Sunday, January 25, 2015

Blizzard of 2015?

By now you're probably on to the fact that a major winter storm is expected to traumatize the Northeast starting Monday afternoon and lasting through Wednesday for parts of eastern Maine.

Yes, this storm really snuck up on meteorologists. It wasn't supposed to be a big deal three and four days ago, but then the models started to get into alignment and the storm started taking a northerly track.

A nice map from Boston meteorologist Dave Epstein's Twitter feed.
The B word--blizzard--is being thrown around out there by the talking heads of news/weather/sports outlets. When New York and Boston are slated to get a major snowstorm, it's as if the entire nation is being hit by the storm, so we're going to see a ton of hype with this one. We probably won't get to blizzard conditions in Western Mass. Remember, in order for a storm to be considered a blizzard, the following conditions must be met: 1) sustained winds or frequent gusts above 35 mph; 2) less than a quarter mile of visibility from falling and blowing snow; 3) conditions 1 and 2 must occur for at least three hours. So really, a blizzard is a snow storm with heavy winds.

The hype for this storm is not entirely groundless. The hardworking folks at GSD have been on the clock since the announcement of the Winter Storm Watch and all evidence points to a double digit snowfall for the Berkshires.

Already a few schools have called off after school activities for tomorrow, which seems premature. We will, however, see many cancellations of Monday night's athletic contests, concerts, and meetings. With Saturday's slate of games wiped out and most likely Monday's and Tuesday's games off the docket, end-of-season schedules just got a lot tighter for high school teams.

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