Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Winter Storm Watch (Still) For South County

Portions of eastern Mass will tack on another 12" to their growing March snow total, but it looks like most of Berkshire County will be spared a direct hit.

Forecasters are expecting a very clear cut-off line for significant snow totals and insignificant snow totals. Right now that cut-off line looks to be Great Barrington. We could see 6-8 inches along the Connecticut border and only 1-2" north of Pittsfield. But some weather experts have noted that the model runs are still showing significant variance, so that snow line could move in either direction very easily.

Eh. We've seen better. (Thanks, Channel 6, Albany, for the map.)
So, when is it going to start snowing? Because we really don't know how much snow we're going to get, it's hard to say. We think the first flakes will fall in South County between 9 AM and noon. It's certainly possible, though, that this time window is off by 90 minutes (earlier).

Southern Berkshire, Berkshire Hills, Farmington River and Richmond all have an outside chance for early releases tomorrow. The rest of Berkshire County schools have a chance for delays on Thursday, with better chances south than north.

We'll keep you abreast of any big changes to the storm track as more information rolls in throughout the afternoon.

Despite what the calendar says, it's still winter. Deal with it.

Winter Storm Watch: Southern Berkshire County

The Winter Storm Watch flag is waving over South County this morning. The expectation is for 3-7" inches beginning around 3 AM and lasting until Thursday morning. This storm will be a slow mover.

For the rest of the Berkshires, expect around 3" with maybe just an inch in towns on the Vermont border.

The models are still all over the place with this storm, which makes this storm different from the previous three storms. The heavy snow line could easily move north or south as we learn more about the expected path of the storm.

More details later today about how this storm could impact the length of the school day Wednesday and Thursday.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Increasing Chance for Snow Wednesday

If you want more snow and snow days, keep reading. If your patience is being tested by this very Decembery March, then go forward at your own risk.

Ah, the models. It would be nice if they made up their minds. As of this evening (Monday), the models are showing a more northerly track to the storm. As a result, we have a much better chance of seeing measurable snow on Wednesday.

Expected snowfall totals for Wednesday.

If this storm really ramps up, this is what we'll see. In this case, snow days are possible for Thursday.
NWS Albany is showing a 3-4" snowfall for Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night. Our friends to the east in Hampshire County and to our south in the Nutmeg State have Winter Storm Watches in effect. The potential certainly exists for the Watch area to extend to the Berkshires if forecasters think heavier snow bands will push further north.

Because the temps will remain very close to freezing throughout the day on Wednesday, we should see a period of snow in the afternoon that only sticks on the existing snow, not on the streets. Then, once the temp falls below freezing in the evening, the roads will become slick.

If we get three inches or if we get six inches, we think that road crews will have ample time to clean the streets. Some delays are possible on Thursday, but most students will have a full day of school. That's what we're saying now. Also, we won't be at all surprised if snow totals get bumped up in the next 18 hours or so.

Once we get by this mess, we're presently assessing the possibility of nor'easter #5 for Sunday night into Monday. This storm initially looks more potent than Wednesday's storm.

Good times!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Two (Minor) Storm Threats

As of now, it looks like we might be spared nor'easter #4.

We have two threats this week. The first threat is Monday night into Tuesday, and the models appear to be in agreement that this storm will slide out to sea to our south.

The next potential storm would impact us on Wednesday and possibly impact the school day on Thursday. This storm also appears to be too far to the east to give us snow, but there is a better chance that this storm track changes and brings snow to New England. Even if this storm does come closer to the coast, it might be more of a Maine storm than a Western New England one.

We'll have to see if this area of precipitation grows and moves into New England for Wednesday night/Thursday. We'll know in a day or two.
The reason for these dual storm threats are pieces of energy in the midwest that are trying to feed off of and cooperate with low pressure systems in the south. The last three storms saw good low pressure coordination, which led to blockbuster snow totals.

This week's scenarios just seem too messy for there to be an opportunity for a low pressure system to deepen and grow in intensity. What we want to see is one strong piece of energy from the midwest, but we're seeing the energy diffused among several weaker pieces.

We're definitely keeping an eye on these two storms, especially the Wednesday/Thursday one. The spring high school sports season begins on Monday (which is hard to believe), and we know that coaches will be pleased to see this adjustment to the forecast. However, we caution them not to get too comfortable just yet.