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

Saturday, November 14, 2015

End of November Forecast

With the sighting of a few flurries today in and around the GSD Home Office, we thought it was high time to check in again with our faithful flake followers and provide insight about when we might see our first legitimate snow storm.

As you've no doubt observed, it's been a very warm November, which doesn't bode well for a snowy winter. We also have a strong el Nino in play for this winter, which should translate to above average temperatures as well as more precipitation than normal. Unfortunately, we see no reason to revise the forecast we made this summer for only a handful of big snow storms in 2015-16 with many storms shifting from snow to mixed precip to all rain.

The 3-month forecast for temperatures. Brown/orange means higher temps December, January, and February.
As for the rest of this month, we're still looking at plenty of days with high temps in the 50s and low 60s. There are a few signs out there that we will see genuinely winter conditions at the end of the month (Thanksgiving weekend). We will have some rain later next week, and also Thanksgiving Day could be wet, which is less than ideal.

Don't get too down in the dumps, snow lovers. It will snow eventually--we live in New England after all. We might get a freak large storm before the New Year (fingers crossed!), but it looks like this year that the bulk of our snow will fall in February.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

First Snow of the Season!

Early in the day on Sunday, a keen-eyed GSD staff member witnessed the first snow of the season in Williamstown. Technically, it was the first graupel of the season, but graupel is a type of snow, so it qualifies.

What, you are wondering, is graupel?

Take away the artificial coloring and you've got yourself some graupel.

If you've ever had the pleasure of eating Dippin' Dots, then you know exactly what graupel is. Or, if you've ever seen the innards of a bean bag chair, then you know what graupel is.

Graupel is a snowflake with water droplets frozen to it. It looks a lot like soft hail. That's the kind of snow that fell in Williamstown on Sunday. Despite the temperatures in the upper 30s, the graupel briefly began to accumulate on grassy surfaces before the sun came back out and melted the graupel away.

Those hoping that the flurries today might mean a bigger snowstorm is right around the corner? You are flat out of luck. Temps will moderate over the next few days and we'll see more seasonably appropriate thermometer readings in the 50s and low 60s for the next ten days or so.

We'll certainly keep you updated when the first threat of measurable snow works its way into the forecast.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Chance of Snow This Week

Hello, Flake Followers. We're back! There aren't any storms in the forecast, but our weekly perusal of the long-range forecast turned up this curious little item. Take a gander:

We draw your attention to that purple section at the bottom. What it means is that right now we have a better than 50% chance of seeing our first flakes of the season late Saturday night. Yes!

We're not super optimistic that we'll see snow showers at that time--and most of us will be snug in our beds when and if the showers come through--but the fact that we're even writing these sentences means that the measurable, snow day-inducing storms of the 2015-16 Winter Season are not so far around the corner. Rejoice, rejoice.

Until we meet again...

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Long Range Forecast -- Winter 2015-16

Hello, Greylock Snow Day followers and supporters!

We're about to enter our sixth year of operations (already?), and we are more than thrilled to be your one-stop shop for un-filtered and un-hyped snow day forecasts for the upcoming winter season and--hopefully--many more winters to come. We're happy to serve the Berkshire County area as your winter weather brokers.

Let's recap 2014-15. As awesome as the winter of 2014-15 was for the eastern part of the state, it really was only slightly above average for the Berkshires and its surrounding environs. Our grand total of 72.8 inches at the GSD Home Office was just about perfect. We had a few brutal cold stretches in there, but overall the storms came frequently and provided enough drama to make the winter months pass by in a heartbeat. Let's hope for more of the same in 2015-16!

With the upcoming school year just a few days away, it's a suitable time for the official 2015-16 long-range forecast. Really, this is a fool's errand given how much spread we see in the long-range forecasts, but we're only a few months away from the possibility of our first major winter snow storm, so why not check in with what the weather gurus are saying for the upcoming winter?

If you've been paying any attention to the weather news at all, you know that all the media outlets have been playing up an historically strong El Nino winter for the US this winter. At one point we heard the expression "Godzilla El Nino" being floated out there, but what the heck does that even mean for our winter weather in Western New England this upcoming year?

Historically, a strong El Nino means that New England is in for an above average winter in terms of moisture (potentially good) and an above average winter in terms of temperatures (potentially bad). If this is indeed the scenario that pans out, here's what the GSD Staff is predicting: numerous big storms that start out as snow and then turn to sleet then quickly change to rain. Snow will be heavier and wetter this this year, and snow totals will be average (60 inches) or slightly below average. As for snow days, we think we'll see only a few (2-3 days off), but the 2-hour delay will be a popular choice for Superintendents this upcoming winter because of the uncertainty of the timing of the shift from snow to sleet to rain. We could see 5 or 6 two-hour delays this winter when it's all said and done.

We look forward to providing updates as the fall as the weather events necessitate. Until then, think wintry thoughts all ye followers of the flake! We'll be in touch soon.