The Blizzard of 2013Posted: February 21, 2013
It snowed in Phoenix! This once in a decade occurrence is usually met with lots of news coverage and yesterday was no exception. I had gone to our bedroom to get a sweater since the high temperature of the day, 54, had come and gone and the house was rapidly cooling. Mom had her living room space heater on, but the rest of the house remains chilly because Bill refuses to turn on the furnace. “It’s a dry heat,” he explains, as though that’s the solution to adapting to any weather conditions here, whether it’s the evening chill of winter or the triple-digits of summer.
As I came down the hall I could hear the drone of the 4 o’clock news on the living room TV so I wasn’t too surprised when Mom called to me on my way through the kitchen. “Patty, come here, you have to see this!” she yelled.
I glanced at the TV as I walked into the room and saw an aerial view of the Salt River Fields in Scottsdale covered with a blanket of white. “Looks like they got a little snow, doesn’t it?” I commented.
“I remember it snowed a couple of years after I moved her,” she mused.
“I guess a lot of it is Graupel,” I said, “but it sure looks pretty.”
“Well I’d be grappling with it too. No one even owns a snow shovel or a window scrapper,” she commented.
“No, Mom, Graupel. It means soft hail or snow pellets.”
“Well I never heard of that before,” she humphed. “Why don’t they just say soft hail instead of making up words?”
“It isn’t made up, it’s German,” I said, walking towards the Arizona Room.
“Well this isn’t Germany,” she replied. “They should just call it soft snow or wet hail or something simple instead of using foreign words that nobody understands.”
“Like calling a dust storm a Haboob?” I asked.
“Yes, exactly. Every time they say Haboob I think of some stupid man. You know, like he’s ‘a boob.’ Just call it a dust storm. Or soft hail,” she finished. “That’s what I’d do.”