Snow!

Beautiful snow blankets Blount Monday

I should have listened to my husband -- not something I admit too often.

He called my cell phone on Thursday night last week. “We may get our first real snow next week,” he said.

I groaned. “Tell me it’s not on Tuesday,” I said, as Tuesday is make-it-break-it production day at Blount Today.

“Yes,” he answered, “or Monday. It’s coming from the right direction, and it looks like the right conditions that will bring a big, wet snow. If the temperature drops, well…”

He explained in great detail that we had a low coming in from the Gulf of Mexico bringing moisture with it and cold air coming in from the Northwest, with both arriving at the same time. As I fiddled with the volume on my audio book, wondering if I could turn it up without him noticing over the phone, he sighed, as all engineers who marry journalist eventually do, and said: “Snow. Lots of school-closing snow.”

I groaned again, hung up and continued my journey home.

He backed up a little bit after I got home, having switched from the weather channel to the local news. “They are saying it will probably just be rain,” he sighed. “But still…”

I should have listened. Neville is an ex-pilot, and I have found over the years that he has a pretty good feel for predicting the weather.

On Monday, as we both left the house a little after 6 a.m. to go opposite directions to work -- him to Oak Ridge and me to Maryville -- I asked for the forecast.

“They are still saying rain,” was all he would say, but he had that gleam in his eye.

Truthfully, Neville is waiting for the storm of ’93, which he says was from a low barreling up from the Gulf with lots of moisture and a cold air already in place. We got 18 inches from that one. Like a lot of native East Tennesseans, he misses the snows the area used to get. “Transplants,” he says, think we never have snow. Another hit like ’93 would give everyone something to talk about for another 16 years.

At 9:30 a.m. Monday, he called. “Is it snowing in Blount?” he asked, triumphant. “Big, wet, beautiful flakes are coming down here in droves.”

“Just raining here,” I told him.

“Okay,” he said. “But, get ready…”

Not sure how I was to get ready, but my next scheduled meeting was just across the street at the Blount County Chamber, so I felt pretty safe.

The phone calls started as soon as I walked in the Chamber door. Blount County schools were closing.

Then the next one: Alcoa schools were closing.

Then the next: Maryville was closing.

“Maryville?” I asked. “Are you sure?”

The office was more than sure. It was all confirmed. So we hurriedly posted a Breaking News story on the website.

And the snow kept falling. By the time I came out of the Chamber meeting, my car was covered.

The roads looked good, so I drove around the block just to look. It was a beautiful snow.

Tuesday morning -- production day -- dawned with no problem after I got off the porch landing. Road crews really do an incredible job, once you get out of the neighborhoods.

Then the sun came out, but the forecast still loomed.

So I called my personal forecaster.

“Relax,” he said. “It’s done.”

“Are you sure?” I asked. “I hate surprises at 4 a.m. on production night.”

The surprise, he assured me, was the unexpected snow on Monday.

Unexpected, that is, unless you listen to my husband.

Please enjoy our Snow pictures on A14, with even more on our website, www.BlountToday.com. They were sent to us from our Blount Today readers, and we love sharing them with the community. If you want to share yours, you can email them to news@BlountToday.com, and we will put them in Snapshots. Send us high-resolution jpegs, and they will be perfect!

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