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

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Upslope Snow Dissipates

It looks like we're in for a full day of school tomorrow. The winds have picked up and the temps are dropping, but the lake effect snow and upslope snow have not been as pervasive as forecasters thought they would be. So, set the alarm for your normal time.

We like what we're seeing for Sunday, but now it's more of a late Sunday/Monday event. There is still a lack of clarity about what's going to happen, but more and more it looks like snow will start very early Monday morning (but before the commute) and will last the rest of the day on Monday. We could see as little as 2-3 inches or as much as 6-8, but the timing looks good. This storm would produce a full snow day decision or nothing; delays would not be really in the mix because of the forecast for snow throughout the day.

We'll be updating you through the weekend about Monday.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Colder Air and More Snow Coming

Get ready for the cold temperatures to lock in for the next ten days. The cold front will move into our area tomorrow, which means that we'll see snow showers as the temps decline.

Superintendents may not want to hear this, but we may see a period of lake effect-like snow (a.k.a upslope snow). You may remember a few weeks back when the strong upslope snow dropped over a foot of snow in some places in the Berkshires, which led to county-wide school cancellations. With that kind of teaser you'd think that snow days are in the offing for Friday, but, sadly, that is not the case.

What will probably happen is a period of several hours of snow Thursday night into early Friday with maybe as much as 2-3 inches on the ground by the end of the day Friday. Because it will be colder and the wind will be blowing the snow, it's possible but not likely that a few superintendents will see the need to call in the delay for Friday.

As for the Sunday storm, we're still signs of 3-5 inches. Most likely the storm will not be too severe and any snow that falls will be cleaned off the roads by the morning commute, but we're still very much intrigued by this possible storm and are giving it our full attention.

Here's an interesting map:

What this shows is the probability of a quarter of an inch or more of liquid. If we use a fairly modest ratio of 10 inches of snow for every inch of liquid, then a quarter of an inch of liquid means we'll see at least 2.5 inches of snow. With colder air in place, that modest snow-to-liquid ratio can climb as high as 15 or 16 to 1. So, if we are to believe this map, we can surmise that several inches of snow are indeed possible by the middle of the day on Monday.

Keep your eye on the snow tomorrow evening--roads could get slick fast. And don't just assume school is going to start on time on Friday.

Get Ready For a Full Day

Precipitation was lighter than expected and it came through earlier, as expected. The only delay is Florida (Gabriel Abbott) and we think that will be it.

More details to come about Sunday's potential snow event later today.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Bad News/Good News

Welcome back to GSD, your weather broker for the 2016-17 season.

Let's get the bad news over with first, and even that is not so terrible. The snow we were hoping would impact tomorrow's morning commute may be coming a few hours too early. [Sigh.]

Because amounts are supposed to be light--only 1-2 inches--we think road crews will have enough time to take care of business tomorrow morning before the buses roll. Snow might still be falling during the morning commute, so this isn't a complete throwaway. Again, schools who didn't have the delay on Monday have a better chance for a delay tomorrow, but just by a little bit.

The good news is that a Sunday storm is still in the works. It may end up arriving too early to impact the Monday morning commute significantly, but we may see a shovel-able snow on Sunday. At the very least the snow will allow skiers to get their fix as well as make the Berkshires look a lot more holiday friendly.

And, we did spot this forecast while checking in with our weather sources today:

A very ambitious forecast for Williamstown for Sunday and Monday courtesy of Intellicast.

It's most likely a glitch in the system and we won't see 6-10 inches, but as they say: where there's smoke there's fire. If the storm does develop to its full potential, we're probably looking at a more realistic 3-6 inches Sunday night into Monday.

Here's to eternal optimism! And we'll have a running list going tomorrow morning, early, if--and that's a large size if--we start to see delays getting called in.