Today was the day that Dongguan went nuts. Everyone, just everyone, fancied themselves an amateur meteorologist. WeChat was awash with folk chilling beers on window ledges, people upturned their umbrellas to collect ice (or was it snow?), while others were just content to order extra shot of tequilas in their hot chocolate. It was bloody cold.
Conversations about clothing subsumed into bizarre games of one-upmanship, “Dude, I got two pairs of socks on!”
“That’s nothing bro, I’m working three pairs of gloves over here.”
“Yeah, well my mom’s wearing four sets of pants.” One couldn’t help wondering where it was all going to end.
But the real question on everybody’s mind was more straightforward: was it snow or not? If so, it was Dongguan’s first in over a century.
“It’s not snow, it is hail,” someone said cockily.
“Actually, I think you will find it’s freezing rain,” others said.
“But that’s called sleet. It’s definitely sleet, idiot.”
Brothers Google, Bing, and Baidu weren’t much help either, each throwing up highly technical documents on the height of cumulus clouds, the crystallization of water particles, differences in temperature in air flows, the specific shape of precipitation molecules, the season of the year: it was enough to give us all a headache.
One thing was for sure, where you came from made a difference. Native Dongguaners were adamant. Yes, it was snowing. When you don’t get something for over a century, you make sure pretty damn quick to claim it as your own. It was definitely snow. Those from chillier climes, like Beijing or Boston, were having none of it: “Pfft, this isn’t snow. Hell, it isn’t even proper rain. In my hometown the snow goes 30 feet high and we have to take snow trucks to work.”
So, dear Dongguan residents, someone, anyone, did it really snow in Dongguan today? We need to know…