February 4, 2014 at 9:12 AM
SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ - The school district used up its last allotted snow day/emergency day on Monday, but a Winter Storm Warning looms that may put Wednesday's normal school schedule in jeopardy, as well.
Monday's snowstorm dropped another 7 or 8 inches on the two communities, forcing the school district to expend the last of its three allotted emergency day to call off school after using two such days in January. Another storm heading toward northern New Jersey could cause bigger problems late Tuesday night and Wednesday than Monday's persistent but gentle snowfall did.
Monday's snow was wet, and was accompanied by little wind at all, which left snow covering and weighing down electrical wires and tree branches on Tuesday morning. Without substantial melting of that snow, the next round of winter weather could cause downed branches or wires, because significant ice is forecast to be part of the system.
According to the National Weather Service, which has issued a Winter Storm Warning in effect from midnight tonight through 6 p.m. Wednesday, snow that begins overnight will be accompanied be sleet and freezing rain that could weigh down wires and branches already under excess stress even more. The combination of sleet, snow and freezing rain could also make driving--and even walking--more perilous than it was during Monday's all-snow event.
Although the Scotch Plains/Fanwood area is forecast to receive only between 2 and 4 more inches of snow during the latest storm, there could also be an accumulation of up to 3/10 of an inch of ice.
Should the district need to cancel school again, days would have to be made up that are currently on the schedule as off days. According to the Schools Superintendent's office, days would first be taken from April's spring break to make up for any more lost school days this winter.
Looking ahead, a possibly significant storm system could also be headed toward the region on Sunday or Monday.