Nashville has incredibly unpredictable weather. While each season is usually stereotypical in climate, they all have days that vary in temperature, stumping even the most seasoned of meteorologists. Some winters see little to no snow, while others keep residents at home for days at a time. That’s because when it snows in Nashville, the entire city shuts down.
Since no one in Nashville can accurately predict whether or not winter will see heavy snowfall, the city doesn’t have the proper snow gear for driving in inclement weather. You won’t find stores selling chains for tires. You’ll see snow plows clearing the streets but generally not those in neighborhoods. Most Nashvillians use small window scrapers or shovels to remove the snow from vehicles and driveways.
Because of the lack of preparation, snow days in Nashville often mean that school is not in session, and many businesses close. Grocery stores, however, remain open because people flock to them for milk, bread, water and other basics that they might need for an end-of-the-world emergency. In fact, so many people stock up on food and supplies when snow is in the forecast that grocery store shelves often become empty very quickly.
Schools in Nashville have an allotted number of snow days in which students, teachers, and faculty are not required to attend. The reason for shutting schools down when it snows is usually because the buses cannot safely drive on roads and transport children. Again, Nashville is not prepared for schoolchildren to take the bus, especially on unplowed streets.
Furthermore, since Nashville doesn’t get extremely heavy snowstorms, most people aren’t sure how to drive cars on the slick roads either. Every year, tons of people get stuck in the snow while trying to outsmart Mother Nature. Cars are found stopped on hills, tilted on winding roads and even stalled at the end of driveways.
For children, snow days are an excuse to build snowmen, make snow angels and have snowball fights. Even when it just lightly snows in the city, children get excited. But for adults, the smallest flurry can be a sign of frustration. It often means trying to find childcare while the kids are out of school, having to wake up early to scrape the snow off the windshield, and crossing your fingers that you make it to work in one piece. Since it’s so difficult to predict snow days in Nashville, it’s hard for the city to cope when the first snowflake falls.