One Degree

One degree. That’s the temperature outside at 6 this morning, but there’s also a steady wind that makes it feel like 16 degrees below zero. School in Lowell has been cancelled because of the cold. The call came in last night at about 8 pm. Scrolling through the “Weather Closings” page on WCVB’s website, schools in Lawrence and Worcester are also closed, and a few dozen have 2 hour delays.

I’ve got no complaint with cancelling school on a day as cold as this one. Many students in cities like Lowell lack the type of warm-weather clothing needed to be able to function out-of-doors on mornings like this. My only concern is that the last time Lowell cancelled school because of cold temperatures was in December 2014, and that was followed by 111 inches of snow in January and February of 2015, leaving Lowell as the snowiest city of more than 100,000 inhabitants in the entire U.S. Hopefully history doesn’t repeat itself.

Still, I do wonder if the media, particularly TV news, does us a disservice by adding a note of hysteria to weather conditions that aren’t abnormal for winter in New England. I still find TV weather reports the best source for comprehensive forecasts, but the hype that is embedded in and surrounds these two minute information dumps seeps into our consciousness and incites a type of mild panic that would not otherwise exist.

And as they say about the weather in New England, if you don’t like it, wait a minute and it will change. That will be the case this weekend when we’ll go from a feels-like 16 below zero this morning to a rainy 40 degrees on Sunday. In between, 3 to 6 inches are expected tomorrow morning, which might curtail holiday shopping on this weekend before Christmas.