A Project for Better Journalism chapter

How to accurately predict a snow day

Do you enjoy disappointment when it comes to predicting a snow day? If so, use Snow Day Calculator. It’s a cruel and evil trick used to taunt the youth of America. Devised to raise high hopes of students across the nation, snow day calculator is only ever right on days that are actually snow days.

  For example, Jr. Jordan Crook used this program to predict the chances of a snow day for Thursday, January 4, 2018. “It said 84% for a snow day, but it didn’t happen. I wasn’t too happy the next morning,” Crook said.

  Let me tell you how you can accurately predict a snow day to avoid situations like that.



  In contrast to the Snow Day Calculator, the Snow Day Predictor is accurate. It even takes forecasts into account when making its prediction. Although kids were hoping for a snow day on the day winter break ended, the Predictor estimated that the chances were at 17%. This program isn’t always inaccurately high, unlike the Snow Day Calculator. It isn’t designed to raise kids’ hopes. Instead, Snow Day Predictor is realistic about its prediction in order to prepare students for the coming future.


Check your area for storm warnings from the National Weather service on weather.com

  The Weather Channel is the best source for local weather news and forecasts. It also alerts you to notifications from the National Weather Service(NWS) in accordance with your area. When on the website, go to the top left of the screen. Your location should be there. If an orange circle with a number appears next to the location, that means that the NWS has issued some kind of weather warning for that particular area. Now, check this more than once. The advisory may change little things, like the amount of snow being called for. If this number went down, chances of a snow day would decrease and vice versa.


Ask some people who are known for correct snow day predictions

  Sometimes, just asking people is the best way. Find someone you know that is good at predicting snow days. Instructors Andrea Andreadis and Chris Knoll are the premiere snow day predictors at West Ottawa High School. These people are the two that staff and students alike will consult in order to see if West Ottawa. has a school day. Each one has their own methods.

  Andreadis consults the Twitter and Weebly blog of Blake Harms, West Michigan’s own snow day predictor, checking advisories from the NWS, and looking at the radar, Andreadis even states that “10% of it is just a gut feeling.”

  Knoll, however, has a different prediction process. In his process, he looks for hazardous weather warnings from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. If there happens to be one, snow days are close to certain. His most bizarre trick is to ask Yoda. He has an electronic Yoda figurine that works like a magic eight ball. He will ask Yoda about having a snow day and will get some form of a yes or no answer. “He’s right 80% of the time, but he has been wrong before. When he is wrong, he gets thrown into a snowbank” Knoll said.


Don’t count on freezing rain

  There is a reason that these days are called snow days and not freezing rain days. Although freezing rain has the potential to become ice, it’s unlikely that it would become the sole cause of a day off. Sure, it might contribute to one, but lots of other factors come into play as well. Freezing rain in the forecast may lead to some less than favorable driving conditions. Even more so, the big issue is that freezing rain is predicted quite often, but rarely ever pans out.However, the snow itself produces conditions that are worse than that of freezing rain. Don’t count on a snow day if the forecast says freezing rain.


  Ice is also important when taking snow days into consideration, but don’t bank on that, either. Slippery roads and bad sidewalks are something that, although risky, can be dealt with much easier than heaps of snow on the roads. There’s a reason that days off are called “snow days” instead of “ice days”.


  Recent history shows that these methods can be trusted. On Sunday, January 7, Snow Day Predictor had chances of a snow day for the next day at 45%, but even then, they dropped to 38%. The NWS advisory had Holland fixed at 1-4 inches of snow for Monday, but dropped later in the day to 1-3 inches.


  In the most optimal situation, lots of snow overnight will most likely bring about a snow day. Using these methods will improve your chances of predicting the likelihood of school being canceled.