Are Washingtonians Too Sensitive About the Snow? Arch Campbell and Peter Welch Debate

We asked a native Southerner and a native Northerner.

Probably not happening. Photograph via iStock.
Winter Fun

About Winter Fun

This article is a part of Washingtonian’s feature: Winter Fun Indoors & Out. Our editors and staff pulled together the best things to do this winter, including snowball fights, cozy places to get a drink, ice skating, and more.

Washingtonians have a reputation for freaking out at the slightest snowflake. But native Southerners and native Northerners have very different perspectives on whether our reaction to snow is warranted.

The Southerner: Arch Campbell

Movie and entertainment reporter

“I grew up in San Antonio, which is not just Texas, it’s south Texas. It never snowed. If it did, it never lasted overnight. I’m not a snow fan. I loved last winter here because it didn’t snow. It reminded me of being in San Antonio. Do we freak out? Of course we do. Everybody here is from somewhere else, and half of those people are from somewhere south of here. Also, that’s kind of the fun. I did plenty of stories in my day about people flooding video stores before snowstorms.”


The Northerner: Peter Welch

US congressman from Vermont

“My perspective on Washington and snow is that Washington is clueless and full of fear rather than full of the delight we have in Vermont. Just the threat of snow, there are anticipatory announcements that government will shut down. That’s an astonishing reality for someone from Vermont. We’ll have a foot of snow and they’ll just have the school buses follow the plow. In Vermont, snow is a great excuse to get outside and enjoy the weather. In Washington, people do love how beautiful it is when it snows, but they don’t have the snowplows and snow tires. There’s the hope that everybody will get a day off. Given what we’ve been doing recently, maybe being snowed in or shut down is a good thing.”

Photo courtesy of US House Office of Photography.

This article appears in our January 2019 issue of Washingtonian.