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(Washington Post)   Three days ago, Fairfax County, VA, got about 5 inches of snow. Naturally, their schools were still closed today   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 93
    More: Fail, Fairfax County, Virginia, Washingtonians, snow  
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3177 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Jan 2014 at 4:26 PM (25 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-23 03:15:40 PM
I'm not saying they are pussies, but

aliens.
 
2014-01-23 03:18:53 PM
DiBlasio!!!
 
2014-01-23 04:15:58 PM
Lexington hasn't been THAT much better- there are school districts just outside of Lexington-Fayette that are still going to be closed TOMORROW. More because of sub-zero wind chills I've heard, but still.

When I was a kid in mid-Missouri, I lived about a mile from my middle school and they didn't provide busses at that distance- so I had to walk, and it had to snow a LOT before they'd shut down the schools so I'd often be trudging through rather deep snow in single-digit temps. These days busses pick up kids in front of their own house instead of having us all congregate in one place up to a few blocks away from my house.
 
2014-01-23 04:25:23 PM
Isn't it also like -5F out? When I think sub zero temperatures I don't think NOVA.
 
2014-01-23 04:28:54 PM
Ha! Ha! Let's all laugh and point!

On a more serious note, now we'll never get them to believe in global warming.
 
2014-01-23 04:29:43 PM
Got about 4-5 inches of snow last night around here.  Everything went on as it normally would today.

/Colorado
 
2014-01-23 04:30:16 PM
We don't have lots and lots of snow removal equipment, and it's been so cold the salt we usually rely on to clear the streets hasn't worked.  We don't stockpile cinders because usually the salt works.  So we're screwed.  But just for the hell of it, screw you, subby.
 
2014-01-23 04:30:42 PM
I have friends who moved down to North Carolina and had school closing a at less than have an inch.
 
2014-01-23 04:31:13 PM

enry: Isn't it also like -5F out? When I think sub zero temperatures I don't think NOVA.


the locals would have to change out of their brown flip flops to go outside
 
2014-01-23 04:31:26 PM
I bet they don't have sufficient equipment to clear the snow in a timely manner considering they usually get about 1/2" at a go. I would also imagine that their buses are all gelled up and the school's heating equipment is running continuously and lagging behind. The South just isn't prepared for an event that usually happens ever other decade. It's cheaper just to let everybody stay home than to keep and maintain equipment that they rarely need.
 
2014-01-23 04:31:40 PM

brantgoose: Ha! Ha! Let's all laugh and point!

On a more serious note, now we'll never get them to believe in global warming.


Yeah, well, the "4th hottest year since 1880" doesn't really impress, given that the country was founded during a mini-ice age.
 
2014-01-23 04:31:41 PM
I lived in Fairfax as a kid. They do not deal well with snow. I remember we had a snow day when we got less than an inch.
 
2014-01-23 04:31:44 PM

GanjSmokr: Got about 4-5 inches of snow last night around here.  Everything went on as it normally would today.

/Colorado


Us too.  Snow I can deal with.  -34 wind chills,  not so much.

/Wisconsin
 
2014-01-23 04:33:07 PM
My friends just moved there from Okinawa for this school year (they're from here in MA), and they're just in WTF mode right now.
 
2014-01-23 04:34:00 PM
Are they equipped to handle large snowfalls and are their schools equipped to handle extreme cold? If they aren't then it is normal for this to happen. Not all areas are equipped to deal with this stuff.
 
2014-01-23 04:34:30 PM
Loudoun County Resident here (the next county West of Fairfax)  I was annoyed they cancelled school for the rest f the week but they did so because it was already the end of the semester, this was supposed to be finals week and that schedule was already screwed to hell and back, and the teachers get a day off at the end of the semester to do grading, which was supposed to me Monday and was moved to Friday instead.  Also

a) It's about 6 degrees there currently so it ain't like the snow is melting much,
b) that level of cold sometimes cancels school on its own anyway out of concern for kids waiting for the bus
c) the county has man miles of dirt and gravel roads which can;t really be plowed (the county is a strange mix of ten Million dollar estates on one end of the country $400,000-$1,000,000 "middle class" homes in the middle, and real working farms, ranches  and vineyards on t'other end)
 
2014-01-23 04:36:56 PM
We got 10 inches two or three weeks ago during Polar Vortex Asshole. (I've come up with my very own naming scheme) and nothing closed. And we got another 6 inches 3 days later. Then we got 4 inches a week later. Nothing shutdown.

