Arbitrary Flights of Fancy

A look inside my head

Conversations With Kids…Crazy Weather

My state is known for the unpredictability of its weather.  It is not uncommon to experience bits of all four seasons in a single day.

Yesterday was one of those days.

We have just survived the craziest January I can remember…repeated days of Antarctica-like temperatures, plummeting to -30° F, feet of snow, more snow days than I have experienced in my 25 years of teaching.  This has been coupled with a state-wide shortage of salt, so my driveway and street has been an ice rink for weeks.  I’ve been tempted to just go out and dump 50 cartons of Morton’s Iodized Sea Salt on my walks just to protect the poor mailman as he trudges up to my door every day.

But we survived, and we were beginning to thaw out.  Then yesterday hit.  Here was our day:  heavy snowfall (briefly) in the morning, followed by the rare and interesting phenomena of “thunder snow” (yes, thunder…in the snow…no rain…very weird), followed by a few hours of a sleet/slush/mush-like substance falling from the sky, followed by several hours of torrential rain.  Now, the temperature was a balmy 40° or so, so the 3 feet of snow covering the ground began to melt…and melt…and melt.  And seep into everyone’s roofs, walls, and basements.

Then it all froze up again.


We were watching this cornucopia of weather play out in my classroom.  The blinds were slightly open, but my back was to the window, when the blizzard began.  My kids, of course, cannot possibly concentrate on reading and math when weather is occurring somewhere in the world.

“It’s snowing, Mrs. Smith!!  It’s snowing really hard!!”  Then the thunder started.  Now, the weatherman had originally predicted 12 hours of straight rain.  And I wasn’t looking out the window.  So I said, “No, it’s supposed to be raining all day.”  That’s when I saw a complete whiteout blizzard outside my window.  With thunder!  It was so weird.  This fascinated my kids for many, many minutes.  Of course, the kids thought the world was about to end…would we be trapped in the school under feet of snow?…would we be flooded?…Why was it thundering????  Why, oh why, didn’t I get a meteorological degree instead of a teaching degree?  Then I would know the answers to these mysteries.

At some point during the class, the snow gave way to the mysterious sleet/mush/combo form of precipitation.  As we left our classroom and walked down the hall, we all had to gather by a window and speculate about what this actually was.  Did it have a name?  No one knew.

Then one of my more astute students looked at me very thoughtfully.  “Mrs. Smith,” he said.  “I think it’s raining Slurpees.”

I think he was right 🙂


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This entry was posted on February 22, 2014 by in Education, Teaching, weather and tagged , , , , , , , , .


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