A couple weeks ago a fellow New Tech math guru and I travelled to Bowling Green, KY to observe some teacher activities. Sadly, school was iced out such that there was a round of early school closures on Day 1 and total shutdown on Day 2. We had some great collaboration and were able to hash out a bunch of ideas, but basically we could have done that in a more temperate climate.

Also, several other New Tech employees were on trips visiting schools whose school days were cancelled. Basically the last two weeks were a series of boondoggles.

Maybe if we had a tool like this, we could have saved ourselves a trip, and New Tech a lot of money.

Predicting the weather is hard enough. Predicting the reaction of humans to the weather is another level of complexity. Now, I’m not sure how accurate this tool is. I’ve never used it until today. Here’s the prediction for my location (Fort Collins, CO) tomorrow.

91% chance of school closure! That’s pretty conclusive. According to weather.com, there’s a “only” 90% chance of snow.

I’d love to get a bunch of people from a bunch of different locations input their information in anticipation of a snow storm. We could test its accuracy against all the variables or just the overall accuracy of the widget.

Here’s what I want from you guys, or your students.

When there’s a storm-a-comin’, enter the information about 12-36 hours ahead of the storm. Using either the comment section, email, or twitter, let me know the following:

  • How far in advance of the storm (12,24, or 36 hours) did you use this tool? (note: you may use it multiple times at it gets closer to the storm)
  • The date.
  • Your location.
  • The percentage of school closure it gave you.
  • Yes or no, did the schools close?

That should be a good start. With that information I should be able to whip up a super-easy scatterplot over the course of the rest of the 2011 winter season (or, if some of you have ambitious students, I’d be happy to outsource it to them). I’ll start in the comments section for my 90% chance of school closure tomorrow.

3 thoughts on “Let’s crowd-source this ; School closure predictor

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