Now we've got 10 degree weather and Polar Vortex Biatch. Hopefully we don't get any damn snow; we're still not rid of all of it.
 
2014-01-23 04:37:03 PM
Up here in the Great White North, warm weather tends to mean lots of snow because it comes from wet air moving up the sides of the Appalachian mountains from the Gulf of Mexico or the South Atlantic. Cold weather is often clear and dry and very, very cold because it comes from the North. There's very little snow at very cold temperatures as a rule because the air holds less moisture. Not that you can't get snow when it's 30 or 40 below zero Celsius. And you can even get lightning snow--electrical snow storms.

All I can say is that I am delighted when it snows in the South. Serves them warm front mongers right. Just as long as it doesn't hurt the orange crop, that is. Canada buys 85% of the Florida orange crop for juice and fruit. We OWN Florida --it's like a main land (continental) Newfie Joke. See below for a Newfie Joke about Main Landers.

Electric Snow Storm would be a good name for a band.

Oh, shut up, Dave Berry! Just kidding. You know we loves yah. You're one of the greatest spokes people for weird and silly science stories and probably an honorary TotalFarker. If not, I nominate Dave Berry as an honorary TotalFarker.

I'm not paying the $5, though.

***

Question: What is black and blue and floats in Saint John's Harbour?

Answer: A Mainlander who tells Newfie jokes.

 
2014-01-23 04:37:29 PM
The weird thing is that the really big snowstorms have managed to miss the Chicago area, but it's still the coldest and snowiest winter we've had since 1979. I'm still thinking we're going to get socked with a 1979- or 2011-style blizzard before winter's over. As much as I hate the shoveling afterward, those storms are kind of fun, as long as I'm not trying to drive anywhere. Thundersnow is especially awesome.

You don't have to go far into Indiana to enter the Lake Effect Snow Belt From Hell. A couple of days ago, a lake effect system parked itself over The Region and dumped over a foot of snow.
 
2014-01-23 04:39:47 PM
Where I'm from, 5 inches of snow won't even make the schools cancel recess, much less classes.  I swear some of you states should fly some of us Canucks down there so we can show you how to deal with it.  Just don't ask Toronto - they're just as confused as select Americans.

/Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
 
2014-01-23 04:40:50 PM

ongbok: Are they equipped to handle large snowfalls and are their schools equipped to handle extreme cold? If they aren't then it is normal for this to happen. Not all areas are equipped to deal with this stuff.


5 inches is not a 'large snowfall', Maybe one day of closure if it snowed late at night/early AM type thing. And I'm sure their schools are equipped with a heating system like everywhere else in the U.S....
Oh, and for the kids that have to walk to school, it's called a coat, hat, and boots.
 
2014-01-23 04:41:29 PM
I live north of there in Maryland my friend in Chicago has been calling me a pussy all week and then she made fun of the Caps. I'm kicking her in the shins this summer.
 
2014-01-23 04:41:35 PM
Crazy man, it's like places that don't get a lot of snow...or pretty much none...aren't prepared to deal with it.

Stupid cautious NoVA, obviously they just aren't macho enough to send the kids out onto icy roads in school buses. What could go wrong?

/let me dispel a myth for you, you aren't good at driving in the snow and ice no matter how much you brag about it on the Internet
//yeah I know, you're different you're an expert
///driven in lots of snow on lots of mountains, it sucks every time
 
2014-01-23 04:43:21 PM
the roads here are fine.  this is a joke.
 
2014-01-23 04:44:48 PM

LisaNeedsBraces: Where I'm from, 5 inches of snow won't even make the schools cancel recess, much less classes.  I swear some of you states should fly some of us Canucks down there so we can show you how to deal with it.  Just don't ask Toronto - they're just as confused as select Americans.

/Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


I don't know what is so hard to understand. Some areas don't get more than 5 inches of snow total for the whole winter. So when they get 5 inches at once they don't have the equipment to remove it, so they shut some things down. Also some areas don't see very low temperatures during the winter, so when they do see extreme cold they shut things down because their school buildings aren't built to handle that type of could.
 
2014-01-23 04:46:14 PM

GanjSmokr: Got about 4-5 inches of snow last night around here.  Everything went on as it normally would today.

/Colorado


Got about a foot of snow here and it'll be in the 20s for the rest of the week....people are stilll going to work, kids are still going to school, NYC is just being NYC.
 
2014-01-23 04:49:32 PM
In related news, plows don't grow on trees.
 
