January 27 – At this stage of the game, now four days after the last flake of Blizzard 2016 fell, it is all about the temperatures. For the weather that is. We’ve been lucky to have sunshine and a gradual thaw as today’s high temperature in Baltimore was 44°F. As I mentioned this morning, there will be a big thaw on the way soon. But in the short term, a fresh arctic air mass and deep snowpack will allow for the rapid drop in temperature. So anything that was wet, especially the runoff from snowpack melting, will refreeze. It may ice up in a hurry! For those that have had their work schedule return to normalcy, please be careful! Below is a timeline of expected temperatures with low reaching into the teens and single digits. Please read for my thoughts about school closings and delays now almost a week after the storm.
Temperature Timeline Forecast
School Closings And Delays:
This also brings up the question of school. Many in Maryland have announced that they will be closed Thursday, and some already announcing Friday as well. Meanwhile some schools across the border in York County like Dallastown are operating on a 2 hour delay. How can we make sense of this?
The difference between Pennsylvania and Maryland is how the districts are broken down. In PA the school decisions on weather impacts are district dependent. But in Maryland they are county wide. Yes, there are more people and densely packed areas in metro Baltimore that might have more trouble digging out from of 2 feet of snow. But should just a few towns be left with work to do, the entire county must close or be delayed. It’s safety based on the lowest denominator.
That was one reason why Baltimore split off the northern half to the ‘Hereford Zone’. This area tends to get more snow and ice, while around the beltway and Chesapeake Bay it could be wet and rainy in a winter storm. So they can close or be delayed accordingly.
Many have wanted this same policy in Harford County, especially after The National Weather Service designated a new zone for the county accordingly. But after visiting a few Harford County schools, I was informed of the logistical nightmare that would create due to magnet schools and special needs children that are bused across the county.
Carroll County is one of the colder spots of metro Baltimore, but within the hills and valleys there can b a wide variety of snow depth and road conditions from milder Sykesville to cooler and snowier Manchester and Hampstead.
Anne Arundel County can have different weather since it is rather long north to south. North of Rt 50 Can have snow while the southern part of the county from Annapolis to Calvert County can be rainy.
You pick your area and I am sure you have your typical spots that are often more affected by winter weather than others.
So what to do? Should Maryland county public schools break down individual districts to decide on weather delays, or should the entire counties. I don’t even know if that would be possible logistically and politically. But it would help with winter weather. I grew up in New York. After leaving the city (before I was fully corrupted), I moved between Orange and Rockland Counties in the lower Hudson Valley. There are some large mountains there and a wide variety of weather, but colder and snowier than the NYC. Although the school list was very long on wintry mornings, we had district based closings. Sadly, I always lived in the one that was open the most. I think out superintendent owned a dog sled. Yes, 6 inches of snow often meant only a 2 hour delay. Regardless, it worked from district to district.
What do you think? I welcome your thoughts. Please chime back in on the social network where you found this post and let us know.
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