Winter weather conditions explained

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Karyn Wright
  • 319th Mission Support Group
Recently, it snowed. So what time do I need to report for duty? Do the kids go to school today or do I just crawl back into bed and wait for spring? Well...keep reading for the answers to these and other pressing questions that arise when those first snowflakes of winter drift to the ground.

As much as we may want to sleep till spring, the reality is, most days will be business as usual for the schools, as well as base operations. After all, this is North Dakota and snow and cold are our hallmark. On snowy mornings, a determination will be made by the base and school officials (if a school morning) on closures or delayed reporting. Decisions to close or delay reporting will be broadcast as streamers, starting around 6 AM on the local TV news channels and announcements through the local radio stations.

What does delayed reporting really mean? For these purposes delayed reporting is based on 0730...which is the first duty hour of most workers. This doesn't capture every shift and you will need to work with your supervisors if you need further guidance for your specific situation. The purpose of delayed reporting is to allow you more time to clear your car, your driveway and safely make it to work, which just by the nature of winter road conditions will simply take longer. Delayed reporting also serves a second purpose, to allow road workers additional time to clear the main streets.

As in past years you can also contact the Snow Line at 747-SNOW (7669).

Decisions for early release of base personnel or base schools will be announced thru local radio and TV stations. For early release of Eielson or Twining Schools, school administrators will attempt to contact parents. Parents of students in base schools are reminded to ensure the contact information they have left with the school is current and accurate.

If a decision for early release is made, it will often come as a tiered release with those living further from the base being released first.

The tiers are defined as follows:
- Tier 1 includes Grand Forks AFB proper
- Tier 2 includes all areas within a 10-mile radius from Grand Forks AFB
- Tier 3 includes all areas within a 10-20 mile radius from Grand Forks AFB
- Tier 4 includes all areas beyond a 20-mile radius from Grand Forks AFB

In closing, I want to stress there is no way to capture every situation or individual circumstance. Bottom line--we are all adults and each one of us is responsible for our personal safety. If you have a special circumstance not addressed here, work with your supervisor or commander to ensure a good balance between your safety and mission accomplishment.