Texas doesn’t have a standard Winter. We have a bipolar season of sorts that tries its damnedest to complicate all our lives in creative and sadistic ways.
Winter in Texas can be awful because of its changeable ferocity. It’s like a temperamental cat, one minute cuddling up in your lap and the next biting your hand and clawing your face off.
For the most part, it gets kinda cold-ish, and then for the remainder it’s either bewilderingly hot or bitingly cold, with some rain and ice thrown in just for fun.
The love-hate relationship we have with winter in Texas is in direct response to winter’s love-hate relationship with Texas. So here’s a list that explains the perils of winter in Texas, and our complicated feelings for it.
It actually kind of looks like Fall.
Fall in Texas is kind of a misnomer, because the leaves all stay on the trees, still green, until December. So when Winter comes, Texas trees finally realize the seasons have changed and drop their leaves.
We get excited and do seemingly unreasonable things.
Hey, 56 degrees is really cold to people who spend most of the year above 80. Plus I only get to wear this coat once every three years.
The trees try to kill off humanity with their pollen.
If you’re not from Texas, you may not realize that trees emit pollen just like flowers and other plants. But they do. In the Hill Country, the Cedar trees belch out what looks like a yellowish green smoke. Woe betide anyone who encounters this deadly smoke, because it will turn you into a walking sneeze.
Believe it or not, it does get really freaking cold sometimes.
They put coats on the Palm Trees!!! Brrrrrrr it’s 27 in Tyler, Texas!! #coldintexas #palmtrees A photo posted by Kathryn Rice Hughes (@gypsyhousewife68) on
Don’t assume that just because Texas doesn’t get snow that that means it’s not cold. Oh no, it gets bone-cracklingly cold from time to time, we just don’t usually get any fun and fluffy precipitation falling from the sky. We do, however, sometimes put coats on our palm trees.
…Then there are the days when it’s really freaking hot.
A photo posted by Dennis Zickefoose III (@thisgingerlife) on
We may approach temperatures nearing the surface of the sun in Summer, but at least we know they’re coming. But sometimes they show up in Winter unscheduled, just to throw us off.
And then it’s really freaking cold again.
Oh sure, it’s been in the 80’s all week, I don’t need a coat, right? Wrong. Welcome to Winter in Texas.
We don’t get snow, we get frost or ice.
Snowed? #snowintexas #winterintexas A photo posted by Chinpei Tang (@chinpeitang) on
Nope, sorry buddy, that’s not snow, it’s frost. That just means it got cold enough that the dew froze. When we do get actual precipitation, it’s of the wet variety. Inevitably the fallen rain freezes, creating a super fun slippery substance that is excellent for causing car wrecks and broken ankles.
When it does get cold, the weather is always hyped to the extreme.
And we get concerned texts from people out of state who are pretty sure, based on news reports, that we must be dying.
As much as we hate the cold, we actually want snow.
That stuff Northerners spend hours shoveling from their driveway? Yeah, that sounds like fun to us. No, seriously.
But when we get it, we don’t know what to do with it.
Once in a blue moon we actually get snow and then we loose our blessed minds. What do we do about this white substance falling from the sky? Is it good? Is it bad? Can we eat it? Should we shoot it? The one consensus we seem to be able to come to is that we should definitely shut everything down and go outside to play in it.
Sometimes we do weird things.
A photo posted by Taylor Newton (@taylor_newton) on
When you get warm days intermingled with cold days, it’s hard not to take advantage of it. Besides, who wouldn’t want go wake boarding on Christmas day in snowflake jammies?
You can still get a sunburn.
Training for a triathlon is hard work, no wet suit needed today #winterintexas #latergram #snorkleclub 🌞🏊🏽 A photo posted by Jo Ann Santangelo (@joannsantangelo) on
Remember that Summer weather that just shows up without calling first? Yeah, it’s not weird to go to the pool in December in Texas, just don’t forget the SPF.
We get jealous of the winter storms in other states.
A photo posted by Amanda Arning (@manda_panda_252) on
Oh come on Winter Storm Jonas! The Northeast gets snow all the time! Share the wintery wealth!
…and sometimes we don’t.
Because pool-sitting in Winter is pretty awesome.
Car wrecks go up exponentially.
https://twitter.com/ArtAcevedo/status/428183616019898369 When the roads get icy half of us think the other half are going too slow, so we zoom around them, and then the slow drivers slow down even more to overcompensate for the fast drivers, and then the roads are filled with people going either 10 or 80, which makes the freeways like a giant pinball machine.
The whole state becomes a mud puddle.
https://twitter.com/JanaDeLeon/status/686599736564948993 Limited sunshine + extra rain + cold temperatures = dead vegetation and lots of mud.
The weather gets downright dangerous at times.
https://twitter.com/HollywoodHardy_/status/685843209625325568 You’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.
Birds. Birds Everywhere.
Texas is apparently an international hub for bird migration. In the winter in Texas, we get inordinate flocks large enough to blot out the sun. Don’t bother washing your car, it’s either going to get covered in mud or bird poo.
When it’s not cold, we brag about it.
We hate the cold, but our cold Winter days are still warmer than the warm Winter days up North, so…yeah. Texas is awesome. When it wants to be.