We had another winter storm here in Chicago, and I think it’s about time we address the elephant abominable snowman in the room: our society’s preoccupation with snow size.


Whenever you turn on the weather, and snow’s in the forecast, all we hear is some coquettish, lipsticked meteorologist talking about is how it could be as much as 10 inches, considerably deep, and very thick. Sometimes we’ll get the banal forecast of about 5 inches, delivered with a shrug in front of the seven day forecast: just your average snowfall. Other wintery days, the weather person will laugh off our impending precipitation, predicting a pitiful 2-3 inches of snow we’ll hardly even notice is there, totally humiliating snow in the span of a three minute weather segment.

We’re complicit in over-sharing the details of snow. How often, fresh after a snowfall, do we call or text our friends and family in other cities to give the graphic details of our evening with snow: “Oh yeah, I really got slammed here last night with 13 inches! I couldn’t believe how much of it there was!” or “Nothing that exciting… Only about 4 inches. So, you know, I went to sleep early.”

Doesn’t it stand to reason snow can give you pleasure without being 10 inches or more? You can easily make a snowman with only 6 inches of snow! Snow angels are made just as easily with 3 inches as 8 inches! You don’t need 12 inches of snow to go sledding! It’s possible to be satisfied with snow of all sizes.

Even within out culture’s obsession with bigger-means-better, we need to remember snow comes in all shapes and sizes, and there’s a lot more to snow that just how much of it there is. Sometimes you get 6 inches of that hard snow that’s great for packing, and other times you’re stuck with 11 inches of that limp, mushy snow that just makes a mess and looks ugly more than anything else. You see, size isn’t everything!

No matter what you do to enjoy however many inches of snow you’re blessed with, always keep this in mind: don’t forget about the snowballs.

59 thoughts on “Stop Emasculating Snow

  1. Brilliant! I can’t get enough of hearing a woman rave about her satisfaction with four inches. That’s plenty of snow! Our meteorologists here in the STL have made up something called thunder snow! Now that sounds like it’d rock your world.

      1. Thundersnow, also known as a winter thunderstorm or a thunder snowstorm, is an extremely rare[1] kind of thunderstorm with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain. It typically falls in regions of strong upward motion within the cold sector of an extratropical cyclone. Thermodynamically, it is not different from any other type of thunderstorms but the top of the cumulonimbus is usually quite low. As well as snow, graupel, or more rarely hail also commonly falls.

        Maybe it’s all bark and no bite? The meteorologists in St. Louis get about 6 inches of their own snow in their pantaloons from saying thundersnow they seem to love it so much.

      2. HAHA!
        Boy, they do seem to have a raging 6 inches of snow for this thundersnow stuff. So is there lightning and everything, too? To be honest, this regular snow has been getting kind of stale.. I wouldn’t mind some Fifty Shades of Snow, if you know what I mean.

    1. A fellow Chicagoan! Welcome.

      We definitely do think quantity is more important than quality, don’t we? Even when it comes to snow. Pretty crazy, I think.

    1. Excellent! I’ve never been happier about being involved with killing someone. 🙂

      I tried to rephrase that to sound less serial-killerish to little success.

  2. Your posts always bring a smile to my face Katie! Even though I really hate snow.. (I live in Maine, it’s all I ever see).. I can appreciate a little snow fall of any sort. Although, now that the calendar reads March I’m totally over it. I mostly moan and groan and refuse to look outside…whether it’s 3 inches or 13 inches, so size doesn’t matter to me either! :-p I can’t imagine not having it though. The seasons are what make me appreciate life and keep things changing for me. I have to crack up when I hear of southern states closing down because of a foot of snow. That’s nothing up here!

    1. I’m glad! I’m also glad you’re not one of those snow size queens. 😛

      I’m sure if I was in Maine I’d be singing a different tune… The snow in Maine falls mainly… everywhere. (That’s trademarked–not that anyone would want to plagiarize it.) Truth be told, I’m kind of over the snow, too. I’m ready for sunny skies and being able to run outside without risking slipping on a patch of black ice!

  3. Living in the second coldest capital in the world (Astana) we have ice, snow and every other wintry weather in abundance…… from October until April, with no thaw. The white stuff just keeps on coming xxxx luckily I like a good snow frolic.

    1. Welcome! And Astana? I had to look up where that is!

      That’s crazy! A little too much white stuff for me… I don’t know how you guys do it. That sounds like some kind of horrible Game of Thrones winter (if you’re familiar with the books or watch that show, if not, just ignore me being a nerd).

  4. It doesn’t snow here, so even a pitiful 2-3 inches of snow would be delivered on the news with excitement, possibly even threateningly with a the-world-is-going-to-end tone

  5. Every day, awesome post! This one really must have been hard to write. But you did it, you just worked right through it until you came up with the appropriate climax. Amazing! 🙂 Thank you Katie for your thoughtful and creative look at snow. I will never watch the weather the same again.

    1. This comment was made by me, logged in as one of my work sites. I don’t want that golfcamp2013 taking credit for my work. 🙂 Still laughing about this post. So funny Katie.

      1. Thank you for clarifying! I was wondering who this golfer was that had been reading my blog phantom style on a daily basis!

        I’m so glad you enjoyed the climax. 🙂

    1. Well… Huh. That question might have too many philosophical overtones to even think of delving into in this response.

      That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.

  6. I knew it. I KNEW I liked you. Genius.

    Here in Looosiana we don’t even get snow. We get sleet once every other year maybe, but that does about as much good as humping a pillow.

    1. Oh, stop it you! 🙂 You keep saying nice things I’ll have to stop imagining making a wig out of your hair. (That’s my highest hair compliment, by the way.)

      I can’t imagine not getting any… Snow. You Louisianans must be pretty frustrated.

    1. Ha! Good point, Kitt. 😉 Too true.

      Personally, I like a nice, healthy amount of snow. Not too much, not too little. It’s like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. (I hope I didn’t unwittingly uncover some weird fetish I didn’t know existed…)

      1. That or like… Some really tasteless theme-y porno with three guys of varying proportions… I think we know how it would go from there.
        Sometimes I think I could be doing so much more with my life. LOL

  7. Great post! I grew up in New England, yet currently live in the South; and I miss snow – of any size! Here, a few (albeit, rare) snowflakes send the local citzenry into a panicked frenzy. Obviously, size DOESN’T matter – it’s what you do with it that counts. 🙂

    1. Welcome! And thanks!

      I’ve heard that in the South the tiniest amounts of snow freak people out. …Those prudes! I couldn’t agree more about your last statement–I’ve been surprised by small to average amounts of snow before! 😉

  8. Can’t believe I missed this the first time around, love a good snow related post! Bonus joke invented by a female friend:
    Why should only women be allowed to do the snow forecast?

    Because you can never trust a man when he says you’re going to get 8 inches.

Don't you sass me! ...Actually, please do.

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