why do schools close when it snows

With every winter storm threat, superintendents wake in the wee hours to consider the latest weather maps or drive their local roads. One February day last year, Stratford, Connecticut, schools Superintendent Janet Robinson was on a forecasting conference call at 4:15 a. m. Within 30 minutes, and with the help of the schools' facilities manager, she decided to cancel classes for the sixth time that year.
Snow day inб Kennesaw, Georgia (Mike Stewart/AP Images) Weather-related school closings are a constant source of anxiety this time of year.

Sometimes the anxiety is : "They never canceled school in my day," parents and grandparents complain when a new snow day gets announced. Sometimes it's regional. D. C. as Chicago, President Obama sighed when schools closed during his first winter in the capital. Northerners as two inches of snow crippled Atlanta earlier this week. from Reddit user Alexandr Trubetskoyб (a. k. a. б ) is sure to stoke this regional competition.

Using data "taken from hundreds of various points from user responses. interpolated using NOAA's average annual snowfall days map," Trubetskoy made a map showing how much snow it typically takes to close schools in the U. S. and Canada. Notice that for much of the southern U. S. , all it takes is "any snow" to shut schools down.

For the Upper Midwest and Canada, two feet of snow are required for a closure. In much of the Midwest and Great Plains, school closing often depends more on wind chill and temperature than on snow accumulation ("cold days"). б Thus, this map may be misleading in those areas. Many jurisdictions in California and other western states have significantly varied snowfall, depending on elevation.

This makes it difficult to find an "average" number, or often makes it misleading. Urban areas like Chicago and New York have more resources to clear snow and often need more to cause closings. Clarification: The lightest green says "any snow" but also includes merely the prediction of snow. Clarification II: This is snow accumulation over 24 hours/overnight.

Hawaii does get snow! Just. б. Before this map gives Midwesterners a superiority complex, it's worth remembering: School closures say more about an area's infrastructure than the toughness of its citizens. Schools in the South close at the mere hint of snow not because the people who live there are wimps, but because snow is such a rare eventБand most cities there don't have a fleet of snow plows the way Northern ones do.