On December 4, the snoWatch staff predicted a fifty percent chance of school cancellation. The next day, MCPS closed. This marks the closest the weather team has come this year to successfully predicting the superintendent's decision. Can this really be blamed on Silver Chips Online though? Or have the superintendent and his Inclement Weather Team secretly read this column each night and intentionally arrived at the exact opposite conclusion just to spite the writers and destroy their reputations? SCO is not about pointing fingers at people, just presenting the facts and baseless accusations. But let's discuss what you're here to read about. Yes, there is wintry precipitation on the way. No, it has not been decided whether Montgomery County will be open for business. No, the snoWatch team has not grown tired of answering questions that have not been asked and yes, it will continue to use this hackneyed and un-amusing format to end the sentence.
» 50% chance of light wintry mix from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
» 50-70% chance of rain and freezing rain from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
» Low: 27°
» High: 39°
» According to the people who know about this stuff: "The big question is is timing; if [precipitation] starts during rush hour, it could be a big disaster for everyone." - Robert Donaldson, Blair science teacher (Donaldson has a Master's degree in meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Chips' best guess: 60% chance of closure, 65% chance of at least a two-hour delay. Although Silver Spring may not see any freezing rain until the time many Blair students are usually already on their way to school, the northwestern parts of the county are likely to have precipitation start earlier. With 1/4" of total ice accumulation possible in areas like Damascus and Poolesville, it will be hard for MCPS to send kids off to school. One can only hope tomorrow does not see a repeat of two years ago when high schoolers arrived at school only to find out elementary and middle school students had been given the day off due to ice.
Check the Silver Chips Online weather page for additional information, including a link to real-time weather conditions at Blair.
MCPS weather policies can be found on their emergency information page.
snoWatch discussion: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today and was booed by the crowd as a result. Should the groundhog continue to work under such abusive conditions or should he consider a career move?
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