The SCHOOL:CON Index Explained
Who doesn't like a snow day? Several years ago, we developed the SCHOOL:CON index and I want to explain it before we get into winter. Please note, we do NOT have a SCHOOL:CON index issued for Tuesday. We only expect minor impacts northern Arkansas.
If you want more info on the plummeting temperatures today and the winter weather chances, go to the previous blog post. I don't see any changes at this time. The biggest weather story will be the cold and brutal wind chills through Thursday.
Now onto the SCHOOL:CON index. How do I come up with the forecast to close school?
Remember the excitement of a snow day when you were a kid? I do! I'll never forget waking up throughout the night and peaking through the window. If the ground was white, I could hardly contain my excitement. That sight was like a jolt of caffeine and I would sprint to the front door to see if the street was white too. I knew any snow or ice on the roads and it was a snow day!
I would then head to the kitchen, make a bowl of hot oatmeal, slap some butter on top, and sprinkle it with some sugar. The next stop was our living room TV. Hearing the official word my school was closed was music to my ears.
Fast forward to my time at KATV. It was brought to my attention we needed a way to get a better feeling if the wintry weather in the forecast was enough to shut schools down. Based on my experience as a kid growing up in Arkansas and my experience forecasting Arkansas weather, I have a fairly good feeling on what school administrators are thinking when snow and ice is in the forecast. I have even heard from several administrators that they use the SCHOOL:CON in their decision making. It was never intended for that, but if it helps, great!
It's nothing complex and based solely on those 2 factors. It's a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most likely schools will close. We didn't get the chance to use it last year much, but I look forward to it this year!
Once again, for more insight into this record breaking cold and the brief wintry mix for some, check out the previous blog post.