Friday, February 6, 2004

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FRI 2/6 EARLY AM UPDATE: "JUST WHEN I THOUGHT OUR CHANCE HAD PASSED, YOU GO AND SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST."

- Vanessa Williams

6:45 AM - I'm going to side with my esteemed colleague, Dundalk High Earth Science teacher Mr. Fantasie and say that most Baltimore Metro schools will decide to close at the 7:00 AM Re-evaluation time. Have you walked outside and seen how thick the ice is on your cars and sidewalks? Even in Dundalk, there is a crunchy sound like you are walking on ribbon candy. That is not the ice cracking due to melt. That's a covering of sleet on top of a quarter inch of ice. MTA Light Rail is not running, and the 3:00 AM NWS Statement said that although temps will warm above freezing, conditions will be favorable for freezing rain until possibly mid-day. The rain may fall all it wants, but the thickness of the ice is going to delay melting for a couple hours, especially in Northern Baltimore County. So I think the bus drivers are now being told... thanks for coming in, but you can go home now. Frederick County has already changed from 2-hours late to closed... we'll see who follows suit.

6:00 AM - The news has reported that several area schools will indeed be re-evaluating their decision at 7:00. We'll see who wins and who loses.

5:15 AM School roundup. Compare against forecast listed in earlier posts.

MD Counties: 2 hour delay - Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's and others. City Schools were scheduled to be closed.

MD Counties: Closed - Alleghany

PA: Closed - Altoona, PA Area Schools, State College, PA Hollidaysburg Area Schools and many others.

Wherever you are, there is either a coating of snow covered by a glaze of ice on everything, or just a distinct, thick, heavy, glaze of ice. Baltimore Metro area schools now have about 90 minutes to assess the situation. They have to make the call around 7:00 if they will let the delay stand, or decide if the secondary roads, bus stops and parking lots and sidewalks are too icy that another hour or two will not make a difference. Northern Baltimore County remains below 30 F, while the city is right around 32 F. It will depend on how much warming can take place in by 8:00 AM and if school officials will hedge their bets that conditions will improve enough in time for buses to start rolling by then.