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

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

WWA Shortened

The first flakes of our fast-moving storm started falling around 3:45 at the GSD Home Office, about 45 minutes earlier than we predicted this morning. We do know that it started much earlier than that down in South County, which caused some schools to cancel after school activities.

Expect light and even moderate snow throughout the night. The bulk of the snow will wrap up before midnight. We should get 2-3" by the time it ends.

Bad news for the delays tomorrow. The NWS shortened the Winter Weather Advisory period by four hours. Instead of it ending at 10 AM tomorrow, it now ends at 6. What this really means is that most of the moisture (the sleet and freezing rain) should come to an end around 3 AM. Town road crews will have plenty of time to deal with this mess.

Temps could hit 40 tomorrow. Black ice could be a problem tomorrow evening and also Thursday morning. There may also be a period of light snow in South County Thursday morning, which could complicate the morning commute for schools south of Lee.

Drive safely this evening.

Snow This Afternoon

Based on our evaluation of the current radar images, we should see snow start to fall around 4:30 this afternoon, give or take a half hour.

The 6:30 AM radar. The snow (blue) and sleet (pink) are moving in an east-north-east direction. We do not like the absence of moisture behind the sleet, which is why we've lowered snow totals.
Similar to Sunday's storm, this one is not particularly well organized. The NWS is forecasting 2-5" for the Berkshires, with higher amounts in North County and lower totals in South County. Still, we won't be surprised if the actual range we eventually see in the Berkshires is between 1 and 3 inches.

Temps will warm up throughout the day into the mid to upper 20s, then settle a few degrees after the sun sets. Then we'll see a gradual rise of the temperatures after midnight, which is when the period of sleet and freezing rain will occur. Forecasters do not project a lot of ice with this storm--a tenth of an inch or less--but that's certainly enough for road crews to have to treat the roads.

Because we think snow totals will be fairly low with this storm, we're lowering our True North Confidence Meter right now. We still think there will be a few delays tomorrow, but fewer than half of Berkshire schools will benefit from a delay.

Also, we are more confident that high school tournament basketball games will be played this evening as scheduled.

Monday, March 2, 2015

2014-15 True North/GSD Writing Contest Winners (Finally!)

[For details on the current weather situation for tomorrow afternoon and Wednesday morning, click here.]

The verdict is in. After months of deliberation, the Staff at GSD has finally reached consensus. We are pleased to announce that this year's winner of the True North Financial/Greylock Snow Day Writing Competition 2014-15 is avid follower Katie Parks, a junior at Taconic High School. Here is her delightful song parody, and we look forward to revisiting it in the upcoming years to cheer us up:

We also have awarded prizes to two Runners Up. Mount Greylock seniors Eric Hirsch and Ian Brink used "Let It Snow" for their winning tune and comic video, and Mount Greylock seniors Andrew Whitaker and Jake and Sam Kobrin based their creatively revised lyrics on Band Aid's "Feed the World." All three winners exceeded our expectations.

We thank all participants in the competition for their entries, and we look forward to challenging your writing skills again next year!

Winter Weather Advisory for Tuesday Night & Wednesday Morning

We alerted you to a midweek weather disturbance a few days ago, and it looks like the storm will impact our area starting tomorrow afternoon.

The NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for all of the Berkshires starting at 3 PM. We like the fact that the Advisory ends at 10 AM Wednesday, which means we could see problematic driving conditions during the morning commute.

Before you get too excited, though, check out this graphic from Paul Caiano over at Channel 13 in Albany:

You can see that this storm is not slated to produce a robust snow total. We really hope the Euro model (ECMWF) comes through. If we can get four inches and add in some early morning ice, then we'll see many delays in the county for Wednesday morning.

Don't forget that ice storms are some of the hardest to predict. A half degree change in the temperature or a 30 mile change in the storm track can make a huge difference. We'll do our best to try to provide a realistic prediction for Wednesday morning.


Initially we felt confident that this minor storm would not postpone the high school basketball tournament games down at UMass, but now we're not so sure. The Advisory now includes Amherst, so those games are now in jeopardy of being moved to another night. Tournament officials would be wise to wait until tomorrow morning to get a better sense of the timing and severity of the snow.