Friday, February 6, 2004


We've just accomplished a clean sweep of the Baltimore Metro Area, all counties in the immediate area have closed. Some history for you:

1. Three months ago today, November 6, was the end of one of the warmest first week in November in mid-Atlantic history. High temperatures from the 1st to the 6th ranged from 81 F on 11/1 to 78 F on 11/6. This huge imbalance in the amount of heat and cold in the Northern Hemisphere, I believe set in motion the "backlash pattern" was responsible for causing the extreme and extended periods of cold air and snow we've seen in December, January and into February.

2. Six months ago today, in the early morning hours, our baby daughter Jayla was born on August 6. So it is a triple happy Friday as we get to celebrate her birthday, we get the day off, and we have Grandma and Grandpa who arrived last night to join in the celebration.

3. One year ago on this day, the first Friday in February (the 5th in 2003) schools were closed in the Baltimore and Philly areas with 7 inches which was the beginning of a 10 day pattern that resulted in the largest snowfall in the history of Baltimore, followed by a week off school. Then snow returned 10 days after that with another day off Feb 27th.

4. Ten years ago this winter was the infamous ice storms of January 1994. Some schools in Chester County, PA only saw a TOTAL of 4 days IN SCHOOL for the entire month of January. One district in particular (where my brother and I attended as kids) was Tredyffrin-Eastttown, which ended up extending the school year to June 30. As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up. I know all our readers in PA remember that winter. In State College one day that winter, the high temp did not get above 0 F, and the low was -27 F one morning on the way to class at Penn State.

So enjoy your day off, again. But remember, the school calendar remind us... "either pay me now or pay me later." For most of us along the I-95 Corridor, we will probably not have a full week of school for the entire month of February. The southern jet stream locked into a pattern in mid-January that will deliver snow and ice problems for schools over the next several weeks. Consider the pattern in Baltimore:

Jan 26-29: Closed due to snow, delay on Jan 30
Feb 3: Closed due to ice
Feb 6: Closed due to ice
Feb 11-12: Another snow/ice storm in the pipeline, which will may delay or close schools for one day
Feb 16: President's Day, but another storm arriving on the 17th


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