Farmer’s Almanac Big Snow Prediction


Designed by Logan Steckelberg

Minnesota in a frozen tundra

Isaac Gefre, Writer

Minnesota is in the bulls eye for a colder and snowier winter this year. According to the Farmers’ Almanac, much of the Midwest is in the same boat as Minnesota. The Midwest is in for abnormal winter precipitation this year.  Many people thought the winter last year was very harsh, but this year is thought to be even worse. 

There are many ways that students and parents can find out about school closings or late starts. Amanda Heilman the director of finance and operations for Owatonna Public Schools said, “In determining whether or not to close school we use a very proactive and collective approach with City and County officials.”

In determining whether or not to close school we use a very proactive and collective approach with City and County officials”

— Amanda Heilman


We monitor the radar very closely and we are in contact with our City and County plow crews in the very early morning hours to determine if roads are going to be safe for travel.” 

Safety is the district’s number one priority when it comes to making the decision to call off school. Once the administration decides to delay or close school, they send it out on twitter and post the announcement on the school website located on the home page. One of the other main ways to be notified of closings are from the local news, where all the closings or delays of schools roll along the bottom of the screen. Junior Nora Thompson said, “The call home from school is how I find out about if there is a snow day or not.” The school district makes sure to send out a phone call to every student’s parents the night before or in the morning informing them of the school closings.

Once people, especially kids, find out there is a closing, many of them post it on their own social media accounts letting others know. Last year, Owatonna had missed a total of seven school days. Along with many other schools, OHS exceeded the number of snow days they are allowed to have. Grades seven through twelve are required to have 1,020 hours for their school year. This led to Governor Tim Walz signing the snow day relief bill that allows for schools to count the snow days as instructional days. That bill ensured that schools weren’t penalized for keeping kids safe. 

Over the years many have tried to predict snow days. Mrs. Lauren Gendron, the OHS snow day predictor, said, “I predict that this year we will have many weather-related school closings. It is already this cold in December, which means it will only be colder during January and February. Dress warm and be prepared.” The Farmer’s Almanac has referred to this year’s winter as a “Polar Coaster” because of all the fluctuations in the temperature. Below zero temperatures are going to become normal again this winter. Minnesota is in store for a long winter this year, which means a later start to Spring. 

With all the school closings occurring, schools are now looking for new alternatives for kids to learn.  Many schools have gone to e-learning, a system where teachers assign homework online for the students to complete. Senior Max Degrood said, “I don’t like the idea of having e-learning days on snow days it ruins the whole point of them. They’re meant for sleeping in and playing Fortnite.” Many students don’t like the idea of having homework on a snow day, but it might be the best option if the Minnesota winters continue. 

This winter is predicted to be very cold mixed with a lot of snow. It will be important for Minnesotans to bundle up and stay safe and wait for the phone to ring.