EDMONDS — There is a joke among parents that their kids will still be going to school in July.
After tagging on two make-up snow days to the end of the school year, students in Edmonds won’t be released for summer break until June 27.
Many are crossing their fingers that spring is on the way.
What might have seemed like an unseasonably cold winter is fairly typical, said Nick Bond, a climatologist with the state and a research scientist with the University of Washington.
“The last couple of winters have been so warm,” he said. “Maybe we got used to more unusual conditions.”
A stint of La Niña weather is to blame. The phenomenon lowers temperatures throughout the Northwest and dries up the region during the winter. The average temperature measured in Seattle was 38 degrees, according to a report from the Office of the Washington State Climatologist. On average, that is 3 degrees colder than previous years.
The chilly temperatures led to more snowfall in the lowlands. On Monday, a couple inches of snow fell throughout the county. At times, it snowed near sea level. Bus drivers had to reroute morning drives, but schools stayed open.
Most Snohomish County schools have recorded between one to three snow days so far this year. The Snohomish School District had four.
However, the La Niña season is coming to an end.
Bond likened weather forecasts to a deck of cards. The deck isn’t stacked one way or the other, but it is possible to get dealt an unusual hand.
During a La Niña season, the deck is stacked for cooler than normal temperatures, he said.
“In this case, coming up in the spring, it’s going to be a fair deal and we’ll see what Mother Nature deals us. She’s got the cards,” Bond said.
He has noticed a gradual trend toward wetter springs over the past decade.
He expects this spring will be no different.
A rainy March, April and May are likely because of the lingering effects of La Niña.
But in the mountains, it could feel like winter for a while longer. Snow will keep falling well into March, Bond said.
“That’s what we’ve seen in previous La Niña winters,” Bond said.
The lowlands aren’t completely out of the woods yet either, he said.
Bitterly cold nighttime temperatures aren’t likely in March, but there are still chances for wintry conditions.
Most schools have tagged on a few extra days to the end of the school year to accommodate for closures.
Several schools already have caught up on their snow days. Students in Lakewood and Index attended an extra day of classes Feb. 17, the Friday before the Presidents Day weekend.
Darrington schools scheduled a make-up day for the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. That way students can still bug out for summer break June 14.
In Edmonds, if there are any more snow days, school in July could be that much closer.
Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; email@example.com.
New release dates
Arlington School District: One snow day. June 20 release date.
Darrington School District: One snow day. June 14 release date.
Edmonds School District: Two snow days. June 27 release date.
Everett School District: Two snow days. June 22 release date.
Granite Falls School District: Two days. June 20 release date.
Index School District: Three snow days. June 20 release date.
Lake Stevens School District: Two snow days. June 20 release date.
Lakewood School District: One snow day. June 20 release date.
Marysville School District: Two snow days. June 20 release date.
Monroe School District: Two snow days. June 23 release date.
Mukilteo School District: Three snow days. If the school district decides to add the make-up days to the end of the school year, the summer release date will be scheduled for June 26.
Northshore School District: Three snow days. June 26 release date.
Snohomish School District: Four snow days. June 23 release date.
Stanwood/Camano School District: The district was not available when contacted by The Daily Herald. Their calendar lists June 16 as the last day of classes. June 19 and 20 are designated as make-up snow days, if needed.
Sultan School District: One snow day. School board members are discussing possible dates to make up the snow day.