If you keep up with Agnes Scott College on social media, be it Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, you might have remarked that January 17th and 18th were closed due to “wintry weather conditions”.
Atlanta received about 2.4 inches of snow and had a windchill of 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Roads were slippery, and the number of car accidents in and around metro Atlanta skyrocketed. Schools closed and outside was silent, as very few cars dared to venture onto the roads. At one point, Atlanta was apparently colder than Anchorage, Alaska.
… but hold up! What does Fahrenheit mean? I understand inches, but wouldn’t it make more sense to describe snowfall in centimetres? Also, I came to Atlanta for a very major reason: to escape the snow back home. Not only am I from Canada, but I’m from Northern Canada. In fact, my hometown is nicknamed the Gateway to the North. While I don’t live in one of the northern territories like the Yukon or Nunavut, I live far enough north that the temperature dips to -30 Celsius (-22 Fahrenheit) in the winter, with an annual average snowfall of 147 centimetres (58 inches). When it gets really cold or snowy, school is never cancelled and buses tend to run late (or never show up, which was what I experienced as a high school student).
Looking outside at the campus, it’s strange because it’s certainly a severe winter for Georgia, but by my Canadian standards, it looks like a spring day in March because the sun is shining, the snow is melting, and it’s only 6 degrees Celsius (43 Fahrenheit)!
Being a Canadian in Georgia when snow falls is bizarre because it’s truly the last thing that I expect. I am unprepared, with only light fall coats and shoes with no grip or insulation. At the same time, I can usually weather the chilliness, and get easily frustrated when the entire city shuts down.
Being an international student, they often talk about culture shock, but what about climate shock?!