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

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Week of April 29th Forecast

Greetings, weather hounds! Spring has firmly established herself in our area, and we should see considerable thickening of the leaves and growth of flowers this week. All you allergy sufferers could be in for a very difficult week.

Monday and Tuesday will be the coolest days this week, with highs in the low 60s. From Wednesday through the weekend, we're looking at mostly sun and highs around 70. Break out the shorts for good!

Our best chance of rain will be Monday afternoon and Monday night, and then we're really not quite sure when it's going to rain again. We might see a very brief shower on Friday, but it's unlikely that moisture will develop.

Get out and enjoy this dry spring weather!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

2013 Writing Contest Winners!

After a few day delay (and thank you for your patience), we hereby announce the winners of the 1st Annual Greylock Snowday Writing Competition!

Over 40 students entered this year's competition, and our panel read an impressive array of stories. (Panelists read the stories without any names attached to them, only grades). We read about grizzly deaths from snow, a Chris van Allsburg-inspired tale, a story about a mysterious riddle from atop Mt. Greylock, Jack Frost as a cold and hot lover, snow with bipolar disorder, and many stories involving epic proportions of snow.

The final decision was in no way an easy one, but here are the commended stories, in addition to the big winners:

HONORABLE MENTION:

Katelin Marchand -- Mt. Greylock RHS (10th)
Aaron Kleiner -- Mt. Greylock RHS (8th)
Savannah Byrne -- Pine Cobble School (4th)
Emma Lezberg -- Berkshire Country Day School (9th)
Jesse Cohen -- Mt. Greylock RHS (8th)

2nd RUNNER-UP ($100 prize):

Merrie Benjamin -- Pine Cobble School (4th)

1st RUNNER-UP ($100 prize):

Kelsey Hebert -- Mt. Greylock RHS (11th)

GRAND PRIZE WINNER ($300)

Kendylle Hutton -- Mt. Greylock RHS (9th)


Happy Vacation!

Get out and enjoy the sunny weather today...it's gorgeous out there. Today and tomorrow will be delightful with temps in the low 60s and lots of sun. Friday will get warmer--close to 70--with more clouds. Unfortunately, the rain comes in on Saturday ahead of a cold front, and then we'll see mid-50s with sun on Sunday.

The GSD Writing Contest winners will be announced shortly--please be patient as we contact winners!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sleet Attack

The sleet is starting to accumulate here at the GSD Office. The roads are probably passable right now but deteriorating. We won't be surprised to see some schools make all the good boys and girls go home directly after school and not pass "Go" nor collect their $200.

Fortunately for the road conditions, temps are gradually rising. There will still be slick spots in certain low-lying areas, but conditions will improve marginally as we make our way toward sunset.

Look for the heaviest sleet and rain to end around 2:30 or 3:00 with showers likely after that point.

WWA Extended

NOAA has extended our Winter Weather Advisory until 6 PM tonight. We still don't think we're going to see any significant problems with travel this afternoon because of ice, but don't be surprised to hear the tick-tick-tick of sleet on your window panes at some point today.

Again, we think most outdoor activities this afternoon will be cancelled as the heavy rain moves in and the wind really whips up. Wind could gust to 40 MPH.

The weekend looks mostly dry but cool. We'll see a return to the low 60s for our area by Monday. Enjoy the vacation!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Icy Situation for Friday Morning?

Will it or won't it ice tomorrow morning?

Anyone who says they know for sure is merely bluffing, as even the most seasoned weather prognosticators have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow morning.

As of 8:30 pm, the temp at the GSD Home Office was 36 degrees. Will the temp get to 32? It certainly is possible if the cold air continues to feed into the area.

Another problem with tomorrow's storm is that the moisture is not that well organized to our immediate west. Out in the Ohio valley, there's a ton of moisture, which is unfortunately heading to our north and west. We won't see that large patch of moisture in our area until tomorrow morning.

If everything comes together perfectly, then we could see a delay. Given the recent performances of storms, we're not confident that we'll achieve perfection.

We'll keep some hope alive in the True North Confidence Meter, but you should be prepared for a full day of school tomorrow. Just be sure you wear a raincoat.

Winter Weather Advisory for Friday Morning

NOAA thinks there's some juice in this storm yet as it has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for our area. You should stay on alert, but we still think a delayed opening will be a stretch.

We definitely have our eye on this one and will monitor (and update) throughout the day today. It will be extremely difficult to predict, but North County should fare better than South County should any districts decide to go with the delay.

Rain and Wind for Friday

The last day of school before vacation will be an ugly one.

The latest news on a possible ice storm for Friday indicates the Berkshires should escape unscathed. Sleet could mix into the rain (heavy at times) on Friday morning, but it shouldn't impact travel conditions much at all. While there was a chance for a delay just 12 hours ago, that chance is eroding quickly. Sorry to get everyone excited about a last gasp from Old Man Winter, but now the chance for a delay is almost negligible.

