UPDATE 1/22/13 @ 11 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Just off the main runway at Yeager Airport sits a weather station where readings are sent back to the National Weather Service office in South Charleston.
Those numbers are counted on by parents waiting on word about school delays.
"Especially in the mornings, I think its great because when it's cold and you don't want to get out, so it's really great to be able to stay home -- so I really think it's a great thing," said parent Heather Vance.
At 8 a.m. Tuesday, the temperature at Yeager Airport was 11 degrees. By 10 a.m., the temperature had risen by only 2 degrees.
"I think it's better for the children not to be out in the sub-zero temperatures or wind chills," grandparent Robin Crislip said.
But does just a few degrees warrant the two-hour delay widely seen across the region?
"When it's just cold out, I'm not as sure if I think that's necessary," said Michelle Proops who lives in Kanawha County.
Andy Roche is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, and he says in this dry air we’re experiencing, you can feel the difference of just a few degrees.
"Well you can feel 3 to 4 degrees change variations, especially when it's accompanied by dry air. It depends on how moist the air is -- the drier the air, the more you're going to feel it," said Roche.
So with temperatures dropping to near 10 by sunrise and only warming a fistful in a couple hours, we could see more school buses hitting the roads a bit later.
Parents across the region were divided on whether Tuesday's weather was severe enough to delay classes.
Linda Quick, whose sophomore attends St. Albans High School said, "I was surprised that Kanawha County was not closed."
Quick added with the temperatures so low, she's concerned her son could get sick.
"The flu outbreak, the colds, the coughs, and it goes through families and it comes home from the schools," she said.
School board officials say while the formula for determining when to delay is similar across the area, sometimes even neighboring counties come to different conclusions.
"We felt today wasn't too extreme," said Charlie Tribble, coordinator of transportation for Putnam County Schools, which operated on a normal schedule Tuesday. "We look at the situation, and again, it's a judgement call. I think the more rural you are, the more likely you are to have a two-hour delay ."
Boone County Schools were delayed two hours. Superintendent John G. Hudson said a delay "provides an opportunity for custodians to assess building temperatures and contact our maintenance department if concerns arise after the buildings have been unoccupied for several days."
Parents like James Morris , whose child attends Capital High School, said cold weather is to be expected in the winter.
"So long as there's no snow and no freezing pipes, they need to be in school," Morris said.
With weather expected to be just as cold throughout the week, the debate over when to delay or when to remain open is likely not over.
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