PITTSBURGH — The cold, the ice and the snow -- love it or not, winter is coming and so is the chance of school delays and closings.
An average winter brings around 41 inches of snow. This year, we should top that, ending up at around 47 inches.
North Hills Superintendent Patrick Mannarino told Channel 11 News they start preparing early for a storm.
"Is it going to be snow? Is it going to be ice? Is it going to be cold?" Mannarino said. "That's where using the WPXI apps and the National Weather Service, too, allow us to get some data to make a good understanding of what we're going to be dealing with."
If you want to receive ALERTS about weather, download our Severe Weather Team 11 App.
This winter looks messy -- not one with snow on the ground for several weeks at a time. Look for big temperature swings with frequent shots of cold air and a few hits from the polar vortex.
We'll see the most snow in January and February. Schools will monitor those mornings closely.
"Sometimes it's, has the county or the township been able to plow the roads?" Mannarino said. "And if they have, where have they put the snow? Because sometimes that creates difficulties as to where students are standing in the mornings as well."
This winter, Severe Weather Team 11 Chief Meteorologist Stephen Cropper forecasts more school delays than closings. But Mannarino and other superintendents know the stress both bring to students, teachers and parents.
"It may be the most stressful part," Mannarino said. "Because you're dealing with uncertainty and you're dealing with life safety, and that's the biggest thing you've got to take into consideration."