Snow season on the horizon


IB Environmental Systems teacher and ABC 7 meteorologist Mr. Ryan Miller presents his winter weather outlook with his colleague, chief meteorologist Doug Hill, on The Daily Dispatch’s Friday Show on Dec. 9non

Will Arlington see another blizzard in the coming winter months?

After the 26 inches of snow last year from winter storm Jonas, students have high hopes for the upcoming season.

Snow is enjoyed by many students who take advantage of their time off of school. “Snow provides a much needed break from school and it gives you chances to enjoy snow activities with friends.” freshman Jack Vietmeyer said.

Last year, three days for high schoolers had to be made up. A minimum of 180 teaching days per year are required according to the Virginia Education Association (VEA). Arlington County has 180 school days built in this year. Therefore, if more than two days are cancelled because of snow, they may have to be made up.

Snowfall in the past has caused many school cancellations and opportunities for snow activities. “Snow is so fun to play with especially when school is cancelled,” sophomore Haoming Huang said. “The only problem with it is that it doesn’t snow enough.” During winter storm jonas, arlington county closed school for a week.

Maintenance Supervisor Mr. Edwin Hernandez played a big role last year in ensuring the safety of students at our school. “My job was to get the other custodians to school and then go out and shovel. We have 20 custodians and on an average snow day two to three can’t make it. But last year, half of them were snowed in,” Mr. Hernandez said. “When it snows, we have to clear the sidewalks on every side of the school.” The sidewalks on the side of the school from 15th St. N. to Washington Blvd. have to be cleared.

As many can imagine, shoveling and clearing sidewalks is quite tiring and time consuming. It is also important to stay safe while working in these cold and slippery conditions. “It took us about three days to clear everything with 10 custodians, two snow blowers and a shovel for every worker,” Mr. Hernandez said. “Our biggest safety concerns were, of course, slipping on the ice, pulling muscles from long hours of shoveling and watching out for the snow plow.”

Although the winter months are here, Arlington may have to wait a while for snow. ABC News weatherman and IB Environmental Systems teacher, Mr. Ryan Miller provided his professional opinion on the chances of snow this winter. “As of now there is no indication that snow can be expected anytime soon,” Mr. Miller said. “Current weather patterns across the North American continent don’t look to conducive for accumulating snow in Arlington.”

Most likely, this year Arlington will have a warmer winter than usual. The average January temperature in the district is 36 degrees and current weather trends suggest that there will be a change in this pattern. “Our coldest month is January and even long-term weather models are hinting that we will have above average temperatures, which will make it hard for substantial snow accumulation,”Mr. Miller said. It is quite possible that global warming, the gradual increase in the atmosphere due to increased levels of pollutants, is starting to take it’s effect on Arlington.

Although Global Warming has never been completely proven, there is plenty of evidence out there that supports it. According to, the year 2015 was the first time the global average temperatures were 1 degree Celsius or 33.8 degrees fahrenheit or more above the 1880-1899 average.

These predictions for late snow lead people to wonder if global warming is truly responsible. “Not having snow until February would be a disappointment” freshman Jack Vietmeyer said. “It leads me to believe that global warming is starting to take it’s toll on us.”  

Having warmer winters and later snow “I hope that we get snow soon,” sophomore Gabi Romero said. “Global warming is sad, and I wish we didn’t have to wait until February to get snow when I’m ready for spring then.”