Watch for the winds to really whip up on Friday as the coastal low forms and develops a nor'easter-style storm track. Practices, meets, matches, and games on Friday afternoon will be in serious jeopardy. It's going to be fairly cold to boot. Only the heartiest of lax coaches will make their players practice outside, but they'll run the risk of doing significant damage to their fields.

Look for our practice and game predictions for next week on Sunday. We will also announce the winners of our writing contest by midweek. Over 60 entries from a dozen schools--very impressive GSD readers (and writers)!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Delays for Friday?

What we have here is a bona fide wintery situation for Friday morning.

With our ear to the weather ground, we've picked up some rumblings about a possible icy scenario for the Friday morning commute. This is no joke. Students especially in North Berkshire County could kick off their vacation in style with an abbreviated day on Friday.

We're sure you'll be hearing much more about this storm tomorrow and tomorrow night on the local news programs, and we will not be surprised to see a Winter Weather Advisory for locales north of Pittsfield posted in the afternoon tomorrow.

The gist of this possible mess for Friday's commute is cold air to the north seeping down into the Berkshires. A warmer, wet front moves in from the south. Cold air likes to stay low; warm air (with moisture) likes to move up. Warm air/moisture over cold air equals ice. Ba-da-bing!

One model has some areas receiving half an inch of ice. While that amount is likely reserved for the Adirondacks, we still could see a quarter of an inch in the Northern Berkshires. Ice is always very tricky to predict, but most models are indicating that some combination of sleet and freezing rain will hit our area in the overnight hours on Thursday into Friday.

Spread the word on this storm--you don't want your Superintendent to fall asleep at the wheel on this one.

Monday, April 8, 2013

GSD to Continue Forecasting Through June

We can't officially put Old Man Winter into hibernation until about May 15th, but the signs indicate that the winter season of 2012-13 is just about over. Phew.

All in all, the GSD staff has given winter of 2012-13 a "satisfactory" rating. We had a few good storms, not too many long dry spells without storms of some kind, and the volume of snow was enough to keep the slopes, hills, and trails covered for a good chunk of the season. And there was plenty of excitement with early releases, delays, and full snow days for all the schools of the region. If our records are correct, the only district in Berkshire County not to get a full snow day this season was Mount Greylock. How about them apples!

It definitely was the season of the two-prong storm, as almost all of our big weather makers required the merger of energy from the Ohio Valley with energy from a coastal low pressure system. With all the moving parts of those storms, it shouldn't have been surprising that we had our fair share of storms that fizzled out.

So, what do we do now? For one, you should enter the GSD Writing Contest if you haven't done so already--still two days to enter!

Also, you should continue to read as we will be giving regular weather updates that will focus on the likelihood of afternoon and evening activities (i.e. practices and games) getting cancelled or postponed because of the weather. And we will offer this service free of charge through the end of the school year. Your welcome, our pleasure.

For this week, Monday (today) and Tuesday look delightful, even though showers will pass through later tonight. No chance of cancellations today, and tomorrow should be fine but windier. After Tuesday, however, things get dicey. Temps will start to go down and we could see showers both Wednesday and Thursday. Friday has the potential to be a complete washout, as our good friends the double-barreled low pressure systems (see paragraph 3, above) revisit our area. We'll keep you updated on the possibilities for heavy rain for Friday. Saturday and Sunday (fingers crossed) should be fine.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sneak Attack from Old Man Winter

This morning's surprise snowfall brought to you by the Great Lakes! Producing snow for upstate New York for eons.

It's unusual to see lake effect snows reach this far east, but that's what's going in this morning. No delays have been called in, but conditions are slippery out there with a coating to an inch on the road.

This snow engine from the Great Lakes should continue to produce snow throughout the morning. Once the sun rises, we'll probably see the engine start to dry up and shut down with only sporadic snow showers throughout the day.

Bundle up--it's going to be chilly all day.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Monday Weather Turns Nasty; Friday Storm?

Like a Jon Lester curveball, the weather is just plain nasty this afternoon. Sideways rain, plummeting temps, and a few heavy snow showers will dominate the Berkshire weather scene. So much for our prediction yesterday that teams will be able to get in their training this week!

Today doesn't look like much fun out there, and tomorrow's no bag of donuts either. Windy, cold, raw--unseasonably cold for this time of the year. Wednesday will be the chillier of the next two days but considerably drier and less windy.

Again, we do expect a moderation in the temps by Thursday. At least we have that to look forward to.

We do have our eye on a possible Friday storm. Most models take it out to sea well to our south, but the lesser-discussed Canadian model has the low turning up the coast and bringing a snowstorm to our region.

Is April the month in which the Canadian model shines? Is the Canadian model tired of playing third fiddle to the European and US models? Will Friday be the Canadian model's one shining moment?

In college hoops terms, the Canadian model's chances of being right would be like a #15 seed beating a #2 seed. We're not optimistic, but who doesn't love an upset?