If you are new to Austin, you might not be familiar with our winter ways. Never fear, because I am here to help. When the local forecast calls for snow, that means there’s a 97% chance it won’t snow. Regardless, I would encourage you to prepare for a natural disaster, because at a certain point, whether or not it snows becomes irrelevant. The National Weather Service has nudged the snow cornice, and it’s too late to stop the impending avalanche.
Here’s what you should expect in the coming days:
- Children will stay up all night looking out their windows for signs of snow.
- Adults will stay up all night looking at their weather apps for signs of snow.
- Parents and children alike will study the local news stations with fingers crossed, waiting to hear if school will be cancelled. It should be noted that parents’ fingers may be crossed for different reasons than those of their children.
- Local meteorologists across all networks will experience a phenomenon known as a “snowgasm.” If the weather makes national news, prepare for multiple snowgasms.
- All the grocery stores will run out of everything. If you choose to stock up on supplies for the 3% chance of waking up with a thin layer of frost on your windshield, I recommend wearing protective gear. It can get pretty ugly in the toilet paper aisle.
- If it rains but does not freeze, people will pretend the rain is sleet and drive accordingly.*
- Plan on recording all your favorite TV shows, as they will be preempted by local news stations showing off their latest ice graphics.
- In the unlikely chance it snows, you will want to dust off all your winter gear, including (but not limited to) coats, boots, moisture-wicking long underwear, neck gators, face masks, snowshoes, snow blowers, St. Bernards and plastic trays (for sliding down Murchison hill).
- If you hail from the south, be sure to investigate the brick-lined hole in the wall where you store your scented candles and National Geographic magazines. There’s a strong possibility this is a fireplace. I highly recommend searching online for instructions on how to use it, because anyone from Austin who claims to know how to work one of those things is a liar. (I’m pretty sure there’s something called a flue that you’re supposed to close up tight to keep all the warmth in, but you should probably call your cousins in New Jersey just to be safe.)
- Make a giant batch of chili (with beans).**
So if you find yourself confused about what to do to prepare for the upcoming disappointment we locals call a “snow day,” feel free to contact me at any hour. I’m sure to be awake, waiting for snow.
*Sometimes the only way to tell if the terrible drivers around you are responding to rain, snow, ice, pollen, pet dander or asphalt under their tires is to check out the facial expressions of the children in the back seat.
**It has been brought to my attention that Texans do not believe in putting beans in chili. Before things get ugly, let me clarify. I meant to suggest that beans would induce tooting, which would warm both you and your loved ones. In retrospect, it was offensive of me to suggest such a crude act. Mixing chili and beans is blasphemous in these parts. Separation of church and state might not be important to Texans, but goddamnit, don’t you go putting beans near my chili. Oh, and farting on your loved ones isn’t nice—it’s hilarious.