What are the chances your kids will have school tomorrow?
2:24 PM, Jan 27, 2014
2:24 PM, Jan 27, 2014
(WXYZ) - Even with all the snow and cold days off school that we've had, Tuesday is going to have to be a day off for nearly all districts in southeast Michigan.
Whether that makes you happy or not, the reasons are pretty straightforward. The combination of temperature that will be around 10 degrees below zero, and 20 to 30 mile per hour winds, will create wind chills of 30 to 35 below zero Tuesday morning.
Those kinds of readings can lead to frostbite on exposed skin in as little as fifteen minutes. Most districts have policies regarding cancelation when wind chill readings get in the vicinity of 20 below. So, even if it's not quite as bad as we expect, it will still be dangerously cold, and generally too cold to safely have school in session.
Also, many school buses have diesel engines, and when it gets as cold as it's going to be the next two mornings, diesel engines don't work too well if at all. That's not a good thing.
My advice speaking as a long-time meteorologist and as a father to two high school students: make other plans for Tuesday if you haven't already. I've been saying that since Saturday and see nothing that would change my mind. And while I'm thinking of it, have a Plan B for Wednesday too. While it won't be quite as cold, it will still be cold enough for many districts to decide to cancel school.
If you think this is unusual (or insert your own adjective here), of course you're right. This is going to be the coldest January since 1977, and one of the coldest ever.
It probably would be THE coldest if we hadn't had a three day "January thaw" in the middle of the month, which also served to makes lots of work for the Pothole Patrol. It's also already the second snowiest month ever recorded, and by the time this month ends on Friday, it will probably be the snowiest month on record around here, with those records dating back to 1880.
While the cold will ease a little late in the week, it looks like we'll average colder than normal even into the first week of February.
As far as kids having to go to school into July because of this, there are lots of possible solutions, and you can bet that district administrators will be working as hard examining their options as our team in the 7 First Alert Weather Center have been keeping you up-to-date on what to expect. Hang in there. Today has almost three minutes more daylight than yesterday did. What a party we will have this spring!
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Follow Chris Edwards on Twitter at twitter.com/edwardswxwxyz