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

Friday, January 30, 2015

The 1-2 Punch

It's late January, it's snowing and it's going to get really cold. Winter the way it used to be!

We have a couple of weather situations we need to make sure everyone's aware of. First is the bitterly cold temps we're expected to see Saturday morning and Tuesday morning. The NWS has posted a Wind Chill Advisory for Berkshire County that lasts through 11 AM Saturday. We'll see the temperature drop to -2 or -3 overnight with winds increasing. Temps will warm all the way up to 12 degrees during the day on Saturday before climbing to a balmy 18 on Sunday. Once the snow comes through on Monday, we'll see the mercury plummet on Tuesday morning with lows of -13 to -16 degrees. Ouch.

The meat in between our subzero temperature sandwich is a coastal storm for Monday. This storm was on, then it was off, and now it's back on. It looks like the low pressure racing due east across the country will hit the mid-Atlantic coast, re-energize, and then move up the coast to the Gulf of Maine during the day on Monday. These types of storms are often not as potent as typical nor-easters (which come out of the Gulf of Mexico), but they still can pack a wintery punch.

We're not sure if this storm will need its own GSD name, but we'll put up a poll just in case.
Thanks, Weather Channel, for the image.
Right now we would not need a lot of moisture to generate a lot of snow. With temps in the low teens on Monday, snow-to-liquid ratios could be as high as 20:1. If everything works out perfectly for this storm, we could get 10" of the lightest, easiest-to-shovel snow you will ever see without much trouble.

Before we get everyone too excited, though, we have two major concerns already with this storm. 1) We don't like the timing. It might start too late to cancel school for the day. 2) It's so cold we're worried about the cold air block that we experienced on Tuesday. Meteorologists seem less concerned with that scenario, but the super dry air could evaporate a lot of the moisture before it even hits the ground.

Current snowfall predictions we're seeing for Monday range from 3-5" to 8-10". We'll certainly try to narrow the gap between those predictions on Super Bowl Sunday. But the ideal GSD scenario for next week would be a snow day Monday and a freeze delay on Tuesday. That's not our official prediction just yet, but it's an outcome that was definitely discussed during our weekly staff meeting this morning.

If you have to go outside for an extended period over the next four days, be careful! Cover any exposed skin and add an extra layer or two. Throw a blanket in the trunk just in case.

Much more to follow later this weekend.

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