winter in nova scotiaWinter in Nova Scotia and school storm days go hand in hand. Compared to other provinces in Canada it seems Nova Scotia issues more school cancellations than many other parts of the country.

The reason for this? No-one can give me a conclusive answer, but it seems as though the coastal dampness causes rapid and changeable temperature variations, leading to icier conditions. This is your typical winter in Nova Scotia.

No-one can give me a conclusive answer, but it seems as though the coastal dampness causes rapid and changeable temperature variations, leading to icier conditions. This is your typical winter in Nova Scotia.

Our winters in Nova Scotia can often be described as harsh with heavy snowfall and blizzard conditions, which in a way is a little more manageable than when temperatures hover around the freezing point so that a mixture of wet snow, ice pellets and freezing rain make conditions so much worse.

As I sit here writing today’s blog, we have our second snow day this week. Monday’s snow day was an early dismissal from school due to heavy snow. Early dismissal is often chaotic, as each parent needs to be contacted by the teacher to confirm dismissal arrangements.winter in nova scotia

Today’s cancellation was a bit of a surprise as there was a dusting of snow on the ground when school was cancelled this morning. However, the decision was the absolute right one as the conditions deteriorated throughout the morning and thankfully our children are at home and safe.

It’s really hard to judge the conditions at 7 am from your kitchen window and there are a few critical factors that go into making such a decision:

On any particular winter day in Nova Scotia when the weather turns nasty or may cause poor driving conditions, parents and members of the public will disagree on whether or not a school day should be cancelled. Of course, it is a very difficult decision to make and I am thankful someone else is making the decision. Here’s how the decision is made:

  • From about 4:30 a.m. to 5:45 a.m., professional transportation staff members are out and about in several critical areas of each board’s geography to assess the road conditions and report to the coordinator of transportation.

 

  • While the road conditions are being assessed, the coordinator of transportation contacts directly a meteorologist, to get an up-to-the-minute weather forecast, and supervisory staff with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal or municipal highway maintenance to determine the actual and expected conditions on the roads and highways.

 

  • Once the coordinator of transportation has gathered accurate details about the expected road and weather conditions, she/he makes a final decision or makes a recommendation to the superintendent of schools or a director who has the authority to make the final decision.

 

  • The decision to close all schools or some schools in the system is communicated to local and provincial radio and television stations and on board websites — the normal practice and expectation are that cancellations must be communicated to the media by 6:00 a.m.

 

The winter of 2008-2009 in Nova Scotia was one I will never forget. We had 8 snow days and I was getting worried that the children would have to make up the time at the end of the year. Generally, snow days account for 2-5 days throughout the winter in Nova Scotia but that is totally dependent on the winter conditions.

Personally, I take advantage of snow days as it’s a chance to enjoy spending time with my three children but then again, I guess I am pretty fortunate that these days I am no longer nursing and I don’t have to be on the road driving to and from work in these conditions and scrambling to find child care when school is cancelled.

Life is good in Nova Scotia. And you’ve just got to roll with winter in Nova Scotia. Embrace it, enjoy it, as it will all be a distant memory in a few months….

As always, give us a shout if we can help in any way,

Jane

Jane & Richard

Moving 2 Nova Scotia

1-902-489-1804

hello@movingtonovascotia.ca