Weather consultants help schools forecast closure decisions

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KANSAS CITY -- It will be too cool for school on Wednesday, with many districts delaying or cancelling classes.

Administrators want to keep your kids safe from those single digit temperatures and dangerous wind chills. So Weather Or Not, a weather consulting company in Shawnee, Kan., is helping some of schools in our area make that decision.

“Coldest day definitely is going to be tomorrow with highs barely making it above 0, sitting in the single digits there sitting on 5-6 degrees,” said Jayson Prentice, a meteorologist with Weather Or Not.

On Tuesday night Prentice and Weather Or Not President Sara Croke were busy formulating forecasts as the frigid temperatures roll in.

“Temperature, wind, what the wind chill is going to be, is it going to be snowy, is it going to be icy,” Croke listed off as factors they track.

Her company helps businesses, airports and schools assess safety challenges when bad weather hits.

“The big issue for schools is – are children going to be vulnerable outside?” Croke said. “In this case, it`s the wind chill, particularly the time that they’re going to be standing at the bus stop.”

With temperatures predicted to be in the single digits on Wednesday, that wind chill will be about -20, if not colder. It’s one major reason why several school systems in our area, including in Kansas City, Mo., have already decided to close.

“We talked about frost bite,” Prentice said. “Once you get down to -30 that happens within 20 minutes or so if you have exposed skin, so definitely a concern for schools.”

Other concerns include pipes freezing, HVAC issues and diesel buses struggling to run – all problems school systems want to avoid.

For the latest updates on school delays and closures, click here.

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