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

Friday, December 30, 2016

Snow Squalls

Be on the lookout for a few potent snow squalls today, especially between 7 AM and 1 PM. These squalls could drop an inch on the Berkshires quickly.

Also, Saturday night appears to be our next best chance for a measurable snow fall. The snow will be light as it will be from a fairly weak Alberta Clipper. Expect 1 or 2 inches starting at dusk on Saturday.

Snow squalls all morning.
As for yesterday's storm, it was a bit of a bust. We ended up with 4 inches on the button at the GSD Home Office, and regionally, Savoy was the big winner with 7 inches.

For those working today, have a happy Friday and watch the roads this morning.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Storm Update: AM Report

Just a few noteworthy cancellations and closings as the snow begins in earnest in the Berkshires. MCLA has closed for the day, and the city of North Adams has issued a Snow Emergency to run from 9 AM to 9 PM today. This means no on-street parking and the strong suggestion to limit travel in North Adams.

It looks unlikely that any games or contests scheduled for tonight will be played.

Expect half a foot from Pittsfield north and 3-5" in South County.

CLOSINGS:

MCLA
Mt. Greylock, Williamstown, Lanesborough -- closing at 1 PM; no evening activities

SNOW EMERGENCY:

North Adams

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

We Have Maps!

Get your snow boots ready as we have a robust storm headed our way for Thursday. Had schools been in session, we would have seen widespread snow days, with many schools calling in the snow day tonight.

We are seeing one computer model bring a nose of warm air into the mix for this storm in the afternoon. So, this means that snow totals could be down for southern parts of Berkshire County as well as areas to our west. But we'll still see 3-4 inches even if the warm air does move in and change some of the snow to rain.

Expect snow to start around 9:30 for Berkshire County and pick up in intensity in the afternoon and early evening. We think the bulk of the snow will have subsided by 2 AM. Winds will also kick up in the afternoon, making conditions even worse.

Here are some fun maps to ponder:





Not a bad array, is it? The worst case scenario tomorrow is around 3-4 inches. The best case scenario will be 12-14 inches. 

Friday morning's commute should be slow but it there won't be any new snow to worry about at that time.


Winter Storm Warning Is Up

As a little birdie hinted to us yesterday, the Winter Storm Watch was upgraded today to a full Winter Storm Warning starting at 9 AM tomorrow for all of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont. Other adjacent areas have a Watch or Winter Weather Advisory.

Image courtesy of Accuweather.

The bottom line is that travel conditions look miserable tomorrow between the hours of noon and midnight. This will be a fast-moving storm, but it has the potential for some inch per hour or two-inch per hour snowfall rates. At the least we're looking at 5-7 inches for everyone tomorrow, which will certainly give road crews plenty to do all afternoon and night.

We also cannot rule out the possibility that this storm flops. If the track of the low pressure system nudges northward, we will slide underneath the heavy snow belt and only see 3-4 inches. That scenario is less likely but still a possibility.

Any snow you see today is not related to tomorrow's storm. A few lake effect-type showers and flurries are likely in the Berkshires today.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Winter Storm Watch for Thursday

Our very good winter--so far--looks to be continuing on Thursday. The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Storm Watch starting at 9 AM on Thursday. This Watch means that there is a strong likelihood of a 6-12 inches snowfall for the Berkshires.

What's not to like about this map?

We think that the NWS will upgrade the Watch to a Warning at some point tomorrow. Most of the indicators that we look for show that we'll get 5 or 6 inches throughout the county between noon and midnight on Thursday, but those totals could easily edge higher.

We'll have more to pass on about this potentially potent storm tomorrow.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Rain then Snow for Vacation Week

With all the traveling going on this week, the GSD Staff felt a strong need to give a weather update for planning purposes only.

Tomorrow, the Berkshires have a Freezing Rain Advisory in place from 1 PM to 10 PM. It looks like the main form of precipitation on Monday will be rain. Because the ground will still be very cold--temps will be in the 12-15 degree range in the morning--the initial rain will freeze and cause potentially dangerous driving conditions. By evening, temps will have risen well above freezing, and the rain should continue to fall lightly overnight Monday.

On Tuesday we could see upslope snow with at best an inch of accumulation. Any snow we see on that day will be very hit or miss. Most locations will see no snow or just a dusting.

Of bigger interest for snow lovers will be an event for Thursday. A low pressure system will track across southern New England. It won't be a blockbuster event, but we see the potential for 2-4 inches of snow for Thursday morning's normal commute hours. It also might switch over to mixed precipitation around noon. We'll have to keep an eye on this storm, as some of our weather sources are calling for 3-6 inches. We have our fingers crossed for all those cross country skiers out there.

