Schools weighing closing decisions seriously

Cover Image
Photo credit NWS Buffalo
By WBEN

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - In advance of the lake effect snowstorm and dangerously cold temperatures heading for Western New York, area school districts are weighing their decisions on whether to close Wednesday and beyond seriously.

The lake effect snow may be difficult to forecast with complete precision, but the bone-chilling and dangerously cold windchills are a guarantee and may be in the minus 25 degree range which is within usual guidelines to close schools. The above map from the National Weather Service shows expected windchills Wednesday night.

Buffalo Public Schools issued a statement Monday in preparation for a winter storm warning for Erie County Tuesday afternoon. 

The district says, "The most important defense against freezing weather involves a combination of caution and prevention. As the National Weather Service issues weather advisories, we in the Buffalo Public Schools are monitoring the weather with student safety in mind.  Gloves and boots with insulation are a must, a hat should be worn so that ears are covered, a heavy coat with several layers under it is best, and a scarf to cover one’s neck and face is important. Most schools have some form of winter weather gear to give students, and our Parent Centers have child and adult coats in various sizes through Operation Warm.  Parent Centers can be reached by phone at the numbers listed on our website at buffaloschools.org. The decision of whether or not to close schools is based on New York State Department of Education guidance. When the National Weather Service issues wind chill advisories between -15 and -25 degrees, the Buffalo Public Schools will strongly consider closing. Local media and our website will carry closing information.  Because most of our students are walkers, either to the bus stop or their neighborhood school, the district takes special interest in their safety in relationship to the weather."