Recent Atlanta school closings were not at all overkill. Remember Snowmaggedon?

by Fulton Watch News Feed

Two recent forecasts brought such actions from local school systems. The severe weather forecast for Friday, January 12th, called for strong storms in North Georgia, high winds, and potential tornadic activity in the southern suburbs.

Clayton, Coweta, and Spalding county schools announced closures the day before. Fayette and Meriwether counties had remote-learning days. Newton County schools released early. Henry County closed its government offices. Several counties held classes but canceled after-school activities.

Winter weather was not the threat, but the timing of the severe weather coincided with the latter half of the school day and those school systems did not want to release children into dangerous conditions.

All of the prep ended up looking silly, as the temperatures stayed too low for the weather to live up to the forecast. There was rain and wind, but nothing was severe.

The following Tuesday, January 16th, saw a Winter Weather Advisory for a large swath of North Georgia, the breadth of which began to expand Monday. As the threat for a small wintry mix spread from just the counties of the far northwest metro area to most of the Atlanta market, many schools announced that their three-day weekends would add a day.

These decisions were made based on a worst-case scenario. If the forecast lived up to its highest potential — if the bitter cold arrived at the edge of the rainy line — then the roads would indeed be slick. Or the temperature plunge would freeze the pools of water on the roads after the rain stopped. In either the case, the streets, even if pre-treated, would be dangerous for the masses to travel.

As it turned out, the temperatures took their dive after the rain stopped and the howling winds dried the roads. There were traces of ice, but nothing widespread. The schools again seemingly closed largely for no reason. Kids did not go outside to make rain angels or sled down the muddy grass.

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