Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thursday Evening Storm Update

Well, we made it through the snow today. I think 5 to 6 inches is the final snow amount right now. Some winds overnight could cause blowing and drifting and reduce visibilities and these conditions could linger into Friday. Some lake effect snow does look to produce some additional accumulating snow over the next could of days. Roads could become slick rather quickly when we have the snow bursts.

Cold will be the dominate headline through the weekend. An overnight low near 10 then a rebound tomorrow to near 20 or just above and then the real deep freeze begins with near or below zero overnight temperatures and a high Saturday and Sunday in the low to middle teens. Wind chills will be near zero or below for the entire weekend.

We will see a warm up into the 20's for Monday when another clipper should bring additional accumulating snow. This system looks to have much lower total currently with 1 to 2 inches possible.

I have heard some talk about the upcoming warm up for next week. Well all things are relative and the temperature increase will be warmer than the current cold snap but highs for the mid to late week will be just slightly above freezing and that could change. We have yet to see any temperature above freezing in 2010.

School Delays and Cancellations

Before I make a call about tomorrow, I want to address a the topic of school delays and cancellations. I do enjoy hyping the possibility of a delay or better yet a cancellation. It is a lot of fun but remember, I am just doing it for fun and remember I have no actual knowledge or influence on the decision making process at any area school. (I couldn't make these predictions if I did.)

The school administrators who make the decision don't take it lightly and any decision won't make everyone happy. There are many factors which weigh in on the decision and if they or anyone had a crystal ball to know exactly what the weather would do or how the roads will be, the decision would be easy.

Rather than focus on the days events and what many thought should have been an obvious call to cancel, lets go back to 2/1/2008. The entire week was spent talking about the big storm system Thursday night into Friday. Every forecast model showed it. Every TV weather person bought into it. The National Weather Service issued warnings for it.

Calls were for 8 to 10 inches. I saw the forecast was going to bust at the very last minute and reduced my call to 4 to 6 inches which I had earlier in the week. Snow was forecast to be ongoing at the start of school and throughout the day. Schools cancelled.

Well, it snowed but about 150 miles to our north. We ended up with 1.5 inches with a few scattered reports of 2.5 inches. It was a complete bust. (Take a look back at the very active blog for the end of January and the start of February 2008.) I am sure there were a lot of people critical of the decision to cancel school when by all accounts, it looked like the right decision at the time.

So I say please give school administrators the benefit of the doubt in these decisions and know they didn't just casually make their call.

On today's call, I said all county schools would likely use the delay then cancel tactic to make sure the snow was coming. Western did exactly that. However the other three county school decided to go on time and I suspect they all had the idea to dismiss early in their heads from the beginning. Kokomo Center did go on time and stay all day and while I did something unusual when I included them in my prediction, I don't have to include that call in my overall snow day grading.

So even though three school went on time and only one cancelled completely, the three dismissed early and all county sports and after school activities where cancelled, I am going to go ahead and count this as a snow day. That means I have now made one of the five predicted snow days. Yes, I know some will dispute my decision but tough! ;-)

For Friday, I think I can confidently say there will be two hour delays for the area county schools. I have a moderate degree of confidence that one or more will cancel but won't put my 100% money back guarantee on it. I am not even going to try and decide what Kokomo Center will do. Too many variables in their equation and some are driven by factors not even closely related to the weather or road conditions. In the future, I will stick to county schools in my predictions.

As always, my predictions are for entertainment purposes. Students and parents should always prepare for school. Have a safe evening and stay inside and warm.

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