Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Storm 1.12.12: Early Evening Update

Take a look at the current radar and there certainly is a lot of moisture to our south and east. There are two low pressure systems associated with this mass of green--one will go to our west and north and the other--our wintery mess supplier--will head off the coast of Long Island and the Cape. Had the two lows joined forces and moved slightly east, we would have had a whopper of a storm.

So, is there anything new with this storm? Not really. The Northern Berkshires have the best shot of a delay tomorrow. We're upping our chance of a delay based on the forecast for freezing rain. Freezing rain is the big x-factor for storms--no superintendent in his or her right mind wants to mess with buses on icy roads. If you deeply, deeply want a delay tomorrow, you should be doing your little snow day dance/sacrifice/ritual in the hopes of freezing rain.

The problem is freezing rain is a grizzly bear to predict. A half degree colder or warmer can make all the difference. The current temp at GSD Headquarters is 33.4 degrees but 30 minutes ago it was 32.7. This fluctuation along the freezing mark will make this event very much a flip o' the coin.

Our modest prediction is about 2" of snow in Northern Berkshire with the changeover to sleet in the 3 am to 5 am window. It will then start to rain for the morning commute. If that rain is freezing, we're going to have a mess on our hands; unfortunately, the delay (or not) will have already been called in. (Remember, supers like to make their call between 5:30 and 6). Don't forget, too, that the road crews are very eager to get in those plows and make some cold, hard cash at that special time-and-a-half hourly rate. You know that as soon as the first flake hits the ground the plows will turn route 7 into the Santa Monica Freeway.

We're bumping the Confidence Meter to 40% for a delay. If you placed a large tank in front of the GSD office and made us decide, we'd have to say that you should prepare for the first bell of period one to ring on time.

A full snow day is almost entirely out of the question. The cold air isn't in place for a lasting winter weather event. This storm is a dicey one, and goodness knows everyone could use a delay, but it's unlikely that the models have under-shot the mark.

We'll do one more brief post later this evening with any new developments.

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