Early prediction of icy weather almost inevitably poses one of the most dreaded predicaments for local administrators because the path to total victory remains impossible in this situation. School administrators, city personnel, first responders, etc… each knows that the predicted day for a brief Arctic apocalypse will bring chaos and fear for some in Central Texas.

Even if one decided to compose a diagram with all possible solutions and follow a course on par with the greatest of game theorists, a clear, winning solution would remain absent on how to handle a predicted Central Texas ice day. Anytime a person must make a time-sensitive decision with limited data, an element of error appears.

If you’re like me, you already know how non-locals who hail from colder climates love to poke fun at Central Texans’ fear of ice and snow, as though our colder climate friends possess the DNA of polar bears who trek for months upon solid ice while in search of food. We in turn love to refute their jabs with references to the miserable Texas summers, as though they are no big deal to us (despite a collective dread of early August). I’m not ashamed to tell my polar bear friends that I do not drive well on ice and you should not be ashamed to say that, either — again, if you are like me.

I haven’t played Texas Hold’em for more than a decade, but I clearly remember the dread of a peek revealing a 2 and 7 of different suits — a classic losing hand. A prediction of icy weather in Central Texas also represents a classic losing hand for community leaders who decide how we will spend our lives on the very coldest of days. If an administrator waits to cancel school, she/he receives negative feedback because employees/parents did not receive enough time to make arrangements for children and may risk dangerous driving decisions. If an administrator cancels public events or closes the doors too soon, she/he receives negative feedback when the storm makes a turn for East Texas and leaves a snowless Central Texas unscathed.

Instead of mumbling and grumbling about the weather this frigid week, I encourage you to send local community leaders messages of thanks and appreciation for cancellations during the Snowless Snow Day of 2018. These leaders made choices, with incomplete information, to keep us in our warm homes with the people we love instead of forcing us to face our fears on frozen roadways. Be positive about the Snowless Snow Day of 2018 and give thanks that our community remains filled with decisive administrators and leaders.

Bradley T. Turner is a local author who works as an associate professor of environmental science.