Through the Looking Glass: Snow??!! Where did that come from?


For those of you who do not know, the newspaper isn’t my 9:00-5:00 job. I jokingly tell people when they see me out and about on newspaper business that the newspaper is a family business. If you’re in the family, you’re in the business. My real job is teaching early childhood special education in Neosho.

Being an educator, I believe that makes me an expert on snow because what teacher (or student) doesn’t want a snow day? I have learned how to watch the jet streams and predict the track of snow just so I know if there is a chance of getting to turn my alarm off and roll back over for a couple more hours then have the chance to complain about it when I am still in school in June like I was last year. In all reality I’m probably not an expert, but I do know enough to be dangerous, so at the end of last week I had been watching the track of the weather. I saw my hopes (and the hopes of Carthage’s Favorite Neighbor, Sandy Higgins) dashed as the temperature did not drop low enough to cover the dreary, bare ground with beautiful, fluffy, sparkling snow.

Since I knew we were missing the snow and that the storm had passed the day before, I was really surprised when it started snowing on Sunday evening. I had been hoping for a good snow in Saturday’s storm, but knew that there was nothing on the radar after Saturday. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Turn your alarm on, you’re going to school. Then I saw people in the area posting on Facebook that it was snowing. I checked the radar and there was nothing in sight. I checked the forecast and there was a zero percent chance of precipitation. I decided that my Facebook friends were crazy and couldn’t possibly have seen snow, but decided to look out the window and see for myself.


That’s when I saw the beautiful, glittery dusting on the vehicles. I could see the sparkle of snow in the headlights of cars passing by on the street. I saw the tiny flakes flying past the streetlight as they made their way to the ground. My hopes for a snow day were returning with every snowflake I saw, so I checked the radar yet again and it still showed absolutely nothing. Not a single snowflake in sight. So where was this stuff coming from?

It didn’t take long for one of the meteorologists that I follow on social media to explain what was happening to me. This snow was coming to us from Stockton Lake! It’s highly unusual for us to have lake effect snow here, but the temperature of the lake was warm enough that somehow it miraculously produced snow all over the area even though there wasn’t a single snow cloud on the radar. I won’t pretend to understand how that happened, and unfortunately it was just enough of a dusting to make everything sparkle. Maybe one of these days when I’m desperate for a snow day I’ll Google “lake effect snow” and see if I think there’s a chance of it happening again. For now, I’ll just be happy to know that such a thing exists, and although it is rare for Carthage, it is possible. Maybe I’ll Google “how much snow can you get with lake effect snow” while I’m at it…

Brandi Ensor is a lifelong Carthage resident. She is adamantly single, spoils her nieces and nephews as much as possible, and loves camping and boating with her 16-year-old son, Johnathan.