Sunday, August 30, 2015

Long Range Forecast -- Winter 2015-16

Hello, Greylock Snow Day followers and supporters!

We're about to enter our sixth year of operations (already?), and we are more than thrilled to be your one-stop shop for un-filtered and un-hyped snow day forecasts for the upcoming winter season and--hopefully--many more winters to come. We're happy to serve the Berkshire County area as your winter weather brokers.

Let's recap 2014-15. As awesome as the winter of 2014-15 was for the eastern part of the state, it really was only slightly above average for the Berkshires and its surrounding environs. Our grand total of 72.8 inches at the GSD Home Office was just about perfect. We had a few brutal cold stretches in there, but overall the storms came frequently and provided enough drama to make the winter months pass by in a heartbeat. Let's hope for more of the same in 2015-16!

With the upcoming school year just a few days away, it's a suitable time for the official 2015-16 long-range forecast. Really, this is a fool's errand given how much spread we see in the long-range forecasts, but we're only a few months away from the possibility of our first major winter snow storm, so why not check in with what the weather gurus are saying for the upcoming winter?

If you've been paying any attention to the weather news at all, you know that all the media outlets have been playing up an historically strong El Nino winter for the US this winter. At one point we heard the expression "Godzilla El Nino" being floated out there, but what the heck does that even mean for our winter weather in Western New England this upcoming year?

Historically, a strong El Nino means that New England is in for an above average winter in terms of moisture (potentially good) and an above average winter in terms of temperatures (potentially bad). If this is indeed the scenario that pans out, here's what the GSD Staff is predicting: numerous big storms that start out as snow and then turn to sleet then quickly change to rain. Snow will be heavier and wetter this this year, and snow totals will be average (60 inches) or slightly below average. As for snow days, we think we'll see only a few (2-3 days off), but the 2-hour delay will be a popular choice for Superintendents this upcoming winter because of the uncertainty of the timing of the shift from snow to sleet to rain. We could see 5 or 6 two-hour delays this winter when it's all said and done.

We look forward to providing updates as the fall as the weather events necessitate. Until then, think wintry thoughts all ye followers of the flake! We'll be in touch soon.