The Roar

Winter Weather Outlook

Photo by: WTOP

Photo by: WTOP

A look back at winter weather in our area and beyond might help to determine whether or not students can expect another call from Wayde this season

Winter officially began on December 21, 2017, and snowfall has already occurred. On December 9, the area saw its first significant December snowfall since 2013. At Dulles Airport, four inches of snow fell according to WTOP. The forecast look like there will be more snow than last year, and temperatures will be colder.

“I don’t like winter. Although it’s nice getting days off of school because of snow, I prefer warm weather better,” said sophomore Allison Do.

By the end of 2017, most of the lower 48 of the United States, especially the Midwest and the East Coast were hit by blast of arctic air. On the morning of New Year’s Eve, the wind chill was -58F in Hettinger, North Dakota according to The Weather Channel. The same day, the actual temperature was -45F in Embarrass, Minnesota.

The cold weather has caused many lakes, ponds, and rivers, including the Potomac, to freeze. On January 1, a vehicle attempted to drive onto the frozen Potomac River at the Algonkian Regional Park boat ramp, and the vehicle got caught in the ice and had to be towed as reported by NBC Washington.

The cold weather from Christmas to January 7 was the “fifth-coldest two-week year-change overlap on record in D.C” according to the Capital Weather Gang and the coldest ever for Dulles Airport since records began in 1963. Dulles set a record for the high temperature which was 19 degrees (Capital Weather Gang), Dulles also set a record for 12 days at or below freezing.

On January 8, freezing rain fell in late afternoon and into the evening commute which caused an icy glaze to cover the ground. Due to the impending ice, Loudoun County Public Schools was among several local school systems to close Monday – a tough call because in the morning, roads were clear. Nearby counties that didn’t close, such as Arlington County, ended up leaving two hours early. The following morning, the residual ice caused a two-hour delay.

“I think that we should have had school off because our bus experienced a lot of trouble on our way to school, and I almost missed the bus because it was so icy walking down my street,” said sophomore Michael Hoyle.

Last year’s winter was the sixth warmest on record in the United States in the 123 years that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has recorded (Accuweather). According to the Washington Post, Dulles only got 7.3 inches of snow for the entire 2016-17 winter season. Loudoun County Public Schools only had two snow days with one two-hour delay

This winter, Loudoun County will most likely get 16-26 inches of snow for the season according to WTOP. The Washinton Post is predicting there will most likely be around five to seven accumulating snowfall events this winter. January will most likely be the coldest, while February will be around average.

LCPS has already closed two days this year due to cold weather, mixed with a low wind chill and a dusting of snow. “I think it’s a good idea [to cancel school]. The little elementary school kids would have to wait outside for the bus earlier and should not have to be in in that frigid weather. I have no problem with a closing or a delay because I would have to wait outside as well, and I’d rather sleep in,” said sophomore Owen Kitcoff.

Prior to Loudoun County Public Schools canceling school due to snow or other dangerous weather, the Superintendent will make the decision based on the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services’ recommendation. The Assistant Superintendent for Support Services contacts staff from the Directors of Transportation and Facilities Services, the Division of Safety and Security, and Utility companies to inform the decision.

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