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

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Freeze Delays for Thursday?

While we are enjoying a most pleasant and innocuous light snow fall today, the GSD Home Office is really looking hard at the weather maps for Thursday morning as we deal with the onset of a crushing cold air mass. We strongly feel that some schools will choose to delay the start of school on Thursday because of the bitter cold.

Right now the major weather information sources (Weather Channel, Accuweather, Intellicast) have the Berkshires in the -6 to -11 zone for Thursday morning. If Wednesday night is cloudless, radiational cooling will drive the temperature well below zero. Compounding the problem of the severe cold is a harsh wind that will kick up during the day on Wednesday and carry through Thursday. Winds could gust to 40 mph on Wednesday--that will be refreshing! If winds are blowing around 20 mph in the overnight hours and on Thursday morning, they will make it feel as if it is -25 out. Brrr.

Now this looks like fun. Thanks, Accuweather, for the image.
For this reason we think several but not all schools will delay the start by a few hours to make sure buses are operating properly so students won't get stranded at bus stops. Also, anyone who walks to school will surely need a ride even after a two-hour delay.

Most buses have diesel engines, and diesel and subzero temperatures don't go well together. Buses are equipped with heaters to keep the diesel at an optimal temperature, but we've seen in the past that very low temps can knock buses out of commission.

As for snow, don't be surprised to see a few heavy squalls in the Berkshires tomorrow. These will be hit-or-miss and won't last very long, but they could coat the roads quickly. Our next chance is for more showers on Friday. There is a 1% chance of a weekend coastal storm that would impact school on Monday.

We'll have more info tomorrow in anticipation of the coldest air of the season on Thursday.

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