If you’ve ever tried to explain Texas weather to a Midwesterner, it probably went a little like this.
You know how in places like Ohio and Indiana, you can see a rainstorm coming? The sky darkens as the clouds move slowly toward your home. In a few minutes, you know you might start seeing raindrops. Just three or four a minute, though. Soon the weather-worn asphalt starts looking like it has black freckles. You suddenly think to yourself, did I leave the windows down in the car? It hasn’t been warm enough to turn on the air conditioning….
So you get up from your seat and grab your keys, power-walking out the door to the car. There was one window down, but only a few drops have fallen — enough to leave dots on the windshield, no more — so your car seat was still dry.
Back inside with the car keys, you glance through the living room window and see that you remembered just in time. The sporadic drops have turned into a light drizzle and you can feel in your bones that the heavy rain is only 10 or 15 minutes away.
My husband and I found ourselves on a public walking trail in Detroit once as just such a rainstorm approached. We waited until the last possible moment, when we felt a couple of drops hitting our shoulders. I grew up with this; I knew we’d be able to make the five-minute walk back to the parking lot without being drenched.
Texas, as I told my cousin in advance of his visit this weekend, is different. You don’t get the Midwest’s early warning signals. Texas is like, “ain’t nobody got time for that.”
“It can be all sunny and then five minutes later, BAM all the rain starts falling at once,” I warned him.
If you’re lucky, you’ll hear the whoosh of the rain hitting a few blocks away. If you’re not, your sudden recollection about that open car window will come too late.
I learned quickly that I’d rather have a hot car interior than a wet one.
I gave my cousin a few other tips about visiting Texas, too, so he’ll be more than ready to make the most of his time here.
What would you tell someone about visiting Texas? Shoot me an email and let me know.
Sarah Einselen is editor and general manager at the Gainesville Daily Register. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.