Climate crisis robs students of snow days

Madelena Lapinski, News Editor

The chances of having any hot cocoa filled, snowy days off are dwindling following the fifth warmest year on record, 2022. For Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), the persistent and rapidly increasing effects of climate change are preventing a snowy winter full of days off. 

Despite the notable lack of snow, precipitation has increased in numbers and strength. On average, Maryland experiences 45 inches of precipitation yearly, primarily rain. While many students may remember the back to back blizzards of 2010, recently, the more recognizable storms include hurricanes and tropical storms. In the past year, Hurricane Ian, which was a record storm in strength and expenses, amassed $113 billion in damages. 

In the last century, the average temperature in Maryland has risen by 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit with an average of 34.1 degrees throughout the winter, explaining the lack of snow despite significant precipitation. Thus far, BCPS has only had one snow based delay, which occurred on Dec. 14. Since then, freezing temperatures have not been sustained during precipitation events, either resulting in cold rain or snow that doesn’t stick. 

Any weather based delays or closings for BCPS are decided after reviewing hourly reports from AccuWeather, a local weather station. If inclement weather is expected, patrols are sent out at 2:30 a.m. to check road conditions and routes for students who walk. Transportation services and weather stations are further consulted before making a decision by 5:30 a.m. 

The climate crisis is a global effort and will take time and resources to combat. Still, there are many small steps students can take to reduce the effects. For students hoping to see more snow days in the future, consider carpooling to school to reduce carbon emissions or take shorter, cooler showers before school starts. Take advantage of the water jugs around the school and bring a reusable bottle or reduce plastic waste when packing a lunch. Although these may seem like small actions, if BCPS works together, there might be hope for more snow days next year.