If you're sick of being called a weather wimp, here's a little logic to help you defend yourself when you hear the top 5 complaints about how D.C. handles snow. Let's take them one pet peeve at a time (at this point, it's all we can handle):
1. THE CLIMATE.
Either it bothers no one, or it bothers EVERYONE. Is there an ACTUAL reason the D.C. region is all-or-nothing place when it comes to snow? Well, YES. We're glad you asked.
Chris Strong of the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va. has heard this before. And basically, he says D.C. winters are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. We might get a dusting once or twice, and just when we think it's over— BOOM: Snowpocalypse. (Gee, thanks for the reminder).
2. THE ROADS.
Ah yes. All cities have highways, but not all of them are lucky enough to have the Beltway. The next time snow makes driving totally impossible, you can blame the Beltway. WHAT? Well, we believe our own traffic expert Julie Wright when she says it's a factor in why traffic here gets so out of control so fast when winter weather finds us. "The Beltway is like the core of an apple," she explains, "and you've got all of these people trying to come inbound to the core of the apple!"
Sorry, did someone say apple pie? #fox5snowday
3. THE SCHOOLS
Either there IS school, or there ISN'T (or it's starting late). The most asked question of every winter: Why do
Montgomery County Public Schools spokesperson Dana Tofig points out that the storms we get are rarely slam dunks to close schools… which makes it a judgment call, which gets made by answering a few questions:
When is the snow falling?
How quickly can the roads get plowed and the sidewalks cleared?
Is it safe for buses to be out there?
We're doing it wrong. Or are we? In places like Massachusetts and New Jersey, local towns plow the roads, letting the states and county governments tackle bigger areas. But that's not how we roll.
Stewart Freudberg of the D.C. Area Council of Governments is actually from Boston, and he says what is good for them ISN'T good for us. In fact, he says a lot of states (like Virginia) take heat for unplowed roads, but counties (like Arlington, for instance) are doing a pretty good job. They're working on doing their best, he says, and while it might not be perfect, it's all about working together.
5. DRIVING EXPERIENCE.
We saved the best one for last. Couple lessons can be learned here, friends. Headlights=on. Slooooooowwww DOWN. And for goodness' sake—clear ALL OF THE SNOW off your car BEFORE you drive it. All of the snow (not that we know anyone).
But really, when you take people from all over the
So if so many drivers from all over the place in one spot are ACTUALLY the problem, what's the fix? We like California native Tiffany Davis' advice: STAY HOME!
What's we miss (it's not likely, but it could happen)? Hop on our FOX 5 DC Facebook page and tell us your theory!