Snow Day Decision Grader: January 3

By Andy Dunn
Staff Writer

Snowfall totals were over a foot in the Boston area.

Westford Public Schools are closed for the second day in a row along with the rest of the Middlesex County due to the recent winter storm.

Superintendent Bill Olsen made the call before 5:00 PM yesterday as most of eastern Massachuestts was preparing for the bitter combination of snow and icy cold temperatures to hit.

While the storm has left Westford by now for the most part, it has left behind some frigid weather.

The snow has also left many Westford backroads in poor condition, with the plow companies with their hands full during the last two days.

Westford got belted with a total of 7 inches according to the National Weather Service. Comparatively, Littleton received 6 inches, North Chelmsford got 6.5 inches, and Lowell got 7 inches as well.

Courtesy of WHDH, this weather map shows temperatures at 12 PM on Friday frigid throughout Massachusetts.

The National Weather Service extended a wind chill advisory for Westford until 9:00 AM Saturday morning. They forecast “bitter cold wind chills” with wind chill readings as low as -18 degrees Fahrenheit tonight along with wind from 10-20 MPH, with bursts up to 35 MPH.

As far as as grade goes for Olsen, the main debate is between an A+ and an A. By calling it before 5:00 PM, Olsen showed plenty of confidence in his decision and left little doubt in the minds of families as to if they will have to trek out tomorrow or not.

For me, the difference between an A and an A+ comes down to if the call has to be either bold and turn out to be correct or extremely early if the call is obvious.

While before 5 PM was good timing, it was not great timing. Lowell called both Thursday and Friday off on Wednesday. Chelmsford cancelled before 2 PM.

However, the timing in the larger scope is essentially nitpicking a minor point. Overall, two snow days has given Winter Break a four-day extension, making it an incredibly lengthy break. Overall, Westford students have enjoyed sixteen straight days with no school.

Of course, the downside to all this is WA will be coming back from break to a full five-day week starting on Monday. But for now, let us just ignore that and appreciate this wonderful extended break for what it is.

Olsen gets an A for today’s snow call.

For those inclined to check out the weather for the rest of the weekend, below is the weekend forecast from the National Weather Service for Westford.

Perhaps the freezing rain of sunday night combined with the wintry mix anticipated on Monday will be enough to keep this vacation rolling just one more day?
 Cumulative Grading Total: B+
December 9: C+
December 18: B
January 2: A+
January 3: A