By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
Monday started with two sad children looking longingly out the window, wishing for snow and a day off of school.
The news that an ice storm was more likely than true snow didn’t seem to dissuade them from wishing for inclement weather.
I would have watched the weather closely Monday anyway. The weather obsession is well established in my family. My father, a retired Air Force Reserve pilot, continues to spend quality time with The Weather Channel when any travel is called for. Forewarned is definitely forearmed.
But Monday, I was glued to the forecasts for more than just my own use.
With 19 Mississippi winters to my credit, I’ve discovered it takes a particular confluence of events to produce ice or snow. Usually the wet and the freezing temperatures are not going to line up at the same time, at least here. More often than not, concerns over winter weather don’t come to fruition.
As a journalist covering schools, emergency responders, hospitals and municipalities over the course of my career, I’ve had a front row seat as I watched folks try to make decisions about canceling meetings and classes in case of weather. To cancel things too early is to end up with egg on your face when the weather is clear. Wait too long, and people start getting antsy that you’re courting disaster.
Usually on snow days, I don’t have to decide anything more pressing than do I work from home or haul the kids into the office. I’m not responsible for anyone whose last name isn’t Morris.
On Monday, I found myself part of a team having to make one of those weather calls. I’m a den leader for a Cub Scout pack – the small, but mighty 2627 of St. James. By default, I’m the person who sends out email reminders for the twice monthly meetings.
So Sunday evening and Monday morning, I closely monitored hour-by-hour forecasts and worried over possibilities. What should we do? How quickly can I get the Cubmaster and the other den leaders together to make a decision? Would we be able to get the word out quickly enough?
In the end, the decision was simple. We fell back on the experts – the Lee County Schools were closing early and Tupelo Public School District canceled afterschool activities.
Decision made; crisis averted. What was all that worry about?
Michaela Gibson Morris is a Daily Journal staff writer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (662) 678-1599.