2014-01-23 04:51:02 PM

MBZ321: ongbok: Are they equipped to handle large snowfalls and are their schools equipped to handle extreme cold? If they aren't then it is normal for this to happen. Not all areas are equipped to deal with this stuff.

5 inches is not a 'large snowfall', Maybe one day of closure if it snowed late at night/early AM type thing. And I'm sure their schools are equipped with a heating system like everywhere else in the U.S....
Oh, and for the kids that have to walk to school, it's called a coat, hat, and boots.


If you have infrastructure it's not big deal, but if you don't because 5 inch snows are rare or your government is poor or if you have buses taking unpaved roads it's a big deal.
 
2014-01-23 04:51:06 PM

MBZ321: ongbok: Are they equipped to handle large snowfalls and are their schools equipped to handle extreme cold? If they aren't then it is normal for this to happen. Not all areas are equipped to deal with this stuff.

5 inches is not a 'large snowfall', Maybe one day of closure if it snowed late at night/early AM type thing. And I'm sure their schools are equipped with a heating system like everywhere else in the U.S....
Oh, and for the kids that have to walk to school, it's called a coat, hat, and boots.


When you are in an area that may see 5 inches total for the whole winter, 5 inches at once is a big snowfall. And if you only see a 1/2 inch of snow at a time, you aren't going to have the heavy equipment needed to remove 5 inches of snow from a metropolitan area in a timely manner. And in some areas the buildings aren't built to handle the extreme cold. There are ways that buildings are built to keep them insulated from the cold, and thus keeping them from straining their heating systems. In areas where it normally doesn't get into the extreme cold, they don't build buildings like this, so the heating systems have to work extra hard to keep the buildings warm, thus straining them and risking system failures. What is so hard to understand about that?
 
2014-01-23 04:51:29 PM

SlothB77: the roads here are fine.  this is a joke.


^This.  Didn't miss a minute of work....even the day of the "storm" the roads were fine on the way home.  I am embarrassed to live here.  And I drive a Toyota Camry.
 
2014-01-23 04:51:37 PM
And?  Is your puppy dead because of this?

Who cares.  Those kids aren't learning anything anyway.
 
2014-01-23 04:51:55 PM

ongbok: LisaNeedsBraces: Where I'm from, 5 inches of snow won't even make the schools cancel recess, much less classes.  I swear some of you states should fly some of us Canucks down there so we can show you how to deal with it.  Just don't ask Toronto - they're just as confused as select Americans.

/Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

I don't know what is so hard to understand. Some areas don't get more than 5 inches of snow total for the whole winter. So when they get 5 inches at once they don't have the equipment to remove it, so they shut some things down. Also some areas don't see very low temperatures during the winter, so when they do see extreme cold they shut things down because their school buildings aren't built to handle that type of could.


Yes, but you really don't need to move 5" of snow. You know that, being a Chicagoan. We call 5" of snow flurries.

I realize it's the south and they don't get much snow very often. However, the Upper Midwest is not the desert but when we have a few 100 degree days in the summer nothing shuts down either.

You know we're just better up here. Temperate climates make people soft.
 
2014-01-23 04:53:12 PM

Ashyukun: Lexington hasn't been THAT much better- there are school districts just outside of Lexington-Fayette that are still going to be closed TOMORROW. More because of sub-zero wind chills I've heard, but still.

When I was a kid in mid-Missouri, I lived about a mile from my middle school and they didn't provide busses at that distance- so I had to walk, and it had to snow a LOT before they'd shut down the schools so I'd often be trudging through rather deep snow in single-digit temps. These days busses pick up kids in front of their own house instead of having us all congregate in one place up to a few blocks away from my house.


Fayette schools are closed tomorrow.

My son's school (in Northeastern Ky) has been closed all week and will be closed again tomorrow. There is very little snow left but it is currently 11 degrees and will be about 6 degrees when the kids would be waiting for the buses. I'd volunteer to pick up a few in my warm car if it means the kids not having to go later in the year.
 
2014-01-23 04:59:03 PM
subbies mom got 5" and she still remained open...
 
2014-01-23 04:59:03 PM
From the article -- Again, driving in this stuff does not require great expertise, just a little bit of caution.

Hah!  I think I see where the author of the piece missed some major facts.

/the scariest drive I ever had in my life was on the Washington Beltway.
 