If you're out and about tomorrow afternoon, give yourself extra time. We'll have more about Thursday's storm over the next few days.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Mixed Precipitation for Christmas Eve

It's vacation time, so the GSD Staff is about to take a break for days.

Before we do, here are a few weather alerts if you're traveling in the next few days:

*Saturday morning, Christmas Eve, looks potentially messy with mixed precipitation expected starting around 3 AM and lasting through the morning. It all will change over to rain by noon, and you can say goodbye to a lot of the snow on the ground tomorrow. Road conditions could be difficult in the morning, but they will improve throughout the day. We should see a total of about a quarter of inch of precipitation.

*The next storm will come to our area Monday afternoon and evening. It looks like all rain for the Berkshires, but we might see a few wet flakes and some sleet mixing in especially in the afternoon.

*More wintry mix/rain is expected on Thursday before we see the temperature drop on New Year's weekend, giving us improved opportunities for all snow events. At this juncture we do not see any big storms in the long-term forecast.

The good news is that the weather pattern is active; the bad news is the relative warmth for Christmas weekend.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Very Light Snow for Thursday

It's Wednesday so that must mean we're talking about the potential for snow to end the week. And "weak" is the operative word as our next snowmaker will only yield a paltry one-inch of snow for most of the Berkshires.

The timing of this storm has improved, though, so it's possible that roads could have a coating tomorrow morning. The cold air in place will actually work against us tonight. The radar after midnight will indicate that it is snowing over our area, but that will not be the case as the snow will evaporate before hitting the ground. It might not be until 6 AM until we see the snow accumulate. As a result, we will recognize the threat of snow in our True North Confidence Meter, but we strongly believe there will be no delays tomorrow.

Courtesy of NWS Albany.
The very light snow will continue throughout much of the school day. Road crews should be able to handle it and make the afternoon commute a breeze. Those of you heading out of town tomorrow afternoon should not have any problem getting where you need to go, unless you are heading to the Adirondacks, where there may be 3 or 4 inches in some locales.

It looks like our snow on the ground will hang on through the weekend and we will have a White Christmas. Let's just remember that last year the Berkshires were in the mid-60s on Christmas Eve, and we even hit 60 in Pittsfield on Christmas Day. Old Man Winter's present to us all this year is his presence.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Light Snow For Thursday

And down the stretch they come...

While most college students and prepsters are now on break, the poor slugs in public school are still grinding away, getting smarter than their older and more independent fellow students. Several schools do have Friday off, and the rest have a half day, except for Mt. Greylock, Lanesborough, and Williamstown, who have opted for the full day of school. Taxpayers are getting their money's worth there, for certain.

Graphic courtesy of The Weather Channel. The location with the most days with snow in a year a typical year is Mt. Washington, NH.

Sadly, we will not see a weather-related interruption of school this week. It should snow on Thursday during the day, but the volume will not be high enough to merit any delays or releases. It's also will not cause the cancellation of any after-school or evening activities.

As for big storms, we don't see any in our meteorological crystal ball. The deep cold we've been experiencing recently will recede, and we will return to temps in the mid-30s (during the day) for the next two weeks. We might see a flurry here and there but no prolonged stretches of precipitation are in the long-term forecast.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Watch the Mercury Fall

The wacky weekend weather continues today. After a good 4-6" for almost all of the Berkshires yesterday, the rain his begun and temps are climbing into the high 40s. At the GSD Office at around 7 AM we even heard a clap of thunder, due to the warm front that has now passed through.

Data courtesy of the National Weather System
But hold onto your hats because a cold front is a-coming! We will see a 40 degree temperature swing in less than 24 hours. That's right, 40 degrees. We should top out in the high 40s--maybe even 50 in some places in South County--and then by 7 AM tomorrow, we will be looking at single digits on the thermometer.

This means that you could see flash freezing of wet roadways this afternoon and evening, creating the insidious and nefarious black ice. Road crews should be able to treat roads by the start of school, but there may be an outlier delay called in the morning due to icy conditions. We'll set the True North Confidence meter at a very modest 5% to indicate the slim chance of a delay for one or two schools.

Our next snowmaker should be Thursday night into Friday. It's too early to tell if it will impact Friday morning's start of school.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Winter Weather Advisory for Saturday

The cold is locked in for a few more hours on Friday night, but we'll start to see things warm up as our next snow storm gets ready to invade our area.

The NWS has posted a Winter Weather Advisory for the Berkshires, which will begin at 1 AM and end at 1 PM Saturday. We are seeing varying predictions of 2-4 inches for valleys and all the way to 6-8 inches for higher elevations in the County. We think most locales will get 4 or 5 inches.

