First dose of wintry weather prompts cancellations

First dose of wintry weather prompts cancellations

The first measurable snowfall of the season occurred Monday, Nov. 11. This is a look east on West Cherry Street near the intersection of Burke Street. Schools were closed Nov. 11 for Veterans Day but colder temperatures prompted officials to call school off for Nov. 12. Early Tuesday, the temperature at the CNB Bank sign was 11 degrees, colder than any recorded temperature for which data is available on Nov. 12.

By DANIEL WINNINGHAM

Enquirer~Democrat managing editor

Area students enjoying a prolonged three-day weekend were given extra time to stay home as the first snowstorm of 2019 on Veterans Day left roadways hazardous in certain places and prompted the cancellation of classes Tuesday, Nov. 12.

It wasn’t enough snow to create a snowman, or fire up the snowblower, but, coupled with chilly temperatures late Monday and early Tuesday, classes were cancelled at Macoupin County schools Nov. 12.

The Carlinville school district’s web posted scrolled the following message atop its home page: “NO SCHOOL – TUESDAY, Nov. 12, 2019 – Due to hazardous road conditions.”

“I cannot recall a time in which school had to be cancelled due to weather prior to or the day after Veterans’ Day,” said Carlinville Community Unit School District No. 1 superintendent Becky Schuchman. “However, it is possible.  Last year, we had weather come in and cancelled on Nov. 15th.”

Parents were notified early Monday evening of the decision to close for Nov. 12.

“We sent out notice to cancel around 7:40  p.m. Monday,” Schuchman said. “The roads were icy in areas and the dropping temperatures created additional concerns regarding refreeze and more ice in the morning.”

In addition to the Carlinville schools closing, there were no classes for the Bunker Hill, Gillespie, Southwestern, Mt. Olive, North Mac, Northwestern and Staunton school districts.

Most of Macoupin County’s roads were ice or snow covered, according to an IDOT road conditions report shortly before 5 p.m. Monday afternoon.

A weather station in Carlinville operated by the National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program recorded measurable snowfall of 1.3 inches on Nov. 11, 1995. The COOP system officially began in 1890 through the Organic Act and it has a two-fold mission: to provide observational meteorological data, typically with daily maximum and minimum temperatures; as well as weather data in real time to support forecasters, and to help provide warnings and other public service announcements issued by the NWS.

Carlinville’s weather station stopped recording data in 2014.

The record low for Nov. 12 in Carlinville was 12 degrees, set back in 1950.

The five lowest temperatures on Nov. 12, with the year recorded, are as follows: 12, 1950; 13, 1911; 14 degrees, 1920 and 1976; and 15 degrees, 1995.

The earliest the COOP station at the Springfield airport has recorded measurable snowfall in a season was Oct. 19, 1989, according to Trent Ford, the Illinois State Climatologist. Dating back to 1879, that same station has recorded an average of 2.1 days before Thanksgiving each year in which the minimum temperatures reached 20 degrees or lower.

Ford said in many years, temperatures do not get below 20 degrees prior to Thanksgiving. The year with the most days of temperatures below 20 was 1976, which saw 12 days of temperatures below the 20-degree threshold.

Ahead of Monday’s snowstorm, the NWS  issued a winter weather advisory, alerting residents and motorists of the potential of snowfall Monday, with much colder temperatures to follow. As of 7 a.m. Tuesday, the NWS reported temperatures of 4 and 6 degrees in Jacksonville and Springfield, respectively. The wind chill in those areas were -8 and -7.

The snow total in Springfield Monday set a record as 4.7 inches fell, breaking the record of 1.2 inches set in 1995.