Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January 17 Storm: Cancellations and Delays

Light snow continues to fall at the Home Office, and plows have been out all night. We see several more hours of snow ahead of us.

There are some heavier bands of snow making their way northeastward from Pennsylvania and New York that will hit during the morning commute. Once those bands pass through, snow will be generally light and it should taper by the early afternoon.

Heavy snow bands over eastern PA will trek toward us right around the time of the morning commute.
The low-pressure system off the coast is keeping the moisture levels up. Everyone should see at least another 3 inches of snow today, with more likely in South County due to those heavier bands of snow.

Thanks, NWS Albany, for the graphic.
Here's our list of school day delays and cancellations. We'll update as the calls come in this morning.

SNOW DAY:

Berkshire Country Day
Berkshire Community College
Central Berkshire
Southern Berkshire
Gabriel Abbott
Northern Berkshire Vocational (McCann)
Hancock
Emma Miller
BArT
Housatonic Academy
Mount Greylock
Williamstown
Lanesborough
Adams-Cheshire
Pittsfield
North Adams
Bement School
New Lebanon (NY)
Southwest VT Supervisory Union
Farmington River
Mohawk Regional

TWO-HOUR DELAY

Lee
Pine Cobble
Lenox
Richmond Consolidated
Berkshire Hills





Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cancellations and Delays: January 17

(For substantive weather information, here's our earlier post.) We said we'd run a list if one district called in its verdict tonight, and here it is:

SNOW DAY:

Farmington River School District

January 16/17 Storm: Early Evening Report

After a day of light snow--3 inches on the ground at the GSD Home Office (as of 7 PM)--we're girding ourselves for another 6 inches of snow overnight. The morning commute will be a mess, and we expect delays and snow days for almost all students in Berkshire County tomorrow.

Here's a fascinating comparison. First, is the current radar:



Here is this morning's radar, over 12 hours earlier:


Not a lot of change, right? We can see the snow starting to fill in in New York and Western New England, and there is a clearly defined boundary for this storm. Fortunately, we are living on the right side of the tracks for this snow event.

We do expect the coastal low--you can start to see it beginning to take shape off the coast of New Jersey in the top image--to throw some snow at us in the form of those heavy bands of snow. Those bands will be the magic ingredient for a snow day tomorrow.

The forecast is for the snow to last right on through to midday. Perhaps it ends around 11 AM in South County and holds off until 1 PM in North County. But the ends of these things are harder to predict than the beginnings. (Maybe because once we get that snow day we lose a little bit of interest in the storm. Just a theory.)

It's about at this point in our early evening storm posts that we write about whether or not your Suprintendent will take away the suspense and phone in the delay or snow day tonight. We're sure there will be a few, but we think Superintendents want to wait this one out as A) we just had a day off Monday; and B) a lot of high schools are in mid-term exam time and no one wants to mess with those schedules--giant headache. On a positive note, a ton of districts in counties to our east have already phoned in the cancellation. Mohawk Trail and Greenfield are both off tomorrow.

Given that NWS Albany expects 6-10 inches for Western Mass, we'll bump up the chance of a delay to 95% and push the snow day to 80%. You can probably get away with blowing off your homework tonight, but if you have an exam tomorrow, you should put in a little study time just in case. Plus, if we do get the snow day, then you have a leisurely day ahead of you.

As soon as a single, solitary Berkshire County Superintendent breaks the ice, we'll start a running list of delays and cancellation decisions.


Wednesday Storm: Midday Report

Here's a really nice forecast map of the projected snowfall for this storm:

Thanks to Joe Bastardi for this image.
If you zoom in, here's what you'll see:


That purple blob indicates we are in line for 6-10 inches, with the eastern portion of Berkshire County closer to 10 inches and towns on the New York border closer to 6 inches. What's fascinating about this storm is how confident meteorologists are about the range of snowfall we're slated to get. The low end is 4 inches and the high end is 10 inches. For our last storm, our low end was an inch and the high end was 12-14 inches. This means that there is more certainty about the track of the storm, thus raising the chances for widespread snow days tomorrow.

The big factor that will affect our total snow amounts will be if "mesoscale banding" takes place. Essentially, this means bands, or waves, of very intense snow will move out across our area from the center of the storm off the coast. These bands could produce snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour. Snow will pile up quickly at that rate if banding occurs.

Schools are already starting to call off afternoon activities. Right now we know that North Adams and Mount Greylock have called off all of their practices, rehearsals, club meetings, and games for the evening. If you know that your school has canceled activities, add them to our Facebook page or in the comment section here.

To repeat from our earlier report: the snow you are seeing right now is not really part of the main storm. That will come tonight, and the intensity will be much higher than it is right now. Expect the heavy snow to start to come down between 7 and 9 PM.