Friday, December 31, 2010

It's a New Year

Happy New Year, all ye faithful followers of GSD!

Unfortunately, it looks like there are no significant snow storms in the near future. We love to say we told you so--after all, it's what we do here--and we did say in the Dec. 21st entry that there would be a significant cessation in storm activity once we got through the third Sunday storm (which was a whopper).

So...the best we can offer for you is a chance of a storm toward the end of the week of Jan. 10th. That's a really long way don't hold your breath. Literally. You'll turn blue and the oxygen deprivation will cause you to fail the six tests your teachers have planned for the end of the first week back from vacation.

But if that storm does come to fruition, you're praying for a Friday storm and a bonus four-day weekend with MLK Jr. Day on the back end. Now that's what we're talking about!

Fortunately, the "Indian winter" we're seeing this weekend is on the way out, and temps will return to more seasonal highs and lows on Monday.

Enjoy the last two days of vacation.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow Totals -- 12/27

Here's the damage from the storm, courtesy of the Weather Channel. Not bad. We may not see another one like it for the rest of the winter, so enjoy!

Issued by The Weather Channel

1:07 pm EST, Mon., Dec. 27, 2010
The latest snowfall reports from The National Weather Service in Albany, NY: Pine Plains, 25.0"... Savoy, 24.8"... East Poestenkill, 24.0"... Grafton, 24.0"... Stephentown, 24.0"... North Hillsdale, 24.0"... Williamstown, 22.0"... Ghent, 22.0"... Landgrove, 21.0"... Kinderhook, 21.0"... Poestenkill, 20.5"... North Chatham, 20.3"... North Bennington, 20.0"... Averill Park, 20.0"... Otis, 20.0"... Bennington, 20.0"... Pownal, 20.0"... Claverack, 20.0"... Hillsdale, 20.0"... Woodford, 20.0"... Adams, 19.0"... Taghkanic, 19.0"... Hoosick Falls, 19.0"... Schodack Center, 19.0"... 20 Sunderland, 19.0"... Lebanon Springs, 18.0"... Ball Mountain Lake, 18.0"... Ancramdale, 17.5"... Maplecrest, 17.0"... North Otis, 17.0"... Livingston, 17.0"... Rhinebeck, 17.0"... New Paltz, 16.0"... Green Island, 15.8"... Brunswick, 15.5".

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Nor'easter to Hit -- 12/26-12/27

Break out the new sled--we're in for it. The NWS is calling for one to two feet when it's all said and done. The snow will start this afternoon and carry right through midday tomorrow. The wind will also kick up making for blinding conditions. Stay inside, watch football, play the new game system--enjoy the first major storm of the season. A no-brainer snow day call if we were in session.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Santa Brings Storm -- 12/26

The jolly big man in the red suit delivers the first real Winter Storm Watch of the season! The National Weather Service has issued a storm watch--a watch means there's a good chance of snow; a warning means we're almost certain to get 6+ inches. If we weren't on vacation, we at GSA would be dialed up to a 80% chance of a snow day. Right now indications are good for 6 inches of snow.

Updates to follow later today and tomorrow. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Storm on the 26th Taking Shape

The good folks at Accuweather are very excited about the weekend storm and are suggesting that the storm may indeed take the closer-to-the-coast track. For us at GSD, that's reason enough to upgrade the Sunday/Monday storm to a  snowmaker. Because we're playing with house money for this one with no snow day prediction at stake, we're going to boldly say 6 inches of dry, powdery snow Sunday evening into Monday. Keep in mind we're making this prediction a full four days before the storm.
Break out the tubes, snowboards, and skis--it's officially time for outdoor winter sports!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Third Time's The Charm?

So here we are again--another major coastal storm looms in the distance for the third weekend in a row. Will this be the one that finally stays close to the coast and gives us enough fluffy white stuff to get us through the New Year?

Your weather scenarios for Christmas weekend (image courtesy of the Weather Channel)
(GSD has noted a trend over the last fifty years that the winter storm pattern typically presents coastal storms in threes, all about a week apart. Why this is, we have no idea. We'll dedicate a future posting to this phenomenon at some point. Unfortunately, this trend also means that we're at the end of the cycle and headed for a major lull in storm activity for the first part of January. For the sake of school children everywhere, we hope we're not right.)

GSD doesn't relish playing the role of the Grinch, but we see no reason (at this point) to believe that this storm is any different from the last two. Our initial projection is that storm #3 will roll on by just south of us and give us a few flakes but not the major snow event we'd all like to see. Of course, we'll hold out hope for a better outcome, but that goes without saying.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

California Dreamin'

Wish you were in the Sierra Nevadas? Ten feet of snow have been predicted in some locales. We like snow and snow days at GSD, but everything in moderation.

Speaking of storms, as you probably all know the Sunday Nor'easter went out to sea. You can't win 'em all. With a three-day week in front of us and glorious 11-day break in the offing, we can all make it to Wednesday at 2:21.

Perhaps some light snow for Wednesday, but right now it looks like clear sailing through Santa's big day.

GSD will provide updates about any storms over the break, just to keep our loyal followers informed so you can plan your Holiday vacation activities.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

GSD Confidence Meter Explained

Predicting snow days is, in fact, a science. It's not just about following the winter storm watches and warnings as offered by the lovely folks at the NOAA National Weather Service. The Staff at GSD are trained snowday-ologists.

