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

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Curious Case of Humidity Days at

The Berkshires never cease to amaze us. We have snow days. We have ice days. We have freeze days. We have had hurricane days, and it's conceivable we'll have tornado days, too, at some point in the near future. Once in a while we get a random broken furnace day or water main break day, but today's events at Mt. Greylock mark a new era in the Reasons-We-Need-To-Cancel-School department: high humidity.

For those not in the loop, Greylock sent students home early today because the cool tile floors and highly humid air were not playing nicely together. By 10:00, all the floors had become treacherously slippery and several students had slipped to the ground. How embarrassing, but less so when all of your classmates appear to have badly sharpened ice skates to school. Rather than risk possible injuries, the administration decided to send students home around 12:30. There was a rumor that the cool floors and warm air had led to the formation of a thunderstorm in the West corridor, but, alas, there were no lightning detections.

Today's developments say as much about the decrepit conditions of the home of the Mounties as much as they do about global warming and the accompanying heat index of 100 in the middle of September. Most other schools in Berkshire County don't have this problem, but if they do we'd love to hear about it the comment section below so we can start to predict more accurately the chance of a Humidity Day and not get blindsided by this weather anomaly.

The million dollar question is whether or not the crack custodial staff at MG can get the building de-humidified by the opening of school tomorrow. We need to look at a few things: 1) the timing of the approaching cold front; 2) the dew point for this evening; and 3) the relative humidity.

The cold front doesn't look like it's going to reach us until later in the day (interesting). The dew point will be in the low 70s and high 60s all the way into the morning daylight hours, which is VERY high for this time of year (eyebrows raised). And the relative humidity is still on the way up and will stay in the 90% range all the way until 9 AM tomorrow (are you serious?). What this means--and brace yourselves weather hounds--is that the very real possibility exists that Greylock students will have the day off on Thursday.

Perhaps the custodial staff can work their magi--and, really, let's hope so--but definitely check the local radio and TV outlets tomorrow for a school cancellation announcement. And if a robo-call goes out tomorrow morning (or even tonight), it will definitely be for a full day off, not a delayed start.

This is indeed exciting! Keep yourselves posted. We're not sure how much more we can add to the speculation so it's unlike we'll update with any news until tomorrow afternoon.

Lastly, we definitely promise to release our first long-range forecast for the winter of 2013-14 very soon.