite instructive.  I love mountains, and I love a modest amount of snow (emphasis, MODEST) so I wouldn’t want to live in a state where it didn’t at least snow a few times a year on average.  That’s why I’m noting with interest that small sliver of light blue along the Tennessee/North Carolina borders where the Smokies are located, and gradually deepening in blue as you move up to West Virginia.  This was one of the few places east of the Mississippi that I thought about moving to, and it marks one of the rare areas of the South (or Mid-Atlantic) where I wouldn’t find myself cursing the humidity and the heat 12 months out of the year.

Due west there is of course Colorado, and I’m pleased to see some of my favorite travel destinations in that state have lighter shades of blue.  Montana though, lolz.  Arizona however turned out to be a surprise for me.  I had always written off the entire state as an arid, intolerably hot desert climate but as it turns out, from the central region where Flagstaff is located and going due north, it actually has a much more temperate climate, with sometimes significant amounts of snow during the winter.  I traveled Route 66 going east in Arizona last October, and I was amazed to see how the landscape morphed from brown and dead to a green and lively forest region as I approached the town of Williams.  For that reason I added Arizona to my list of potentials (my current tally is 13 possible states).

I’m not actually moving by the way, this is just stuff I like to think about as I await the day when I can finally leave New York for all time, forever and ever, amen and amen.

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15 Responses to Wow, the south really are a bunch of pansies

    • Frank Swift January 30, 2014 at 10:34 AM #

      It has to be westernmost North Carolina, which contains the Blue Ridge Mountains (and parts of the Smokies I think), making it one of the most superlative mountainous spots you can find east of the Mississippi.

  1. Maeve January 30, 2014 at 11:00 AM #

    Yes we is very fragile pansies. We shuts down everything at the mere hint of winter precipitation. That’s how we rolls. (this from the woman who grew up in Finland – where the snow doesn’t finish melting until sometime in April LOL)

    • Frank January 30, 2014 at 11:47 AM #

      Yeah, there’s snow and then there’s Finland-North Poley kinda snow, which I’m like, nah, I don’t want THAT much.

  2. Christopher Govina January 30, 2014 at 1:25 PM #

    12 Inches in Massachusetts, must be an old map. Massachusetts seems to be in the green area now from recent behavior. Lot of cancellations with barely 2 inches.

    • Frank January 30, 2014 at 2:19 PM #

      Could be the arctic, nearly subzero temps that’s evoking that change. I don’t remember what area it was but I recall they closed the schools not because of snow but because it was too COLD.

  3. 8to12 January 30, 2014 at 2:11 PM #

    The answer is simple. Snow in the south is a once (maybe twice) a year event. It’s not worth the money for the local government to buy equipment to clear the roads.

    A few years ago, I visited in-laws in northern KY. A snowstorm hit and blanketed the area. I was worried we’d be stuck for days. They said “don’t worry, the road will be cleared soon.” And sure enough, within the hour a plow had cleared the road (this was a very rural area of KY, btw). Even a life long southerner like me had no problem driving on the road after that.

    I live in an area of the south that has seen mass migration from the north. Guess who got stuck in the recent snow storm? The northern transplants. All complaining about how the government didn’t do anything to clear the snow from the road.

    • Frank January 30, 2014 at 2:17 PM #

      Yeah an area rich with transplants is probably not where I’d want to be. I leave the north to get AWAY from them, otherwise what’s the point, lol.

      Funny thing, on reading about North Carolina there’s a demographic known less than affectionately as halfbacks, those who originally migrated to Florida from the north, only to flee the state and travel halfway upward, settling in the mid-Atlantic region.

      I can’t stand these people. Then again I’m one of them so that means I can’t stand myself either.

  4. Emily Frugalsworth January 30, 2014 at 5:32 PM #

    My friend, a fellow Chicagoan, lives in Atlanta with her husband and it took her six hours to drive six miles from work to home because of the black ice that was untreated. The problem with snow and ice in the Southeastern part of the US is that there just aren’t enough salt trucks or other services to help deal with road conditions, so when schools and businesses are closed, it isn’t because people are simply being pansies. When I lived in rural Tennessee, there were many people who wouldn’t have been able to make it out of their property because some of them live up a hill or down a hill (they call it a “hollow”). Safety first.

    • Frank Swift January 30, 2014 at 8:46 PM #

      I could understand that, but “any amount of snow” sounds like one snowflake is all it takes. I wonder if I could shut down the south all by my lonesome, considering that I too, am a special snowflake.

  5. a January 30, 2014 at 7:31 PM #

    ¡No se de qué habla, señor!
    ¿Qué es esta “snow” cosa, de que ustedes están platicando?

    ¡Pero, I think I saw something like that in Colorado once, Holmes!

    • Frank Swift January 30, 2014 at 8:45 PM #

      Everybody’s a comedian…

    • Frank Swift January 31, 2014 at 11:30 AM #

      Here’s how you deal with all that snow:

      Kill it with fire!

  6. Bee June 6, 2014 at 8:19 PM #

    Hey, you get the snow, we get the ridiculously hot summers/springs, the ones with 105-110 or more degrees nearly everyday, and heavy droughts from lack of rain. So yes, everything shuts down when it snows, but considering that’s about an every two years occurrence, it’s just not economical for cities to keep proper equipment for clearing streets and such.

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