2014-01-23 04:59:34 PM

Internet Meme Rogers: ongbok: LisaNeedsBraces: Where I'm from, 5 inches of snow won't even make the schools cancel recess, much less classes.  I swear some of you states should fly some of us Canucks down there so we can show you how to deal with it.  Just don't ask Toronto - they're just as confused as select Americans.

/Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

I don't know what is so hard to understand. Some areas don't get more than 5 inches of snow total for the whole winter. So when they get 5 inches at once they don't have the equipment to remove it, so they shut some things down. Also some areas don't see very low temperatures during the winter, so when they do see extreme cold they shut things down because their school buildings aren't built to handle that type of could.

Yes, but you really don't need to move 5" of snow. You know that, being a Chicagoan. We call 5" of snow flurries.

I realize it's the south and they don't get much snow very often. However, the Upper Midwest is not the desert but when we have a few 100 degree days in the summer nothing shuts down either.

You know we're just better up here. Temperate climates make people soft.


I'm from Chicago also, so 5 inches of snow isn't much to me either. But to someone living in an area that gets little to no snow, can you see how getting 5 inches would be a problem to them?

Remember in late August early September when the heat wave hit the Mid West. Remember all of those non air conditioned schools were closing because they were too hot? It is the same concept. Those schools weren't built to handle the heat, because they weren't planned to be used during the times of extreme heat, they were built to handle the extreme cold.
 
zez
2014-01-23 05:01:49 PM
I'm just outside of St. Louis and my kids district was closed again today, this time because it was "too cold". If they are going to close schools because it's cold in the winter then why don't they just give the kids the winter off and make them go in the summer.

Oh yeah, because then it will be too hot.
 
2014-01-23 05:03:02 PM
Bullshiat! George Mason has been open since 10 am the day after the snow fell, and the main road that runs parallel to campus was cleared even earlier than that.  It was 5 degrees when I walked to class yesterday.

And yes, I realize this article was talking about public schools.
 
2014-01-23 05:03:23 PM

Fubegra: The weird thing is that the really big snowstorms have managed to miss the Chicago area, but it's still the coldest and snowiest winter we've had since 1979. I'm still thinking we're going to get socked with a 1979- or 2011-style blizzard before winter's over. As much as I hate the shoveling afterward, those storms are kind of fun, as long as I'm not trying to drive anywhere. Thundersnow is especially awesome.

You don't have to go far into Indiana to enter the Lake Effect Snow Belt From Hell. A couple of days ago, a lake effect system parked itself over The Region and dumped over a foot of snow.


I have a buddy who lives smack in the middle of the Region in a rural area. Pretty much has to clear his giant driveway and most of his street himself as he's in an unincorporated area and it takes the county a while to get around there. He's got an 150 with a snow plow he periodically has to throw on there, and he's kind of sick of doing this. He told me he looked outside, called work to say "Yep snowed in", and went back to bed. He has to drive around a lot for work in the area anyway (in sales), so I can't blame him. Conditions were horrible. He send me a picture that was pretty indiscernible from taking a picture of snow from a few inches away.
 
2014-01-23 05:08:26 PM
Don't live there or anywhere near there, but is that really a surprise? 5in in Alaska would be nothing, but in VA they have no equipment, people or training ready for that.
 
2014-01-23 05:09:36 PM

zez: I'm just outside of St. Louis and my kids district was closed again today, this time because it was "too cold". If they are going to close schools because it's cold in the winter then why don't they just give the kids the winter off and make them go in the summer.

Oh yeah, because then it will be too hot.


Whoever runs Edwardsville must have moved from Florida as they cancel school at the drop of a hat. Then once they cancel everyone else on the East Side follows behind.

Our district robocalled last night tell us school was on and to bundle your kids up.
 
zeg
2014-01-23 05:12:12 PM
It's not a ton of snow, but it's enough that without some treatment, the roads will be dangerous. Just driving over it is just going to compact the snow into a slippery surface, and if it's staying at deep freezing temperatures, it's not going to get better on its own.

Add that to the already-discussed and likely possibility that schools are not built to heat adequately for very cold weather. Also, "a coat and hat" that is appropriate for southern US climates is not going to hold up for a kid walking or waiting for the bus in deep cold if there's a significant wind. Sure, if you are going to see that kind of weather regularly, you will be equipped for it, but in VA, there's no reason to have it.
 
2014-01-23 05:12:15 PM
Missicat

SlothB77: the roads here are fine. this is a joke.

^This. Didn't miss a minute of work....even the day of the "storm" the roads were fine on the way home. I am embarrassed to live here. And I drive a Toyota Camry.


