Monday, December 11, 2017

Winter Weather Advisory for Tuesday

As we thought it might, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Berkshire County, effective from 1 AM Tuesday to 1 AM Wednesday.

Hill towns are looking really good for snow days tomorrow.
If this storm behaves the way forecasters think it will, we should see many snow days tomorrow. The timing still looks very good as the snow should be falling at 4 AM when school superintendents start to assess the situation in conjunction with their colleagues and Public Works superintendents.

As long as the forecast for 4-6 inches of snow throughout the day holds up, several--but not all--superintendents will be reluctant to hold school. We're not all in on this storm just yet. There's a lot that could go wrong with it.

We'll keep you updated throughout the day.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Tuesday Storm

We have new intel on the Tuesday storm. We still haven't received a Winter Weather Advisory for the Berkshires, but it should be up by Monday morning. At least that's what we think will happen.

There is a Winter Storm Watch in effect for the Saratoga/Rutland areas, and the forecast there is for 8-12 inches of snow. Let's hope the storm takes a jog to the south.

And you're definitely going to like this map, which the NWS just released at 9:00 PM on Sunday.

Thanks, Albany NWS.
That's an encouraging sign for widespread delays and snow days for Tuesday.

Delays or Snow Days Possible For Tuesday

It's go time. We have our first school day-affecting snow situation coming our way on Tuesday. The models are coming into agreement, and it's looking a lot like yesterday's storm, except the heavier snow will be to our north.

A low pressure system will track across the Great Lakes region and then pick up strength on the coast. Because the coastal formation will be more northerly (compared to Saturday's storm), we'll see higher snow totals in Northern Berkshire County and South County will be at the low end.

Right now the timing of this storm looks really good. Snow should break out after midnight, and it all goes well, we'll have a few inches on the ground as Superintendents wake up and have to make a call to hold school or not. We should see the announcement of a Winter Weather Advisory later tonight or even tomorrow morning.

The big question will be the amount of snow. Is three inches enough to cancel school? Will the forecast for continued snow throughout the day spook Superintendents enough to cause them to cancel school? Are Superintendents still reeling from all of the snow days they had to call in last year, thus they will be reluctant if conditions just aren't that bad on Tuesday morning? These are the big questions we'll ponder over the next 36 hours.

This map predicts 3-6" for Berkshire County, south to north.
We do like the way this storm is trending. We need to see the Winter Weather Advisory first before we can get too excited, but the cold air is in place, the timing is great, and there should be enough moisture to force at least widespread delays.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Saturday Snow Details

Just a quick check in to let you know the NWS bumped up snow totals slightly for the Berkshires for Saturday. We're stilling looking at a 7 AM Saturday to 7 AM Sunday window for this potentially moderate storm, and right now the models are predicting 3 to 6 inches for the Berkshires. South County has a better chance to reach 6 inches; North County will be closer to 3.

If you're heading east, you should know that we are seeing a Winter Storm Warning for much of central Mass, and the Warning extends as far west as Southbridge and Ware.

As for timing, the snow will fill in from south to north starting in the late morning hours. We're guessing the first flakes will fall on the Mass/Conn border around 10 AM, Pittsfield around 11 AM, and Williamstown near 12 PM. These times are approximate and could be off by an hour either way. The snow should wrap up some time after midnight, but snow showers could persist all the way to daybreak Sunday.

As for next week, the jury is still out about Tuesday's storm. The last few model runs weren't encouraging, but that's what happened 72 hours in front of tomorrow's storm. The GSD Staff thinks we're in a good pattern for a few weeks, so we won't be surprised to see the models improve our snow chances again (for Tuesday) by Sunday night.