Reddit user Alexandr Trubetskoy has created a map which shows us at a glance how much snow it takes in different regions of the nation to prompt authorities to close schools.

Alexandr Trubetskoy via Reddit

The map, shared by Vox.com, compiles data that is "based on hundreds of Reddit responses, cross-checked with data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on average snowfall. It doesn't include times when school is cancelled due to very low temperatures or wind chill." The data illustrates that:

  • The areas that are quickest to close schools, doing so when there's any snowfall at all, are not surprising: California, Florida and the deep south, where snow is an anomaly.
  • The least likely regions to close those doors, often waiting until there's up to two feet on the ground, are the Great Northern Plains, the northeast and Alaska. (The expanded view shows that in the Bismarck-Mandan area, there better be at least a foot of accumulation to justify a closure.)
  • Temperate regions such as the Pacific Northwest and the central mid-west might close up shop anywhere between one and six inches.

While the map does not address the specific reasons behind these statistics, it's safe to assume that the key deciding factors are elevation variance within each area, how well-equipped the area is for plowing and sanding, and the sheer frequency with which it snows.

If North Dakota closed its schools every time it snowed, our kids would never go!