The Confidence Meter will be updated regularly in the run-up before any possible delays , cancellations, or early release days. Here's an explanation of the The True North Confidence Meter:

VOLUME -- Volume, of course, refers to the volume of snow that is likely to fall. Three inches can be enough  to cancel school some days, but generally speaking we're looking for 6+ inches of the fluffy white stuff. Once we get beyond the 8" threshold, we're in the money! We put our predicted number of inches here.

TIMING -- Timing is perhaps the most important element to a snow day decision. Too early and the evil plows have their time to do their business; too late and we could be stuck sleeping in the gym with 600 of our closest friends. Ratings range from EARLY to JUST RIGHT to LATE.

ICE -- Ice is bad. Ice causes old people to slip and break their hips. Ice can shut down your cable, your internet and your XBox. But ice is GREAT for snow days. Ratings for ICE will include types of ice precipitation: SLEET and FREEZING RAIN.

SUPER -- An important but often overlooked component of every snow day decision is the psychology of the superintendent. A bad prediction on one storm can work against us for the next storm. And vice versa.
Different Supers in Berkshire County have different issues to contend with. North Adams and Pittsfield have more children who walk to school than other districts. Central Berkshire has the hill towns to factor in. Some Superintendents are stingy with their snow days; others cancel at the threat of the sighting of the first flake. Ratings for this category will vary.

Percentages next to DELAY, SNOW DAY and RELEASE indicate the likelihood of each event. 100% means that it's a sure thing; 10% means you really should do that homework you're so desperate to blow off because it's highly likely you're going to school.

Sunday Storm's Back In Business! (Sort of)

Ah, the beauty of fickle computer models! It's still not looking great for Sunday's storm, but some models are forecasting a Nor'easter to develop if the storm hugs the coast.  C'mon Atlantic seaboard!  Hold on tight and do your job.
GSD still feels that this storm will drift out to sea, leaving us nothing but a gusty day on Monday, but we're still just a little aflutter with excitement.  Steady, steady.

This is the storm track you want to see on Sunday.

Check in at GSD throughout the weekend to get the skinny.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sunday (12/19) Storm Fizzles

Did you know that since the 1970s, Mount Greylock Regional High School has had a snow day before the holiday break on average three out of every four years? Unfortunately, it looks like 2010 is that fourth year in the cycle as all indications show that the Sunday blockbuster, White-Christmas-inducing, ski-resort-loving dumpage of snow just ain't in the cards. The storm could track up the coast and give us a baby Nor'easter but in no way should you get your hopes up.

The long range forecast is for a quiet weather pattern through Christmas day. Bah humbug.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Near Miss December 14

The predictors at GSD were extremely confident there would be school today (Tuesday, December 14) but there's no question our superintendent awoke early and at the very least contemplated her options. Mt. Anthony and Drury have delays today, and Wahconah is the first Berkshire county high school on the board with a full-day snow day--congratulations to the Warriors!

A near miss today but GSD strongly agrees with the decision to forge ahead and have school.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday December 19, 2010 Storm?

It's way too early, but the computer models are hinting at a Sunday storm. With the near miss from last weekend firmly in our minds, and the knowledge that winter storms around here often follow a seven-day cycle, this one bears watching.

Kudos to a certain ninth-grade English teacher in the South corridor who first broke the news of this impending storm.


     Like turkey and cranberries, tinsel and Douglas firs, nutmeg and egg nog, winter and anticipation are the perfect match. Our cold, short days are filled with anticipation for the great events of winter--the Holiday walk, the lighting of the first candle on the menorah, the descent down the stairs to see Santa's leavings.
     But no winter event sustains our hopes and anticipations the way the beloved Snow Day does. Who doesn't love a snow day? Who can stand the anticipation? Students bow down before the snow gods and would happily sacrifice their kid sister for the glorious feeling of a free pass, a break from the drudgery, to laze away in bed on a random Tuesday in the middle of January. The thrill of that prerecorded phone message at 5:45! The peaceful affirmation as Mount Greylock Regional scrolls across the bottom of the TV screen! The sad/happy sight as Mom and Dad trudges off to work!
     And let's not kid ourselves that students are the only ones who feel the excitement. Teacher X: "What? You mean we have no school? I can't go to work today? I have to correct papers in my pajamas, you say? Well, all right...but only if I HAVE to."

     The downside of the Snow Day, as we all know, is its unpredictability. Should you do your homework or not? Should you study for that Bio test or risk it? Work on that outside reading book or throw caution to the wind? You might delude yourself and say you'll get up early and study if it's looking like we might not have snow day, but let's be real. What you really want to know, though, is what are your odds?

     And that's how this blog will help. When you are weighing going skiing or writing that outline for that research paper, you need facts and reliable information and a one-stop shop for all things meteorology. So, for each storm this season, stop by for all the information you crave. You will receive up-to-the minute information outlining the chances of a snow day. You will be able to use the links on the right to make your own predictions, but know that you can't replace experience when it comes to New England weather. We've been predicting snow days at a 90% clip for the better part of four decades, so you know you're in good hands at Check in, check often, and bring on the snow!