‘I always loved snowstorms’: Powhatan man makes backyard winter wonderland

Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 4:53 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 10, 2021 at 9:22 AM EST
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POWHATAN, Va. (WWBT) - It’s been a relatively mild December so far with signs that the rest of the month will be well above average, but there’s one backyard in central Virginia that sees snow every winter.

There’s about a 7% chance of a white Christmas in Richmond in any given year based on historical records.

“I usually have snow on the ground from December to March. Some years November to April - just depends on the weather,” Jamie Carter, a resident of Powhatan, said.

Carter has loved snow since he was a kid.

“I grew up with the blizzard of ‘83. And ‘96. When I was a little kid, I always loved snowstorms. And I guess it started when I was little; when we would get a snowstorm in Richmond, I would always pile the snow after a storm. I would just get my shovel and pile it up into a big pile and see how long it would last,” Carter said.

His love of winter inspired him to make his own snow to pile up whenever he wanted.

“Basically, I have one unit; it’s a 20-year unit. It’s called the Backyard Blizzard; the other ones are called Snow at Home. It’s basically the motors, and all the setup is all run underground out to here. Then it’s just putting it all together when it gets cold and setting it up,“ Carter said.

Carter has been using the system for the past couple of decades.

“It’s air compressed, and basically, a power washer all combined to make the snow by just nucleating the nozzle into a high-pressure water spray and fine particles and just freezes it,” Carter said.

He’s not just making flurries; his system keeps it coming.

“I had a 25-foot pile back in 2015, and it lasted until April the 2nd, I think it was,” Carter said.

He checks the weather often all year round but pays close attention to the temperature and dewpoint during the winter months.

“It takes about 26 degrees and good low dewpoints to really make a good deep snow. When you get down to 0 degrees, I mean, I can blow eight, 9-feet of snow in one night,” Carter said.

Jamie isn’t the only one in the house who loves the snow; his son Sam is a big fan as well.

“Well, I love when we help him at night, and we will come in the morning, and we’ll sled on it, and sometimes cousins will come over and play,” Sam said.

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