Are you embarrassed to live there because you drive a Toyota Camry?
 
2014-01-23 05:15:15 PM

cgraves67: I bet they don't have sufficient equipment to clear the snow in a timely manner considering they usually get about 1/2" at a go. I would also imagine that their buses are all gelled up and the school's heating equipment is running continuously and lagging behind. The South just isn't prepared for an event that usually happens ever other decade. It's cheaper just to let everybody stay home than to keep and maintain equipment that they rarely need.


It makes sense I suppose, but hard to visualize for someone who has lived where it snows for 6 months of the year. Here the snow removal equipment doesn't even leave the garage unless we've had maybe 5" of the white crap. Knowing how to drive on snow is rather important, but people who live in warmer climates don't tend to get much practice. Black ice not withstanding, snow is much less slippery at -10 F than it is at 30 F.
 
2014-01-23 05:16:06 PM

zeg: It's not a ton of snow, but it's enough that without some treatment, the roads will be dangerous. Just driving over it is just going to compact the snow into a slippery surface, and if it's staying at deep freezing temperatures, it's not going to get better on its own.


That's been a big problem with these snows.  The temperatures get so cold so quickly afterwards that only the best systems can properly get to all the roads (not just the thoroughfares but all the neighborhood roads the buses take) before it gets too cold for salt to be effective even with the additives.
 
2014-01-23 05:18:53 PM

Magorn: Loudoun County Resident here (the next county West of Fairfax)  I was annoyed they cancelled school for the rest f the week but they did so because it was already the end of the semester, this was supposed to be finals week and that schedule was already screwed to hell and back, and the teachers get a day off at the end of the semester to do grading, which was supposed to me Monday and was moved to Friday instead.  Also

a) It's about 6 degrees there currently so it ain't like the snow is melting much,
b) that level of cold sometimes cancels school on its own anyway out of concern for kids waiting for the bus
c) the county has man miles of dirt and gravel roads which can;t really be plowed (the county is a strange mix of ten Million dollar estates on one end of the country $400,000-$1,000,000 "middle class" homes in the middle, and real working farms, ranches  and vineyards on t'other end)


Are your kids driving you nuts too?
 
2014-01-23 05:21:39 PM

Ashyukun: Lexington hasn't been THAT much better- there are school districts just outside of Lexington-Fayette that are still going to be closed TOMORROW. More because of sub-zero wind chills I've heard, but still.

When I was a kid in mid-Missouri, I lived about a mile from my middle school and they didn't provide busses at that distance- so I had to walk, and it had to snow a LOT before they'd shut down the schools so I'd often be trudging through rather deep snow in single-digit temps. These days busses pick up kids in front of their own house instead of having us all congregate in one place up to a few blocks away from my house.


Closed tomorrow, dude. 
My kids are getting out of school on June 4th. :( 
My daughter didn't have a snow day until 3rd grade (she's in 9th now). That bus sliding off the road and hurting 3 kids didn't help.
 
2014-01-23 05:24:13 PM

12349876: zeg: It's not a ton of snow, but it's enough that without some treatment, the roads will be dangerous. Just driving over it is just going to compact the snow into a slippery surface, and if it's staying at deep freezing temperatures, it's not going to get better on its own.

That's been a big problem with these snows.  The temperatures get so cold so quickly afterwards that only the best systems can properly get to all the roads (not just the thoroughfares but all the neighborhood roads the buses take) before it gets too cold for salt to be effective even with the additives.


As someone that lives in WI, we had a ton of accidents on the freeway yesterday from exactly that.  Snowed a bit, then froze the freeway because the salt wouldn't take.

Doesn't help that the assholes in the far left lane were doing around 60 and then trying to switch lanes at that speed.
 
2014-01-23 05:24:15 PM
Don't get me started... here in Minnesnowta, my kids school was cancelled braids it was -15. He's 17... if he can't dress appropriately, then let him freeze.
 
2014-01-23 05:26:21 PM

Semper IvXx: Crazy man, it's like places that don't get a lot of snow...or pretty much none...aren't prepared to deal with it.

Stupid cautious NoVA, obviously they just aren't macho enough to send the kids out onto icy roads in school buses. What could go wrong?

/let me dispel a myth for you, you aren't good at driving in the snow and ice no matter how much you brag about it on the Internet
//yeah I know, you're different you're an expert
///driven in lots of snow on lots of mountains, it sucks every time


At what point is overcautiousness crippling?
 
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