A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder. -- Susan Orlean

Friday, March 31, 2017

There's Plenty of Storm Left

Even though dedicated snow day hounds were disappointed by the outcomes this morning, this storm has some bite of its own left in it.

Let's just say this storm isn't moisture starved. The wall of wetness is still headed our way as the low pressure system begins to intensify all the way down there around the Delmarva peninsula.

A lot of moisture yet to come. 12:45 PM radar.
The Berkshires are in the Winter Weather Advisory period, and we have an outside chance of getting upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning later this afternoon or tonight if the temps drop a degree or two. Your elevation also will determine the severity of your weather this afternoon and evening. Places above 1500 feet will get a combo of snow and sleet while locations below 1500 feet will see wet snow and rain with the eventual changeover to all snow for everyone.

Driving conditions tonight don't look encouraging. The messiness should extend into Saturday morning as well.

Enjoy the weekend, and let's hope this is winter's last gasp.

Late March Storm Update & Cancellations

At the GSD Home Office, we have a light coating of snow on the ground but roads are just fine. Heavy snow bands are in our very near future--between 6 and 8 AM--which will make the commute to school interesting.

Right now the storm is not tightly organized, but snow, sleet, and rain should become steadier throughout the day as a secondary low forms off the coast.

The 6 AM radar.
We do have a few cancellations and early releases to report. We'll add to this list if/when more come in, and we do think a few more will add their names to the release list. New schools to the list will be in blue.

TWO-HOUR DELAY:

Southern Berkshire

SNOW DAY:

Emma Miller
Gabriel Abbott Memorial
Mohawk Trail

EARLY RELEASE:

Greenfield
Southwest VT Supervisory Union
Stamford, VT

Thursday, March 30, 2017

April Fool's Storm -- The Evening Report

It's almost April and we're sweating out another snow day decision. Thank you, winter of 2016-17, for making up for last year.

Here are a few maps before we talk about tomorrow:

Channel 6 Albany

Channel 10 Albany
National Weather Service Albany

Really, it's just mess. The latest models are definitely leaning toward longer periods of sleet and freezing rain, which they were not indicating earlier in the week. The predicted temperature is still a moving target--some models show warmer and others have the cold air in place longer. This is just to say that we could see 1 inch or we could see 10 inches. Elevation and north/south location will make a big difference tomorrow.

Despite the uncertainty, this is what the GSD Staff thinks is going to happen. It will be snowing or sleeting during decision time for Superintendents tomorrow morning, especially north of I-90. Most will choose to go with a full school day because the roads won't be too bad. Because of the threat for ice and power outages, one or two will get nervous and opt for the snow day. The likely candidates are North County schools as well as Central Berkshire, due to the higher elevation. Then, if we get an extended period of sleet and freezing rain, we could see some schools call the early release and let the youngsters get a head start on their weekend. Schools south of I-90 are probably going to have a full day, with a slight chance of a delay.

The Staff will be up early. We'll update on the storm and run a list, should schools opt out tomorrow.

Winter Weather Advisory for Northern Berkshire

The NWS has just changed the Winter Storm Watch to a Winter Weather Advisory. Under normal circumstances we would consider this a downgrade and our chance for a snow day would also be downgraded, but nothing about this storm is typical.

The forecast now is for 4-7 inches of snow but--as we feared might happen earlier in the day--the storm is now scheduled to start a few hours earlier. The Winter Weather Advisory begins at 2 AM, which means it could be snowing and/or sleeting right in the wheelhouse hours of 4-5 AM.

A slight upgrade from earlier in the day. Image courtesy of the NWS.
So...we're going to alter the True North Confidence Meter only slightly. North County schools have a better chance for a snow day now due to the improved timing, but not by that much. South County schools still look like they'll be left out as the snow fall total likely won't be high enough to warrant snow days.

Looks about right. Thanks to WNYT Channel 13 for this image.
Because of the very long time period of this system--all the way through Saturday afternoon--it doesn't seem as if it will be snowing hard enough in a short enough period of time to make the roads supes dangerous. But that's merely speculation on our part as this storm is proving to be very hard to nail down even 12 hours in advance of it.

We'll be out of commission for a few hours this evening, but we will be back around 9 PM for our final update of the day.