In the winter of 2007-2008 St. Louis, Missouri (USA) experienced a few odd meteorological events. Like the day that started out at 71 degrees Fahrenheit and in about an hour in the afternoon it plummeted over forty degrees and started sleeting and snowing. But what the St. Louis Metropolitan area experienced in the morning of February 18, 2008 was nothing short of amazing.
On the way to work a radio personality on a show I listen to on a semi-regular basis mentioned quickly right before a commercial break some people out west talking about a "snow bubble" or "snownado" that was dropping a half-inch of snow in five minutes and then moving on. I was only half-paying attention and didn’t really know what he was talking about, thinking "out west" maybe meant Kansas City, Missouri (I only realize in retrospect that he had referred to listeners calling in who were in the area). I guess in my mind it didn’t seem like I’d be witnessing something so strange.
But after being at work about fifteen minutes, at around 8:30 AM CST, I found out what they were talking about.
My coworker, who has his own office with a window, yelled “Whoah!” I looked up and to my surprise, the scene outside, which had been more or less sunny, was completely white. I ran to the window to see a blizzard unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime (I was around for the great St. Louis blizzard of '82 but I don’t really remember it well). It was revealed in the evening’s weather report that visibility during the blizzard actually went down to zero. It was a complete whiteout. I watched in amazement at the practically horizontal, warp-speed snowflakes - and howling wind - pounded the trees, streets, cars, and parking lots nearby. It slowed a tad but continued to drop monstrous flakes at a torrent pace, accumulating very quickly on the ground.
After a few moments of gawking I went back to my desk to do some work. I looked up a few minutes later and it was sunny out, not a single snowflake to be found. The blizzard lasted about five minutes – I’m not kidding you. After more or less five minutes the blizzard raced away to the East Side, leaving nothing but glorious sunlight behind. In fact the snow it did drop was all melted by 9 AM. It was like it never had happened.
I’ve never seen anything like it in my lifetime and I doubt I ever will again.