The Teacher Behind “MoCo Snow” Blog (PHOTO)

AlexTsironis_01-21-16With a winter storm predicted to hit Montgomery County this week,  the question on everyone’s mind is, will there be a snow day?

The “MoCo Snow” blog is one way residents can find aggregated weather predictions, and students can gauge if winter conditions will cause school closings or delays in Montgomery County.

Founder of “MoCo Snow” Alex Tsironis says that the site is celebrating five years, “it’s the biggest it’s ever been, we have 1,000 subscribers on the site, almost 9,000 Twitter followers, and over 6,000 Facebook likes.”  Tsironis, a high school physical education teacher at Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Blair Ewing Center, started the website initially to share predictions he provided to students.

“I would always have predictions for my middle school health students and I would put them up on a bulletin board for my classroom and they wanted to share them with other people. They told me I should make a site. So, I ended up making a Google blog, it became a Weebly site, and now it’s the site it is today.”

Tsironis is a Montgomery County native and was an MCPS student throughout his elementary and secondary education. He used to stay up late to watch the weather forecast and wake-up early to see if schools were opened or delayed.

Now, Tsironis keeps tabs on winter weather updates and creates posts for followers.

“For a storm like this, it’s like once a day, twice day on the site, on the Facebook page three or four times a day, and then, on a busy night for tweeting, there could be hundreds of tweets,” he said. 

He even has his own pencil rating system, which predicts whether or not there will be school closings or delays.

“There’s a rating system, it’s one pencil to five pencils. Five pencils would mean it’s a virtual guarantee there’s not going to be school the next day…four pencil’s is like a 75% chance of no school and almost a certainty of at least a delay,” Tsironis said.  “But obviously these are just predictions. So, I always tell everyone to always be prepared, even if I predict there won’t be school,” he said.

Popularity of the site increases when there is a storm predicted. Just in the past few days Tsironis has seen an uptick in followers.

“I think I’ve had 500 new follower maybe in the last three days since the hype with this storm has come around. That’s on Twitter. On Facebook I think I’ve had, maybe about the same number of new followers,” he said. His goal is to hit 10,000 Twitter followers and 7,000 Facebook likes.

Tsironis also says that not all students are excited for the storm to hit this Friday.

“I noticed that a lot of the high school kids are kind of disappointed that the storm is coming on Friday, rather [than] on a Monday,” he said.

Younger students are more enthusiastic, “because it’s a regular day at school for them. They’ve been asking non-stop,” he said. They are even performing unconventional rituals to make sure it snows, like flushing ice cubes down a toilet and wearing pajama’s inside out, he said.

Tsirnois has already posted his prediction for Friday.

1/22/16 11:15am There are a lot of questions about when this storm will makes its way into the area. Capital Weather…

Posted by Mocosnow on Thursday, January 21, 2016

For more information about “MoCo Snow” you can visit its website or follow on Facebook and Twitter.

NWS Issues Winter Weather Advisory for Snow in Montgomery County

snow covers street in gaithersburg

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for Montgomery County, effective from midnight tonight to 4 p.m. Saturday. According to the advisory, accumulations of snow are expected from one to three inches. A winter weather advisory means that periods of snow may cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibility, […]

Read more

NWS Issues Winter Weather Advisory for Northwest Montgomery County

snow covers street in gaithersburg

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for northwest Montgomery County, effective from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. Thursday. According to the advisory, accumulations of snow are expected from one to three inches. Winds are expected between 5 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph. A winter weather advisory means that […]

Read more

UPDATED: Montgomery County Prepares for Snow

Snowy Commute 450x280

UPDATED Montgomery County highway crews are preparing for some snow later today. According to a post on Twitter, the Storm Operations Center is activating at 4 p.m. so crews can prepare for Winter Storm Helena. So far, the county’s winter storm information portal has not been updated. Montgomery County spokesperson Esther Bowring said crews have […]

Read more

UPDATED: NWS Issues Winter Weather Advisory for Montgomery County

freezing rain andd sleet on plant for slider 450 x 280

UPDATED The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Montgomery County, effective now thru noon on Saturday. According to the NWS, sleet is the main concern with a possibility of one to two tenths of an inch from freezing rain. The sleet is expected to change to rain around noon as temperatures […]

Read more

Councilmember Elrich on Winter Storm 311 Call Center Response: "Epic Fail" (VIDEO)


More than a month after the historic winter storm that buried Montgomery County, the County Council held a snow briefing on March 8. In this MyMCMedia Extra video, Councilmember Marc Elrich says that the County’s Snow Map and 311 Call Center need improvement. County officials also talk about plans of moving the 311 Call Center […]

Read more

Local and State Officials Highlight Areas of Improvement at County Council Snow Storm Briefing (VIDEOS)


It’s has been more than a month since the historic winter storm buried Montgomery County in snow and on Tuesday, March 8, the County Council held a briefing with state and local officials to review storm response efforts. Officials estimated that the County spent approximately $40 million on snow removal, or $1 million per inch of snow. […]

Read more

County Takes on Potholes (VIDEO)

pothole repair 2

To take advantage of the forecasted warmer weather over the next few days, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett announced that the Department of Transportation (MCDOT) will begin intensive efforts to fill the County’s potholes. According to a news release, this year’s historic winter storm, and fluctuation of temperatures over the past couple of months, has accelerated the […]

Read more

SHA Urges Motorists to Avoid Travel During Rush Hour

Snow Plow

The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) is urging motorists to plan ahead and make alternative plans to avoid travel Friday morning due to a snow storm expected during rush hour. SHA crews will be out prior to the storm and have pre-treated roadways with salt brine. Forecasters are predicting the storm will […]

Read more

NWS Issues Winter Weather Advisory for Montgomery County

01 moco snow

Winter is not over yet. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Montgomery County, effective from 10 p.m. tonight to 10 a.m. Friday morning. According to the Advisory, accumulations may range from one to three inches. The precipitation is expected to begin as a rain and snow mix this evening, transitioning […]

Read more

Five Things to Know Today, March 3, in Montgomery County

Five Things List for featured image (4x3-version1-1200x900)

Here are your five things to know today, March 3, in Montgomery County: 1. It may snow tonight. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Montgomery County. 2. Montgomery Parks staffers want to know what you think about the trail system. A Planning Board public hearing is scheduled today on the […]

Read more
Like this post? Sign up for our Daily Update here.
Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.


| Comments are closed.

Engage us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter