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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Plain Old Rain for 2.28

Looks like the storm has lifted just enough to the north to make today's weather maker a rain only event. We might see a little sleet early on but it will rain and rain hard today. The rest of the week looks dry--we'll shift our attention to next week and the few disturbances that have been predicted.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Winter Weather Advisory for 2.28

GSD Staffers were temporarily distracted by the Oscars, but we're happy to say that we're back, we're zoned in, and we have encouraging news to report. The NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for our area to begin at 1 am Monday, with about an inch of snow and ice to hit at the perfect time: during the 4-6 am decision window.

As we know from Friday's storm, the track will be the key. If it stays snow longer, then a delay is more certain. If the storm quickly shifts to rain (and it will definitely switch to all rain at some point), then buses will role on time. GSD staffers are in disagreement about this one, and we may need until early tomorrow morning to make the final call. As of now, we're bumping the chance of a delay up significantly.

GSD will keep an eye on things--we'll report again in the AM.

Rain Rain Go Away

Heavy rain is in the forecast for tomorrow, which could lead to significant flooding because of the melting that will occur.

There is an outside chance of a delay as the precipitation could start out as ice in the overnight hours, but GSD thinks town road crews will be able to manage the wintry precip without any problem.

We'll update this evening if there are any developments in our favor.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Storms but No MSEs in Sight

Yesterday's storm (Friday) would have certainly resulted in a snow day given the timing and the much better than expected volume. Conditions were rough during the morning commute.

So, what's up next? Looks like a few more inches tonight, rain on Monday, a few snow showers toward the end of the week, a snow/ice mix for Saturday, and then again the same combo for Monday 3.7. Our best chance for a snow day is on Monday, March 7th.

The reason these disturbances are so weak is that they are coming from the West or the Mississippi valley. There is no trough in the jet stream right now to allow the storms to form in the Gulf and move up along the Atlantic seaboard. Also, with this pattern there's too much warm air is in place to give us a blockbuster snow storm.

Fortunately, the pattern is very active and more winter weather is in the pipeline. As yesterday's storm revealed to us, there are plenty of opportunities left yet for seemingly innocuous storms to blossom into moderate and heavy snows.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Winter Weather for Friday 2.25

The forecast for Friday is a messy one. If school had been in session this week, there would be a strong possibility for at least a delay, as the storm is supposed to be developing in the overnight hours Thursday into Friday. The computer models are predictably all over the place, but the possibility for heavy snow exists on Friday for the Northern Berkshires. Right now there is a Winter Storm Watch for southern Vermont, and we might see at least an Advisory if not a WSW for our area. That announcement should come some time during the day tomorrow, as some models have the cold air hanging on long enough to make it a mostly snow event. Realistically, though, the storm will start out as snow, change over to some kind of mixed precip (including rain), and then turn back to snow before the end of the day on Friday. Not a huge snowmaker, but we could see upwards of 4 inches. Activities and events on Saturday will not be jeopardized by this storm.

Thank you, Accuweather.

As for the Monday delay possibility, GSD advises that you not hold your breath. The storm is not coming together the way we anticipated. But don't get too down in the dumps just yet. You can start to turn your attention to next Friday (3.4) to get you through the school week. Once again, another round of snow/ice is in the forecast. A three-day weekend after a week of vacation? That would be a nice way to re-acclimate ourselves to the grind as we try to make our way through the often challenging month of March.

GSD urges caution out on the roads this Friday morning, and we'll post any new developments about Monday 2.28 (unlikely) and Friday 3.4 (likely) over the weekend.

Keep the faith, Flake Followers. There's definitely a lot of winter weather still to come our way.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday 2.28 Storm Requires Attention

After a pleasant dusting of snow last night to clean things up*, it looks like a return to absurdly normal late winter weather. Temps will be in the high 20s to high 30s, but nighttime lows will be close to zero in the early part of the week. It will not be uncommon to see temp swings of 25 degrees or more in a twenty-four hour period. Sugar people LOVE to see this trend, so even if we don't have any pressing major storms, at least the maple syrup production will be high. And perhaps the second best thing to a snow day or delay, in the opinion of this GSD staffer, is a stack of buttermilk pancakes drowning in New England's nectar.

The week will be relatively quiet, but things will start to percolate as we near the weekend. GSD sees a snowy rainy mess on Friday, and then some form of disturbance on Monday. Its shape is still undefined, but we're thinking ice. No sense rushing right back into the grind after a vacation, right? So, even though we're a week away, GSD is calling for a good chance of a delay on Monday. That's the truth, Ruth, and ain't nobody changing our minds. (Until Uncle Bob or Joe Bastardi tells us otherwise.)

*Wasn't last night's snow just special? Didn't it just prettify things so nicely? Hogwash. Lurking beneath that virginal blanket of snow is the smoothest, meanest, nastiest ice from Friday's melt down. Think you can just prance along on that one-inch snow cover and get away with it? Think again, friends. GSD strongly advices Yaktrax AND elbow pads. Beware the dangers lurking beneath!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Good News for March

Even though the pipeline of major storms has been reduced to a measly trickle, GSD is seeing great signs for a very active late February and March. Accuweather's long-range forecaster Joe Bastardi has revealed that March and April could be two of the wildest months of the year. Last year we experienced warmer than average temps in March and April, but that is definitely not going to be the case this year. A cold March means a stormy March, with lots of potentially nicey-dicey-icy storms. Tempestuous to say the least.

Already we're looking at two disturbances during vacation week, and possibly Mother Nature serving up her version of Neapolitan ice cream with snow, sleet, and rain all together for the Monday after the break. GSD sees strong indications of at least one major storm in the month of March as a result of the predicted atmospheric turmoil.

Remember the Storm of the Century on March 12-13 of 1993? Probably not, but we at GSD sure do.
Storm o' the Century -- March 12-13, 1993
 The storm was hyped as a storm of historic proportions and blasted the eastern seaboard. The Berkshires did not feel the brunt but still received about a foot of snow. Worcester and points northeast piled up 20+ inches. Are we due for a late winter blast? Our eyes are wide open.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wind Then Cold Then Warm

High wind warnings are up for the area tonight--we could see gusts into the 40 mph range, which is certainly enough to cause localized power outages.  The only chance of seeing a delay tomorrow would through a power outage. Because the chance is so minuscule, it doesn't even register on the Confidence Meter.

The temps will drop like a stone overnight. While it will be cold tomorrow and gusty, GSD did not think the State Cross Country Ski championship should have postponed. The last we checked, skiing was a winter sport. We assumed outdoor winter athletes and their coaches knew how to prepare for winter weather. Perhaps MIAA officials need to get out of the office more often.

After tomorrow, we'll be back in the 40s and may hit 50 by Friday.

The very good news is that Accuweather has put a few storms in its long-range forecast for the Berkshires. Friday of vacation looks like our next plowable snow event, and also Monday (the first day back from vacation). GSD likes the vibe of the Monday 2.28 storm already and will keep a keen eye on it during the break. Keep your fingers crossed, as there's nothing better than that one-day vacation extension.

Video Contest's Epic Finish

Now that was as crazy as a 12-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert. Video of Experience had a commanding lead going into the weekend, but somehow the Wunderkind, Nate the Great, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and he emerged with the GSD video title. Like a homeowner on an ice dam, he just chipped and chipped and chipped away until the lead was his. We haven't seen a comeback like this since the Red Sox in 2004.

 

Both videos are a shoe-in to be remembered at GSD for many years to come, and we'll be sure to pull out the Video of Innocence when we need to increase our fortunes for a snow day. Speaking of a snow day...
We hate to wheel out ol' Grumpy Puss, but there is absolutely diddly-squat on the storm horizon. [Sniff. Sniff. Sigh.] But turn those frowns upside down, GSD Followers, because the ever-popular, ever-superfluous, ever-outdated February break is right around the corner. Boogity boogity boogity--let's go racing! Nine glorious days of skiing, car shopping, movie-watching, staying up late, and other zany shenanigans await.

Of course, GSD still will be surveying the radar round the clock should there be any snow developments during the break or just after. As always, we've got your back.

Friday, February 11, 2011

O Snow Storms Where Art Thou?

Just like that, the storm pattern we were enjoying has dried up. The well is dry, the jig is up, the goose is cooked, the fruit is withering on the vine. We're staring at an unprecedented run of consecutive school days without a cancellation or delay and GSD no likey. Mercifully, vacation is right around the corner. GSD strongly urges Father Winter to use the break to regroup, to find his center, and to start to deliver more disturbances for the end of the month and the first part of March. Sure we've been spoiled, but more winter now please.

Snow will fall this weekend and early next week, but we're looking at showers and not much sustained snow activity. Very weak ACs are set to cruise over us in the next three or four days. We may get up to two inches from them, but there's really nothing to get jacked up about at the moment. Temps will climb close to 40 for the back end of next week, but we won't see grass for some time yet.

Keep voting for the video contest--it's neck and neck. Voting ends on Sunday.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Video Contest Finalists

Many of you regular followers of GSD have already checked these videos out, but the official voting period is now upon us. It's an epic Blakean battle, and we need you to decide whom we're going to call upon when we need a little boost to get us the coveted snow day.

Video of Innocence:


Video of Experience:


The polls are open all week. Alas, we won't be needing the Confidence Meter very much for the next few days so we'll put the voting booth there. Huge thanks to the entrants for getting into the snow spirit!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Advisory Extended to 6 PM

Had we known ahead of time that the storm would create this lake effect-like snow we've been having all day, the wise decision might have been to cancel school. Rule #24 of snow day predicting--it's all about the build-up. Case in point: storm 2.2. There was so much anticipation and certainty established by NWS, local meteorologists, and this blog that the snow day on Wednesday became an inevitability. Today's storm, by contrast, had a snowman-in-a-greenhouse's chance of resulting in any kind of truncation or cancellation of school. Simply no build-up.What's amazing is that we will get more snow from the storm last night and the lake effect today than we did from the 2.2 storm. That's why predicting snow days is not just about the science. We at GSD pride ourselves in taking in the whole landscape before we make our decision.


Even though NWS extended the advisory, you'll start to see the skies get brighter and snow showers will be intermittent this afternoon and evening. Afternoon activities should not (or ought not) to be affected. Beware the return of Freeze-miser--we'll get to zero or below for the next few nights. Bundle up!

Delay 2.8 Unlikely

With only two or three inches on the ground, and the radar showing the precipitation to be very light, it looks like the delay is on life support. If students and staff could drive home without incident in the conditions of the early release day, then those same people can get to school on time in these much milder conditions.

NWS has issued a special statement about hazardous driving conditions in Northern Berkshire this morning, so drivers do need to be extra cautious, but GSD thinks that the road crew managers are telling the super to proceed with a regularly scheduled transportation schedule. Berlin and New Lebanon are in with delays as of 5:11 am, so there's some hope still, but a full week of school is almost a certainty.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Winter Weather Advisory for Tonight

You see those things that look like arched, fuzzy caterpillars? Those are the collective raised eyebrows of the GSD Staff. One never knows, do one.

NWS is calling for 3-6" for the county with 4-8" in the higher terrain, which necessitated the WWA. If we were somehow able to come in at 8", we could be talking snow day. Still, the old reliable infrared radar indicates that we'll be in that 3-5" range.

Accuweather's latest delivery of optimism.

With the warmer temps creating a greasier, slick snow, and the perfect timing of the disturbance for the a.m. commute, GSD is much more optimistic about a delay than it was six hours ago. There's still a better chance for a full day than a delay, but the trend is moving decidedly in the favor of delay dreamers.

Delay Not Out of the Realm of Possibility

This prediction will come in a rhyme:
A snow day would be very sublime,
But it won’t pile up fast
So prepare for class--
The school day will start right on time


The storm just doesn't have enough moxie to get the job done for tomorrow. The timing couldn't be better, but the rate of snowfall will underwhelm our snow removal crews. We'll hold out some hope for a delay, but it's mostly a hedge in case something kooky happens overnight.

The harsh reality is this is your best chance of some kind of shortened school day this week. The Friday storm is drying up like a piece of cured venison in a food dehydrator, and we're going to have to turn our attentions to next week's possible icy mess on Tuesday (2.15).

The finalists for the video snow dance competition will be unveiled soon, and voting will commence! Like they say in Chicago, vote early and vote often.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday Update

Greetings from sunny Hartford, CT! The NWS Meteorology conference has been a rollicking good time--it's amazing what zaniness will erupt when you bring a bunch of weather nerds into the same hotel conference room together

Kudos to a recent commenter who unearthed the word "bombogenesis"--we'll do a whole post on that delightful word this week because, unfortunately, we don't think there's going to be a lot to sing and dance about in terms of storms. There's plenty of disturbance in the air, so to speak, but we will not feel the brunt of either the Tuesday or Friday storms.

We'll see snow this week, and there's always a chance that the storm tracks could change, but we may have to cope with a full week of school.

We'll do a more detailed post later but right now the GSD staff has just been challenged by the New Haven Weather Warriors to a game of Meteorology Mayhem--it's a cross between charades, Minute to Win It, and Twister. Game on!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Storm 2.11 the One to Watch

Weather disturbances continue to be in the forecast. Saturday's snow totals have been lowered, and we might see 6" by the end of the evening. The Tuesday/Wednesday storm seems to be bifurcating, and the Midwest portion will not merge with the Gulf portion. We could see some precip from either part (more likely a clipper-like snowfall) on Tuesday night. The best bet for an MSE right now is a storm for Friday 2.11. A nor'easter is a possibility.



For those of you just about at the end of your tether--a warm-up is expected for the week of the 14th and we could see temps close to 50. Storms will still dominate in the back half of February, but temperatures are supposed to rise considerably. These would mean more wet snow/sleet/rain events for our area as we move into March.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Saturday 2.5 Snow Not Insignificant

There's no pressing need to comment on a Saturday storm, but this one will disrupt activities during the day on the 5th. Hearty New Englanders will shrug this storm off and do what they need to do to procure their provisions for Super Bowl Sunday.

We foresee about 6-8" for Norberk and lesser amounts to the south. NWS will announce a Winter Weather Advisory if not a Winter Storm Warning by midday tomorrow.

GSD staff received this photo yesterday, which we think is of the Petersburg Pass but we've yet to verify it:

Thanks to GSD Staff in Watervliet.

No Delay -- Students Forced to Endure Full Day of School

Crews were out at 3:30 am making the roadways safe for bus travel, and the snow day royal flush disappears on the river. No delays or cancellations in sight until possibly Wednesday of next week. Three to four inches Saturday afternoon and night will be of the nuisance variety and should not complicate weekend plans.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Do Not Get Your Hopes Up for 2.3

It's hard to get disappointed about not getting too dumped on today, but today's storm certainly did not pass the taste test. Sure we had a snow day, but there wasn't enough body and it had a weak finish. Yes, we've become snow snobs, but only because we have been inundated with the opportunities to sample Father Winter's icy concoctions.

So, Flake-meisters, you want to know what tomorrow will bring? It's coming down rather steadily right now but looks are deceiving. There is a low chance of a delay (25%). The squalls and snow showers should dry up overnight, and crews will be out on the roads in due time. GSD can definitely sense that snow removal crews, like the Dunkin Donut man of the 1980s, have just about had it up to here. They are done bothering with these 'round-the-clock clean-ups. Oh, they'll get the job done by tomorrow morning, but they're going to take their sweet time. And who could really blame them?

The good news is the the video competition is heating up. Right now we have the innocent and the bold, and we did have the sacrificial for a while but apparently the submitters have pulled back their entry, most likely to make it better in the face of stiff competition. We're still taking entries, so you can send in your video this weekend. The GSD staff will be doing professional development at the NWS Hartford branch Saturday and Sunday, so we'll be in and out. But don't despair--we'll give you the latest, including updates on Storm 2.9. Wink. Wink.

Storm Wilts--Delay 2.3 Unlikely--1st Snow Dance Video

The big Groundhog Day storm has not quite delivered the snow haymaker that we thought it would, and we'll see well under a foot from this messy storm. Sleet had already mixed in at 7:00 am across the county, and with only 4-5" from start of the second phase of the storm, we'll be lucky to get to 8" in the Northern Berkshires today. That is, of course, if the wraparound snow that is now making its way into Ohio does not lead to moderate snow for us later tonight.

It's coming down steadily right now (9:30 am), but we'll definitely see the snow and sleet stop this afternoon. Look for on-again-off-again snow showers throughout the evening. The likelihood of us completing the snow day royal flush is highly unlikely--crews will have plenty of time to clean up roadways for tomorrow's commute. We may be waiting a few years before we even see the possibility of the snowy trinity again. But it was fun while it lasted.

As for the big snow dance video competition, we have a few entries so far and we will extend the deadline through the weekend. Keep them coming and we'll put the best ones up for a vote next week. Here's a sneak peek at the first video--this one may be very hard to beat.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's Official -- NO SCHOOL 2.2

Punxsutawney Phil, you little rascal, you. The Groundhog Day Storm comes through in a big way and makes up for last week's disappointment. Robo-calls just went out for the MG school district. Outstanding effort from the Super to allow for all those snow day sleepovers, parties, and film-viewing marathons.

Enjoy the day--and don't forget to submit those snow dance videos. The next snow day might not be as predictable, and we're going to need the help.

Invention That Would Make the Snow Day Extinct

GSD hates to break the bad news, but if your school district invests in one of these for each student, the snow day is a thing of the past. Do not share this video with your school administrators or school board members.


The snow dance video contest is still up and running--check out the last post for all the particulars.

Show Us Your Best Snow Dance

Let's spice things up a bit, shall we? The GSD Staff would like one of you spirited followers to create the official snow day dance of GSD. We will call upon this snow day dance in the future when we really need a special extra effort to bring us a snow day. It could be a routine that we can all imitate, or it can be something wild and zany that we simply watch to lift our spirits, kind of like Celtics fans do with Gino in the fourth quarter of home games.

Simply create a video of your dance--today would be a perfect day to work on this project--and put your video on Youtube. Submit a comment to this post that includes the link to your YouTube video. We'll put the best ones up, and then we'll let GSD Followers determine the official snow dance. Keep your snow dance videos short--under 30 seconds.

Tomorrow's storm is still going to be severe. If you see the snow slow down and even stop later this evening, do not hit the panic button. The second phase will need some time to develop before it dumps many, many inches on us. Snow totals could be held down by a period of sleet, but the conditions will be so horrific for the a.m. commute that even colleges and businesses will be closed for the day.

Get outside and frolic in this "best winter ever." Break out the digital camera and your imaginations. Contest is open to any follower of GSD, even if you live outside the Greylock district. Contest ends by Friday--voting will take place throughout the weekend. Here we go!

Prudence Prevails--Early Release 2.1

Put it on the board! The early release proved to be the right call and the super delivered. Also, the call came in shortly after 5:30, which makes it easier on everyone. The snow day royal flush is very much alive as we gird ourselves for phase two tonight. Twelve to 18" more on top of the 6" we'll get today. Here's today's projected snow total:
From the great staff at Channel 13

GSD strongly endorses calling in tomorrow's snow day this afternoon or early evening. We'll keep the updates coming throughout the day.

2.1 Storm Just Starting

As of 4:30 am, light snow had pushed into the Berkshires. The only news this morning is that Adams-Cheshire has decided to dismiss early, taking the county total up to six districts that are releasing early. MG, NA, and Central Berk have not made a decision yet. We'll let you know as it happens...