Icepocalypse Meets Snowpocalypse

Central Texas has been hammered with weather this week. First we had freezing rain, which weighed down trees and snapped branches.

For those of you who live farther north, our live oak trees don’t drop their leaves in the fall like normal oak trees. Instead, they keep them until spring, when the new leaves grow in, which means when it ices, there is a lot more surface area for ice to collect.

A iced over branch of a live oak with a road in the background.

So far our live oak is holding okay, but we’ve lost two big branches from a cedar tree in the back yard and one big branch from the decorative holly-type tree by our front door. We walked around the neighborhood on Friday and it’s the same everywhere.

So we had ice, then freezing temperatures for several days, then last night, we got 4-6″ of snow. This is the second time we’ve received a decent snowfall this year, when it usually barely snows (just enough to see it falling) once every two or three years. On top of all of that, the temperature fell to single digits, which is the coldest it’s been since the 1980s.

Our snow-covered front yard, where the snow is deep enough that the grass is hidden.

The city has no infrastructure to deal with snow, so the plan is to stay home until it melts. Luckily, we went grocery shopping just before everything hit, so we’re good to sit tight.

But the house is a little more concerning because our houses are not designed to withstand single-digit temperatures. We’re dripping our faucets and hoping for the best, but there are going to be lots of burst pipes in town once it warms up.

It’s been so cold that we’re now having rolling brownouts because the power grid can’t keep up. So far, we still have power, but it’s only a matter of time until we’re hit. In fact, it’s been cold enough that our frost flowers are blooming. When frost weed freezes, the water in the plant is forced out in delicate ribbons of ice, almost like the layers of a croissant or cotton candy.

A frozen frost weed that has produced a frost flower of ice crystals.

If you want a couple more pictures of the frost flower ice, I shared them on instagram.

Overall, we’re fine, just hunkered down and waiting for warmer weather. I hope that wherever you are, you’re also staying safe and warm!

5 thoughts on “Icepocalypse Meets Snowpocalypse”

  1. Stay safe! Hopefully the rolling blackouts miss you. Put towels over the windows and door jams to keep the heat in. Close doors to rooms that you don’t use.
    I complain to my family when it gets drops into the 40s in San Francisco too, but they don’t understand that a lot of the buildings are just not insulated the same as Idaho.
    Thanks for the photos. Those are super cool.

  2. Hoping your pipes don’t burst.

    I have friends who lost power for 40 hours. She’s not certain it will stay on now that they have it back. So fingers crossed for everyone.

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