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

Monday, March 10, 2014

Storm Elle: 36 Hours Away

Sadly, a sizable portion of our readership has had it up to here (enough already!) with the snow and are actively rooting against Storm Elle. We understand your position, but in no way do we support it.

It is our sworn duty to always, always root for a snow day. Any snow day is a good snow day, even if that means the slow erosion of our April vacations. Some day many years from now, when GSD is a Thunderstorm prediction site, we'll look back wistfully on winters such as this one, so there is no way we'll ever not get excited about a snow day.

So let's get excited, shall we? We do have a major storm heading our way. The apex of the storm will be sometime early Wednesday evening. How long the run-up and the backside of this storm will last will determine whether we have full snow days, releases, or delays. At this point in the forecast, we think this storm will affect school in some fashion both Wednesday and Thursday for some districts.

But the models are still very much in disagreement. The North American model, which did well with the last storm, takes the storm further to the north, which is bad. The historically more reliable Euro (at least it has been this winter) takes the storm further south, which is encouraging. But even the last few runs of the Euro model have bumped the storm's center farther north (but not as far north as the North American model). [This info has been updated.]

What makes this storm dicey is just how warm the air to the south is. If we get on the wrong side of the storm, then we'll see all rain and temps well into the 40s. Unfortunately, an all rain event is indeed a possibility. But...if the storm center doesn't push that far north, we could get pummelled...as in 15 inches of wet, heavy snow.

There is a lot of liquid with this storm. If it's cold enough for snow, we'll see at least 6" of snow.

We don't have much more to tell you. The GSD Staff is still very hesitant to embrace Elle fully. The unpredictability is giving us the willies, and we really don't want to get your hopes up. Even if some rain and sleet work their way into the Berkshires, we still could see 6-12", with 6" in South County and 12" up North.

We still like our earlier prediction of a release on Wednesday and a moderate chance at a delay on Thursday. Any activities Wednesday evening will almost assuredly be cancelled.

We'll have much more tomorrow about the exact start of the storm as well as snow total predictions. Yee-haw! It's going to be a fun 48 hours.

Our first local graphic for Storm Elle--thanks, Channel 6 Albany. Not Very encouraging, though, is it?

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