Posted by: Author | January 31, 2014

Friday Fact- January 31, 2014- Ice in the South

This Friday Fact is for the world at large to know why an ice and snow storm shuts down the south. We are in a tropical zone and therefore we don’t have the equipment readily available to clear roads from ice and snow. I have lived in the Florida panhandle for many, many years and we may have ice storms once every three to four years. Snow much less often. To keep snow plows and those type vehicles here and ready to roll is not economic in the least. Our normal temps for January through the beginning of March are 60s in the daytime and maybe, just maybe, 40s in the nights. We do sometimes get 20s and 30s but since we are also the “sunshine” state, these low temps aren’t accompanied by precipitation and it would be ludicrous for us to spend the funds to have these items as well as for salaries for workers who know how to run them and keep them in good condition.

Our county government called for shut-downs early before this storm hit as they knew that we have no equipment for keeping roads clear nor for buses to run in sleet and ice. Kids needed to be off those buses and workers needed to be off the interstate. In fact, it took til close to noon on Thursday before I-10 was open here in Pensacola to give the sun time to melt the ice.

Birmingham (where I lived in law school) has way more ice and snow days than us and so does Atlanta. I was surprised that those cities didn’t close schools this week sooner than they did. It was always going to be a bad storm and they had plenty of notice about it.

For the folks in the north to make fun of us for shutting down our city over 2 inches of snow, I say, poo on you. Try having your snow without proper equipment and see how it affects you. AND remember, when we have heat waves down here, people survive. Our death toll from heat waves is low because we have the equipment to handle the tropics.

It’s all a matter of perspective.


  1. Believe it or not, we here in the Pacific Northwest, at least in the more urban areas, don’t get much snow that we have to drive in. So, yeah, it kind of shuts us down, too. So I feel your pain.

    • It wasn’t so bad being shut down but I sure got tired of the people in the north laughing at us. Really? How awful some of the comments were about people having to sleep in their cars up in Birmingham and Atlanta. It was dangerous and had to be brutally cold. People are so mean to say the things they did about the motorists being stuck being their own fault.

  2. We didn’t laugh. We understand. Besides, we were distracted by our own drama, aka Amanda Knox.

    • Yeah. That Amanda Knox thing is something, isn’t it? I’ve been following that since the beginning.

      • Crazy back and forth, that’s for sure.

      • Yep.


  3. It usually surprises everyone to know that 3″ of snow shuts down almost the entire U.S. government in Washington, DC, but ice often accompanies any storm of that volume there.There are too many roads to clear and since there are people from all over the world and all over the country who have never dealt with ice and snow,it is not a pretty sight on the roads.I commend your local people for making a good call.

    • It was a good call for our government.

  4. Our temps are moderate so snow and heat can pretty much take a toll. Like a big percentage of homes don’t have A/C here. I’m glad you are all safe Jillian.

    • Thanks Lavada. We are safe and good. Moderate temps are good.


  5. Enjoyed your post. Our weather has been amazing of late– from 20s a couple of days ago and zooming up to current balminess. Can you imagine storing and maintaining huge equipment to handle snow that comes less frequently than a blue moon?

    • I can’t even fathom it, Flossie. We’ve had the same crazy cycle here. Teens one day and high sixties the next. It was 69 here in Feb 1.


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