One for the record books

More than 200,000 homes and businesses without power (my electricity was off most of the night but came back on this morning).  Over a foot of snow.  Limbs breaking at every turn.  Whole trees felled.  Roofs and carports collapsing.  Yep, it’s still winter.

A snowy scene (2010_02_12_049787)

Despite the threat of limbs falling on me (which made me stay in the open as much as possible), I enjoyed a leisurely walk at White Rock Lake this morning.  But I wasn’t early enough to beat the snowman builders.  There had to be six or eight of the plump icy guys scattered about the park.

A small footbridge covered with snow (2010_02_12_049801)

The sound of wood cracking and limbs plummeting filled the air.  It goes a long way in explaining the power outages.  I had to step over or under several large branches and one whole tree just to get to the lake (the whole tree squashed a few bird feeders when it fell but missed my neighbor’s home by inches).

A small stream running through a snowy landscape (2010_02_12_049825)

The temperature has already climbed above freezing.  Trees now have their own individual rain storms beneath their limbs.  Well, rain storms and falling clumps of snow.

Heavy snow covering the trees and the ground (2010_02_12_049779)

If I read correctly, this broke several records in the weather books.  I’m not one bit surprised by that.

The lake shore covered with snow (2010_02_12_049756)

It’s already disappearing, though.  After all, this is Texas.  Soon it’ll be nothing but a memory of the snow storm that ate Dallas.

An island in the lake covered with snow (2010_02_12_049736)

A beautiful memory, yes, but a memory nonetheless.

13 thoughts on “One for the record books”

    1. Thanks, TGIQ! And I’m betting you’re ahead of us now. We were above freezing most of yesterday and a respectable amount of the snow melted (though grassy areas are still solidly covered–for now).

  1. Really lovely photos! I especially like the snow on the stone bridge. I was surprised to read, the other day, that you get snow as often as you do.

    How much winter gear does a Texan keep in his closet? Down jacket? A wool toque? Insulated boots?

    1. Thank you, Jain! I do love that little footbridge. It’s part of the Celebration Tree Grove and it fits so beautifully into the environment. Seeing it covered with snow as the small stream trickled through ice beneath it was quite a joy.

      As for winter gear, people have to keep heavy coats, gloves, scarves and wool toques/earmuffs. Though we’re better known for our heat–we don’t blink at weeks above 100 in summer–we also have regular doses of everything else, including a share of cold weather in winter. We get more ice than snow (albeit this year we’ve had almost all snow). It rarely stays below freezing for more than a few days at a time (up to two weeks in the most extreme cases). But thanks to something called the McFarland Signature, arctic air in winter is something we expect.

      In truth, it’s one of the joys of living in Texas. Our geographic location gives us every kind of weather you can imagine: oppressive heat and humidity, cold with snow and ice, severe storms with tornadoes and grapefruit-size hail and flooding rain, sand storms, hurricanes, and the list goes on. For a weather geek like me, it’s like living in a candy store!

  2. You know, it’s funny, it’s easy for us northerners to look at those photos and scoff and say oh, that’s not that much snow. But we forget that our trees are used to getting that much snow on a regular basis, and your yours are not, so while ours have evolved to withstand the weight of half a foot of snow, yours may crack and break and cause power outages. I didn’t really think about that till you mention hearing all the branches breaking.

    Beautiful photos. I love the look of landscapes after a fresh snowfall.

    1. Thank you, Seabrooke! I agree: fresh snowfall creates a magical world. Then it becomes a slushy and downtrodden mess.

      And very good point about the trees: down here they’re just not built for this amount of snow (and neither are a lot of man-made structures as we found out). We usually get a few inches at a time, maybe even four or five inches, but more than that and it becomes problematic. Going over a foot in 24 hours really pushed us over the edge. I drove around the lake this morning and realized there’s one word to describe the impact on the trees: carnage.

  3. Hi Jason, it’s great to see WRL without getting in my car! Beautiful, as only a brilliant white blanket of snow can be. Luckily the trees around my home are young and flexible. I have a friend on the other side of town with mature Live Oaks, and lost a large branch.

    1. (I’m giggling that there’s a chance of snow flurries in tomorrow’s forecast.)

      Oh, Amber, it was truly stunning. You’re right: a fresh blanket of snow lays just right on everything.

      I saw most of the young trees did well, though not all (a few juveniles in the Celebration Tree Grove had some damage). It was startling this morning to drive around and see the wreckage. So much damage, so many limbs down–small and large alike, and a disturbing number of trees felled in whole. And the poor cottonwoods did the worst; then again, they get so brittle as they age and tower over the world. What a strange dichotomy that our “summer snow” producers should do so badly in winter snow…

  4. Beautiful! I really love the trees in the first one…just enough snow to be enchanting and beautiful but not enough to be engulfing (like the two 25″+ storms we had within 3 days of each other)!

    Thank you again for sharing these.

    1. Thank you, Marie-Ann! You’re too kind. It was enchanting and breathtaking even if it was disruptive and damaging (much more snow than we’re accustomed to getting at one time).

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