Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rare snow covers south Louisiana, Miss.

From the AP via the Houston Chronicle:

NEW ORLEANS — A rare snowfall blanketed south Louisiana and parts of Mississippi Thursday, closing schools, government offices and bridges, triggering crashes on major highways and leaving thousands of people without power.

Up to 8 inches of snow was reported in parts of Louisiana. Snow also covered a broad swath of Mississippi, including the Jackson area, and closed schools in more than a dozen districts.

A heavy band of snow coated windshields and grassy areas in New Orleans, where about an inch accumulated. A peak of 8 inches was reported in Amite, about 75 miles northwest of New Orleans, said meteorologist Danielle Manning of the National Weather Service in Slidell.

Office workers stepped out of high-rises to catch a snowflake, snap pictures with cell-phone cameras and swap snow stories.

At a park in New Orleans' Uptown neighborhood, Sara Echaniz, 41, took photos and dodged snowballs thrown by her son, 3-year-old Sam. "He didn't believe it was snow until it started sticking to the ground," said Ecahniz, a native of Rochester, N.Y., who was pregnant with the child the last time it snowed in New Orleans, in December 2004.

More here.

Steamy New Orleans, indeed.

Back in February of 1991, I was in Chicago with some University of Texas theater classmates auditioning for graduate schools. As you may know from reading Real Art, I would have to wait until 2004 before I actually got into a graduate acting program, but I did get a little something out that trip to Chi-Town: it snowed while I was there. We were walking around the vast urban setting in the early evening and snow started falling. I danced around and exclaimed, "Wow, it's snowing!" My comrades were both originally from Northern states, so they were a bit jaded on frozen precipitation; "you're crazy," they said, "snow sucks." Well okay, I imagine it does if you have to deal with it for months at a time, but I'm from Houston, where snow is regarded as one of nature's weird miracles. And New Orleans and my hometown share essentially the same climate. That is, snow is one of nature's weird miracles here, too.

Here's the winter wonderland I saw out the window when I got up. Actually, it's a daycare center, but, you know, today it was a winter wonderland.

Really, this is pretty amazing. I took these shots in the early afternoon; we never dropped below freezing, but somehow we got some lasting accumulation. I mean, okay, it was gone by three or so, but still, it's one of nature's weird miracles. Did you see the little melting snowman the kids built at the door?