Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Walking in a Winter Wonderland??


Well, it looks as though there's a very good chance I may be getting my first snow day of the season.  Maybe even a couple of them.  That is our local 7 day forecast, and I guess there's a reason people say "If you don't like the weather in Arkansas, just stick around for a'll change".  And that couldn't be more right if this weather system pans out the way it's forecasted.

Our area is under a Winter Weather watch until Monday.  

This past Monday and Tuesday, the weather was BEAUTIFUL!  I wore short sleeves, and didn't even need a sweater.  The highs climbed close to 70 degrees both days, and I had to open up the windows in my classroom because it got pretty toasty.  And within a mere 24 hours from now, the temps won't be getting above freezing for several days.  Brrrrr!!

Right now, it's about 40 degrees.  It's supposed to heat up to around 60 by midday, but then this cold weather front starts to move in and will blast us with rapidly decreasing temperatures and will drop to the 30s by mid-evening.  And then it keeps dropping, and dropping, until we get well below the freezing mark.  Add a little moisture to those temperatures, and my local meteorologist predicts we are going to get rain, freezing rain, sleet, and then eventually snow.

I've just realized that I've watched enough videos of this weather system to now apply for a job as the weather blogger, because I think I did a pretty darned good job of explaining it.

It also helps that my class is currently learning about weather.  It was pretty awesome having them watch the video my local meteorologist did Monday evening.  He explained the arctic front moving in, showed how the weather will move in, and even explained why and how we'll end up seeing all types of precipitation come our way.  I even took the kids outside to look at the cirrus clouds that are the precursor for precipitation.  There were several of them, and cirrus clouds tell us that precipitation will occur within a couple of days.  

I'm all about some snow days.  Hello, I'm a teacher!  Anytime there's even the slightest chance for some white stuff, you're going to see a lot of teachers outside doing a snow dance.  And the chances of snow with this winter storm isn't just going to be here for a day...there's also a chance we're going to see more Friday evening and even more on Sunday.  Enough to keep us out Monday, too?  Who knows... but whatever we get tomorrow and Friday isn't going to have a chance to melt by then anyway.

I have mixed emotions about the whole thing.  

Don't get me wrong, I like all of my teaching cohorts, enjoy a good snow day.  It just always seems to happen right after we've come back from a break.  Last week, we got five days off.  There's only twelve days of school left before we get two full weeks off for Christmas.  Now it appears we'll be getting another five day weekend, if not four and a half days if they have to do early release tomorrow.  It all creates madness and mayhem when trying to fit in everything that needs to be done before getting out for Christmas.  Snow days also mean that we have to take away days that have been built in to the calendar.  As it sits right now, we are going to get at least two days off a month between January and May.  If we start getting our snow days now, we are going to start losing those days off.  And I can tell you, no break between January and March is a long time to go.  

It's great to have five days off, come back for three days, then get another five or six days off, then go back for nine days and get two weeks off.  But, by mid February and going a month without a break, all the teachers that were dancing for these snow days will be wondering what they were thinking when they realize there's still several weeks to go before the next break.

The part I'm really nervous about is tomorrow.  I HATE early release.  If we go to school and everything is clear and dry, and then it starts chucking down freezing rain, it doesn't take long for the roads to start getting messy.  I live about 30 minutes away from work, and the roads I travel are curvy and hilly.  I already have a fear of driving in snow, but ice?  Forget about it!  

My friendly meteorologist is setting us up for exactly that scenario to play out.  The weather will start to hit right after we get to school tomorrow...maybe by midmorning...but he's predicting that by early afternoon the ground will be covered in ice and snow.  Awesome.  

Early dismissal can take quite a long time.  We have to make sure all of our kiddos know where to go, that they have a way to get there if they don't ride a bus, and that all kids are picked up or off school property before we can leave.  If the weather starts, it usually takes a little while to get the call about early dismissal.  Then add about an hour to get all the kids packed on buses or in cars or picked up by parents.  That time can already have created an ice-rink on the roads, and there's no way for me to get home without traveling up a large, steep hill.  If not several of them.

I will say, though, that my school district is already being pretty proactive.  They rescheduled the field trip that Jelly was supposed to take tomorrow (her birthday), and now they're going today.  They cancelled a school dance that was supposed to happen Friday night.  They sent out notices to parents yesterday explaining the possibility of early dismissal and wanting updated emergency contact numbers so that parents can be reached on the automated system if early release happens.  Jelly even made me buy her birthday cupcakes for her to take to school today, because she doesn't want to take the chance of weather disrupting her birthday plans.  

I'm just praying that the weather moves in sooner than later.  It looks as though it's going to happen.   I mean, I was taught that 100% meant that it was definitely going to when I see 100% chance of ice and 100% chance of snow, that tells me there's no getting around it.  We are going to get a winter storm.  

It wouldn't bother me a bit to get up tomorrow morning, get showered and dressed, and then receive a call that school is cancelled.  BEFORE I make that drive.  I'd be perfectly happy if that freezing rain started appearing between 6-7AM in the morning.  

But, then I have Hubby to worry about.  He works nights, so he'll have to be able to make it home safely in the morning.  He's better at driving in nasty weather than I am, though, so I'd much rather worry about him getting home from work than me getting home from work after it's started to come in.

What I do know is that before I leave today, I'm going to pack up everything I'll need for a long weekend.  Then I'll spend the evening praying that Mother Nature is on my side, and nobody's lives will be gambled with by having the weather hit before school starts tomorrow.  

Which reminds me, I should probably stop and buy the stuff needed to make Jelly a birthday cake today.  She won't be very happy if we're not able to get to the store tomorrow to buy one.  Besides, she'd much rather bake her own than get a store bought cake anyway.

OK, I guess I better start getting ready for work.  I wonder if my kids will be all crazy today, being that there's so much hype about the snow.  I don't have to remind myself that I'm partly to blame if there is.  I am the one that showed them the video and told them all about the storm that's approaching.  Most of them were none the wiser, being that it was close to 70 degrees outside yesterday.  

Alright prayer warriors, be praying or dancing or thinking or whatever you can do today to help that storm get here before my drive tomorrow morning.

Have an awesome day!! 


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