By Heidi Sonen and Roscoe Shaw
Heidi and I were in Montana near Yellowstone Park this winter and noticed kids playing outside a school. That’s not unusual, except that the car thermometer read eight below zero. Such a thing would never be allowed here in Virginia, so Heidi asked a teacher a few questions.
Q: “How cold does it have to be to stay inside?”
A: “Twenty below but we watch them close anytime it’s below zero.”
Q: “How much snow does it take to close the school?”
A: “I don’t know because it hasn’t happened since I’ve been here.”
A check of the weather records shows that it snows about 170 inches a year at the school and 250 inches nearby where some of the kids live. If the buses can’t run because of cold or snow, you are expected to get there anyway.
Of course, in Virginia, just the forecast of a chance of snow in the afternoon can close school all day. We have a precious little one in school, so I understand the concern for safety. But, after seeing the “no excuses” attitude in Montana, I suspect those kids might just grow up a little tougher and more reliable than ours.
Overall, January was slightly warmer and wetter than normal. Despite this, the period January 22-27 was the coldest around here in four years. My pond froze hard enough to walk on, but two days later the high was 74. That’s Virginia! A total of 1.8” of snow, sleet and slop fell during six different wintry days.
- January Average 2.94”
- Afton Summit 6.20”
- Crozet 5.16”
- Greenwood 5.14”
- Univ of VA 5.10”
- Charlottesville Airport 5.05”
- Waynesboro 4.02”
- Nellysford 3.69”