Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Welcome to Texas

Since I am a native Texan, I have a tendency to overlook peculiarities that we have. It has been interesting to see these characteristics through the eyes of my Italian husband. So, I thought I would share some with you as they pop into my mind. Just in case you ever visit or move to Texas. Please know that there will always be some regional differences (aren't there always?) and even though I have a North Texas perspective, I am going to generalize anyway. hehe Feel free to "correct" me.

Lesson #1: Weather - Extreme Sports, Weather Edition

"If you don't like the weather in Texas, just wait 10 minutes."

We have weird weather. Huge storms throughout the year, tornadoes, completely bi-polar temperatures, etc. Let me give you an example:

Today was a beautiful day. Blue, clear skies, mild temps in the 70sF (21.5C). I had my house open all day =) Tomorrow - high of 45F (7C). A high we will hit IN THE MORNING. afternoon temps - 35F (1.7C). Cold rain mixed with snow expected =) and this is the second time in a matter of 4 days that we've had this scenario. We actually had big fat snow Monday night. it didn't really stick at my house but I sure had fun watching it.

I will be honest - this is not the biggest temperature swing we've had. We can have a variation of 30+ degrees over a course of hours. (seriously) And usually in the winter we will have some wintry precipitation - mostly in the form of ice. Not this year though - except during this first week of March.

Not only do our temperatures change drastically in a short amount of time but we also get big thunderstorms. Always in spring, but also just randomly throughout the year - anytime our warm gulf air hits with something arctic. thunderstorms you say? beh - big deal. Yeah they are a big deal. The thunder is HUGE (rattling the windows), the lightening is fast & scary and usually you hear at least one circuit box have you ever seen a lightening storm? Just lightening, streaking across the sky - no rain, no clouds, just streaks of light crackling through the sky. Its beautiful and terrifying.

Now, along with the thunderstorms we get tornadoes. and hail. not ordinary hail - though we can have pea or quarter size hail, we also get baseball-softball size hail. I remember saving a piece in the freezer once, because S. did not believe me when I told him the size. It had shrunk a bit but he was a believer after he saw it with his own eyes. hehe

Tornadoes are something else. I remember doing tornado drills in elementary school in the spring. We'd all line up against the walls in the hallways. sitting cross-legged, bending over with our arms over our heads. Did any of you ever do that? lol teachers would open the windows in the classrooms and we'd all be waiting in the hall. I don't think kids do that anymore, though I need to check. I've always had a fear of tornadoes but it was just part of life.

My Italian on the other hand is not used to these extremes in weather. The 100+F (38C) temps in the summer kill him - when we bought a house, it had to have a pool because he refused to live another summer here without one. He does not like thunderstorms AT ALL and completely freaks when tornadoes are around. hehe

Weather and a good thunderstorm is something I will really miss when I move from here. I know my Italian will not miss it one bit. But to me it is exciting and wild, kind of an adrenaline rush seeing the power of Mother Nature. maybe its just part of my Texan blood? It's probably because we are a bit crazy. hehe

In conclusion - when in Texas, layers are a must (except in summer). keep an umbrella in the car. wherever you are staying, always scope out the best place to run in case of tornado. during a thunderstorm, enjoy the thunder but unplug your computer; take out the candles/matches & flashlights - JUST in case lightening hits something and the power goes out.

And remember... if you are having crappy weather - be patient. more than likely, it will change in a matter of hours.

More later...

::Update:: Well, it is 10:00am and we've already hit our high of 42F (5.5C). Yep, by 7:00am we were already headed into the 30's. WooHoo Here comes the snow!!


Cherrye said...

That was hilarious! I LOL! Soooo true, even in SE TX. Pep was visiting once and we had a thunderstorm like (he) had never seen. I called home and he was sincerely stressed.

Good post!

Kataroma said...

Rome can be pretty hot too though - but maybe your Italian is from a different part of the country. Here it's pretty much 40 degrees the whole summer :( Bleugh. And there's nowhere to go swimming (OK unless you count Ostia but I'd hardly call that a place to go swimming!)

I miss Sydney the most during the summer. I used to be a total water baby in the summer. :)

erin said...

i like that saying: If you don't like it, wait 10 min! It's sometimes was like that during the summer in florida b/c of the quick afternoon rains almost everyday...sunny, hot, cooler with the wind, rain, black clouds, then bright again in about 20 min.

Jennifer ASH said...

Ha! Been there, done that. I grew up in west Texas where you can see it coming. Now I am in south Texas and it is the same. Never know what to wear during this time of the year. :)

Allie said...

Just stumbled onto your sight and loved it! I'm in Dallas,'d you like the weather today? Snow, sleet, rain....take your pick and then it'll be 60 and sunny by the weekend....only in the great state of Texas!