It might not have been a white Christmas in your town, but odds are, it was a pretty cold one. A massive arctic air mass moved south across the country, with the Weather Prediction Center predicting that every state in the continental U.S. would experience below-freezing temperatures on Christmas Eve. That unfortunately led to some heartbreaking outcomes, but it did also create some interesting oddities.
Take, for example, this car wash in Texas. Austin-based photographer and outdoor enthusiast Matthew Guthrie visited his local H-E-B and discovered that the car wash had definitely not been ready for the freezing weather. Then again, if I lived in Austin, I probably wouldn’t have been prepared for three days in a row with lows in the teens.
Presumably, a pipe or several pipes burst from the cold, causing a huge amount of ice to form. Some might call it a mess or even a small disaster, such as the manager of the H-E-B in question and their insurance agent. But it’s also weirdly beautiful. A tiny winter wonderland housed inside an automatic car wash in a city that doesn’t get much winter.
That said, we certainly don’t want to make light of the dangers that people face living in areas that get hit by winter storms, especially if subzero temperatures are rare and don’t typically last long. Climate change continues to cause more erratic weather patterns, and unfortunately, big winter storms like the one over Christmas are becoming increasingly common. It seems like this kind of thing has become the new normal, and not enough state and local leaders are taking it seriously.
But as bad as these kinds of storms are, maybe we can find a little levity in the odd beauty of an exploded car wash that froze into its own yeti cave.