A “White Christmas” in Dallas, Texas!

During the holiday season, it’s common to hear Bing Crosby’s “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” the popular carol about hoping for snow on Christmas morning. In Texas, where snowfall is only about *0.1 inches per year, a white Christmas is truly only a dream and almost never a reality. One Texan, Dan Cline, took matters into his own hands and made the dream come true for his family and neighbors!

Here’s Dan’s firsthand account of the whole process – it’s sure to be a Christmas story his family will be telling long into the future!

The snow gun used to create a "White Christmas"
The snow gun Dan assembled to create a “White Christmas” in Texas.

The Dream

For years I wanted to build a “snow gun” to make real snow. Once again, I got the urge to do it just days before Christmas. I searched for options online and found Kleen-Rite Corp had the spray tips and brass parts I needed. Most importantly, a warehouse in Grand Prairie that might even stock these for local pickup. I thought it was worth a shot and made a list of part numbers and placed a call to the sales department at Kleen-Rite to check on availability. I thought the logistics and timeline would be too short to make it possible, but they made it happen.

Ordering Parts Just in Time

Warren Kelly from sales helped me place the order just hours before the Christmas shutdown. He checked what parts were available from the Grand Prairie warehouse for pickup. Plus, he helped me to substitute out-of-stock parts with items in stock where needed. It’s rare to find someone that patient and willing to go the extra mile to cross-reference vendors for in-stock items.

At 3:30 p.m. the order was placed and I headed to the Grand Prairie Warehouse, it was about an hour away. I arrived at 4:32 p.m. (thinking I had until 5 o’clock, my mistake) and found the front office was closed, and the lights were off. Darn, I thought, I wasted an hour each way and was going home empty-handed. I assumed all was lost, but thought I’d check the warehouse door to see if there was any shot at getting my order. Dave Williams and John Carr were happy to listen to my story. They said they would assemble the order and could do so before the 5 p.m. close.

Gathering the Order

Nucleation Explained
When the temperature of water drops below
the freezing point, water particles slow down
enough to bond as they pass each other. The
point where the molecules first bond is called
the nucleation site, which is either facilitated
by an impurity in the water or a disturbance like
shaking the fluid – this site is required for ice
crystals to begin forming. Dan Clines used this
concept to power his snow gun.

– Figure 1 –

The warehouse organization was amazing, regarding the inventory Kleen-Rite stocks. Everything had a direct location and bin making it quick to assemble the order. I was even able to add two extra parts I omitted, and they easily added them to my invoice. Most companies today would have just said come back the next business day, but they were happy to help and friendly in doing so. I had all the parts I needed and a smile on my face during the drive home.

Assembling the Snow Gun

I assembled the parts, which went smoothly. I could see these were quality parts, especially with the ball valve, spray tips, and check valves. To start, I used a simple 1700 PSI pressure washer (1 to 1.2 GPM electric model) for the left 3 spray tips (positioned at top when in operation), and an air compressor with 5 GPM at 90 PSI capacity on the 2505 nozzle to the right (positioned at the bottom when in use). The unit is shown clamped to a ladder in the picture.

The results of Dan’s hard work Christmas Eve look amazing on Christmas Day!

Compressed air, with a small amount of water introduced by the ball valve, is key to generating the nucleation (see Figure 1 for explanation) particles that mix with the pressure washer spray from the 4002 tips. The check valve is to prevent water from going back into the compressor and potentially damaging it. The process won’t work without the high-pressure air or water.”

All parts (with the exception of the ¼ red valve and galvanized tee that I decided to add on the assembly at the time of construction) came from Kleen-Rite, along with some M22 adapter parts now shown to connect the pressure washer to the gun.

Making Snow

We don’t see much snow here in Dallas nor temperatures that support snow making for that matter. This year we had temperatures at night that were ideal for making snow in Dallas. Snow was made on Christmas eve. I had to be careful not to cover the street or the neighbor’s drive way. My wife and kids were surprised to have a white Christmas here in Dallas, since there was no snow in the forecast. I expect the neighbors also wondered why we had snow and they didn’t.”

It worked; the snow gun actually made real snow! Thank you, Kleen-Rite, for the help with the order!

If you enjoy fun car wash stories, check out The Muscle Car Spot is a good read too!