Closings and delays

Map shows how much snow it takes to get out of school based on region

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Over the weekend and into Monday, winter weather inhibited travel, causing school closings and delays in the Piedmont Triad.

A new map from Reddit user Alexandr Trubetskoy shows how much snow it actually takes to actually cancel schools in different areas of the U.S.

Trubetskoy used data “taken from hundreds of various points from user responses and interpolated using NOAA’s average annual snowfall days map,” to create the map.

For much of the southern part of the U.S., including North Carolina, “any snow” can cause widespread school closings, according to the map.

On the other hand, the map shows that it takes at least 2 feet to close schools in the Midwest.

Here’s a list of clarifications Trubetskoy published on Reddit:

  1. The lightest green says “any snow” but also includes merely the prediction of snow. Also, this is snow accumulation over 24 hours/overnight.
  2. In much of the Midwest and Great Plains, school closing often depends more on wind chill and temperature than on snow accumulation (“cold days”). Thus, this map may be misleading in those areas.
  3. Many jurisdictions in California and other western states have significantly varied snowfall, depending on elevation. This makes it difficult to find an “average” number, or often makes it misleading.
  4. Urban areas like Chicago and New York have more resources to clear snow and often need more to cause closings.
  5. To everyone saying “I grew up in so-and-so and we never closed school,” policies have changed in the last 20 years to make closing a much more common occurrence. Just because schools stayed open back then doesn’t mean they do these days.
  6. Hawaii does get snow! Just… not where people live.