All Smyrna School District schools will close early Tuesday, Jan. 21 due to the pending weather.
Students in grades 7th through 12th will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m. while students in grades kindergarten through 6th grade will be dismissed at 12:30 p.m.
The decision to put the schools on a half-day dismissal is due to the snow storm expected to hit Tuesday going into Wednesday.
The Delaware Emergency Management Agency in Smyrna released a National Weather Service update Monday afternoon regarding the storm.
According to the National Weather Service, a fast moving but potent weather system will bring snow to Delaware Tuesday and Tuesday night. As the storm strengthens to the east later Tuesday, the winds will increase resulting in areas of blowing and drifting snow. As the snow storm continues to exit, bitterly cold air will quickly settle in Tuesday and Tuesday night.
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect from 10 a.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday. Snow accumulations are expected to reach five to nine inches. Snow will spread over the area late Tuesday morning and Tuesday afternoon, then continue through much of Tuesday night. The heaviest snowfall is expected Tuesday afternoon and evening, with snowfall rates of around an inch per hour.
The National Weather Service states travel will become hazardous due to snow covered roads and periods of low visibility. Areas of blowing and drifting snow will develop later especially Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night as winds increase, resulting in significantly reduced visibilities at times. The Tuesday afternoon and evening rush hour will be significantly impacted.
Winds are expected out of the northeast at 15 to 25 miles per hour with gusts up to 35 miles per hour Tuesday afternoon, becoming north and northwest Tuesday night. Temperatures will mainly be in the 20s Tuesday, then falling through the teens and single digits Tuesday night. Wind chills will be mainly around 10 degrees Tuesday before dropping to around 10 below zero Tuesday night. These temperatures can quickly cause frostbite to exposed skin and lead to hypothermia.
A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow are expected with a possibility of strong winds. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible. Areas of blowing and drifting snow will greatly reduce visibility especially in open areas later Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night. This will result in snow blowing back onto previously plowed roadways. Use extra caution if driving.