Apex High’s Burning Question: Will It Snow?

It’s that time of year. With just over a week left before Winter Break, staff and students are as anxious as ever to get home for the holidays. As the weather gets colder, some are hoping for a surprise break from school even earlier. 

Almost every year Wake County schools experience some form of disruption as a result of winter weather, often in the form of snow days. Still, school cancellations are never a guarantee. So, what about this year? Will it snow? Can Apex High students expect a few days off?

Weather in North Carolina is notoriously unpredictable. Temperatures often rise and fall dramatically within just a few days, making it difficult to predict what the weather will look like for the rest of the season. 

Generally speaking, snowfall is possible when the temperature is below 32°F (0°C) and there is moisture present in the atmosphere. However, this rule does not apply across the board. Snow formation relies on the atmospheric temperature, not the ground temperature. Because of this, snow can form when the ground temperature is above freezing, but is unlikely to reach the ground unless the ground temperature is below 41°F (5°C).

According to Weather Underground, Apex is unlikely to see snow before Winter Break. However, for students hoping for a snow day or two, all hope is not lost. Although snow before break is unlikely, dropping temperatures may give way to snow in January. 

Historically,  the Wake County Public School System has erred on the side of caution when it comes to severe weather. Wake County is the largest school district in North Carolina and the 16th largest in the nation, so decisions have to be made with the safety of a large number of students and staff in mind. Even if snow doesn’t fall in Apex, snow in another part of the county could result in a schedule disruption, either in the form of cancellations or delays.

Low temperatures also mean that rain can pose a major risk as it can freeze on roads overnight and many NC drivers and vehicles are not equipped for winter weather. Because Wake County is so large, dangerous driving conditions in one area can result in schedule disruptions for the entire county.

It may be impossible to be sure if Apex will see snow this winter, but a history of unpredictable weather and driving conditions make it likely that Apex High students can expect at least a few snow days this winter.

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