As much of the South contended with unusually harsh winter weather, a viral February 2021 tweet claimed that a screenshot showed “actual advice” being given to Southerners for driving in the snow — entailing a complicated visualization of driving their grandmothers to church with a platter of biscuits, gallons of sweet tea, a crockpot full of gravy, and a new dress:
actual advice being given to southerners about how to drive in the snow pic.twitter.com/8udmrScaNT
— Margo Price (@MissMargoPrice) February 12, 2021
Labeled as “actual advice being given to southerners about how to drive in the snow,” text on what appeared to be a meteorologist’s weather segment read:
TWITTER ADVICE FROM @Chadsu42
If you rarely drive on snow, just pretend you’re taking your grandma to church. There’s a platter of biscuits and 2 gallons of sweet tea in glass jars in the back seat. She’s wearing a new dress and holding a crock pot full of gravy.
Visible town names on the map in the image included Lincolnton, Cornelius, Kannapolis, Locust, Unionville, Lake Wylie, Gastonia, and Mount Holly. As such, the meteorologist appeared to be attached to a news affiliate in North Carolina.
Screenshots of the tweet circulated on Facebook and other platforms.
A quick search indicated that if the advice had ever aired for Southerners facing a rare snowfall, it wasn’t in 2021.
Cedar Rapids Police transcribed the advice in 2019 and shared it to Facebook. A January 2018 @TexasHumor tweet demonstrated that the image was at least three years old — and that variation had visible station identification for WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina:
Actual advice the news gave for Southerners driving in the snow for the first time.
Save this for future reference. pic.twitter.com/0sH4zJFv6k
— Texas Humor (@TexasHumor) January 20, 2018
Both versions (in 2018 and 2021) attributed the advice to Twitter user @Chadsu42; that account tweeted the advice five days earlier on January 15 2018:
If you rarely drive on snow, just pretend you're taking your grandma to church. There's a platter of biscuits and 2 gallons of sweet tea in glass jars in the back seat. She's wearing a new dress and holding a crock pot full of gravy. @KevinHarned @BGoodeWAVE3
— Chad Sullivan (@Chadsu42) January 16, 2018
A tweet from an Atlanta-area anchor suggested the segment aired a few days after the tweet above was published:
— Christine Sperow FOX 5 (@ChristineOnTV) January 18, 2018
A January 25 2018 article about the segment, published by broadcasting trade outlet NewscastStudio, helpfully prefaced their reporting with “This story is from 2018.” (We approve strongly of this practice, as legitimate stories are easily turned into disinformation if they do not carry a date.)
NewscastStudio also provided an even more detailed account of when and where the screenshot originated:
WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte, N.C., opted to enhance its coverage of the region’s inclement winter weather with a viewer’s highly detailed — and rather entertaining — advice for driving.
The original tip, which was posted on Twitter by someone going by the name Chad Sullivan, was used on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018’s 6 a.m. newscast.
A viral February 2021 tweet about “actual advice being given to Southerners about how to drive in the snow” included a screenshot advising drivers to “pretend you’re taking your grandma to church,” with “a platter of biscuits and 2 gallons of sweet tea in glass jars in the back seat”; “she’s wearing a new dress and holding a crock pot full of gravy.” Although the screenshot was real, the segment aired in January 2018 on the Charlotte, North Carolina television station WBTV.