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School in July?
Well we’re about 80 days into the school year and winter doesn’t officially start until next Tuesday but we’re already on our second snow day. I won’t be surprised if we end up with more than one this week. I’m surely (my names not Shirley) not the only one to have a child jumping for joy Sunday night as the ticker across the bottom of the TV announced local school closures. I wonder how many of them will remember that when July rolls around and they’re still in school?
Now I understand that safety is the issue when it comes to making the call to close and I won’t argue with this week’s decision. Last week was a little more iffy in my opinion but I won’t even second guess that either. What I really want to know is; where was all that concern when I was going to school?
I spent my elementary and high school years on the south side of Chicago where sub-zero wind chill was the norm for a good part of the winter and double digit snow falls were not unheard of. For the life of me I don’t recall missing that many days of school due to weather.
According to NOAA:
Since snow records began in 1886 in Chicago, there have been 41 winter storms that produced 10 inches or more of snow. A 10 inch snow occurs about once every 3 years.
A 15 inch snow occurs only once about every 19 years. The closest back to back 10 inch snows were March 25-26 and April 1-2, 1970 (6 days apart).
The earliest 10 inch snow was November 25-26, 1895 and the latest 10 inch snow was April 1-2, 1970. The most recent 10 inch snow was January 21-23, 2005.
Most snowfall in a calendar day:
January 26, 1943
January 13, 1917
February 4, 1998
January 17, 1994
I won’t tell you that I walked to school, 5 miles, up hill, both ways, in the snow; but my grade school was .6 miles and the high school bus stop was .2 miles (I Googled it) and I did walk that far. I can remember huddling in a group behind some old couple’s garage hoping that the bus driver wasn’t late or that he didn’t drive past without seeing us. Even worse I can remember being late myself and watching from down the block as the driver pulled away. Having to run three blocks was not fun just to try to head him off at the next stop so I wouldn’t have to walk home and call my mom to tell her I’d missed the bus.
This year the weather could go either way but The Old Farmer’s Almanac says:
Winter will be colder and drier than normal, on average, with below-normal snowfall.
Most days in January will be cold, with other cold periods in early to mid-December and mid-February.
The snowiest periods will occur in mid-January and mid-February.
I don’t know about you but based on the last couple of weeks I’m not sure those editors at Farmer’s have got it right on this one. And if that’s the case, who’s going to tell the kids that they are going to get fireworks for the last day of school?