Travel Saturday morning will be dicey, to say the least. Once road crews have time to tackle the roads, the conditions should improve in the afternoon, but the colder temperatures will hold on throughout the day (much longer than we expected). We could see sleet and freezing rain in the late afternoon/evening period for the Berkshires Saturday night, but it should not be debilitating.

Regardless of how much snow we get, drivers should take extra care as they run their errands, stuff those stockings, and head out to holiday parties on Saturday. As for the region--we're thinking about family members returning from far away--we'll see the same 4-6 inches across northern New England and 2-3 inches as far south as New York City. It's going to be a slow day of travel for the first part of the day on Saturday, but then the warm-up should make roads safer starting Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning will be fine, but we'll see a cold front move through in the afternoon which could trigger a few snow showers in the afternoon.

Be safe on the roads tomorrow in the AM. We're already well past last year's snow totals, so enjoy!

Freeze Delays for Friday

It's a simple 1 degree at the GSD Home Office, but there's barely any wind. This means that most schools will be in full session today. We may have a few outliers trickle in, but you'll have to get up for your regular start of school.

The good news is that snow is coming tonight. Hopefully the changeover to rain will not wreck the conditions for skiers. We'll have more on that later today.

TWO-HOUR DELAY:

Southern Berkshire
Frontier
Greenfield

CLOSED

Mohawk Trail
Central Berkshire (upgrade)

*new additions in red

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Temps Are Dropping

We still have just the one delay announced in Berkshire County (Southern Berkshire), but we are reading reports of widespread delay calls in central Mass, eastern Mass, and New Hampshire.

It's cold and windy, but as we get closer to morning, the winds should diminish. Temps will bottom out at 0 or -2 between 6 and 7 AM. Keep in mind that these are really, really cold temperatures for this time of year. Subzero temps in mid-December is out of the ordinary.

As for the weekend storm, we're still on for 3-6 inches. We'll see snow start around midnight or shortly after and continue to snow through mid-morning on Saturday. In many ways it is a carbon copy of our most recent storm, except with this new storm we'll see the temps rise right up in the mid-30s, which will change the precipitation to rain. Contests and dramatic performances on Friday night should be safe from cancellation or postponement.



Freeze Delays For Friday

We may have to bump up the chance for a delay tomorrow, as Southern Berkshire has boldly stepped forward and made the decision to delay the start of school for Friday.

Accuweather with a prediction as bold as So. Berkshire's decision about tomorrow.
As for Thursday afternoon and evening, we will see intermittent and sometimes steady light snow on and off until about midnight. The snow is more like a mist than a true snow squall. Roadways could get coated quickly due to the cold temperature, so take extra care.

There's been no change to the advisories (wind and wind chill). We're still at advisory levels and have not seen the upgrade to warning levels. We doubt they will get upgraded as the night goes on.

If more delays get called in tonight, we'll report them here and on our Facebook page.

TWO-HOUR DELAY FOR FRIDAY:

Southern Berkshire

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Busy End of the Week

Boy, there is a lot of weather happening in the next few days. Let's cut right to the highlights:

*A High Wind Watch is in effect for the Berkshires for tomorrow afternoon and evening, and a Wind Chill Watch is in effect for Thursday afternoon through Friday morning.

*Snow showers could pop up throughout the day Thursday with a dusting or half inch possible.

*Temperatures below zero are expected Friday morning.

*Snow starts Friday night and lasts through the morning hours on Saturday. Expect 3-5 inches before the snow changes over to rain and then possibly back to snow Saturday night.

NOAA is predicting 4-6" for us by 6 PM Saturday.
Indoor activities should be very popular over the next few days. It does not sound like it will be a lot of fun to be outside tomorrow afternoon because of the cold and wind combo. We do have to recognize that there could be delays due to the cold on Friday morning. According to the NWS, there is a chance the Wind Chill Watch will be upgraded to a Wind Chill Warning, and if that happens, then schools may want to re-think having students stand out at bus stops when it's -1 degrees and the wind is still howling. Should there be delays on Friday due to the cold, they will not be widespread.

As for the Friday/Saturday snow storm, it looks to be light with a few moderate bands passing through our area. Despite the frigid temperatures in the morning, we'll see a warm-up all the way into the mid 30s by the middle of the day on Saturday. This warm-up will keep snow totals down.

We believe that schools would be wise to try to get any contests or dramatic performances in on Friday night as the snow should fall late and too many postponements of games this earlier in the season could prove to be challenging later in the season.

Travel on Saturday morning is going to be dicey. If you have travel far or have shopping to do, you might be wise to wait until midday as the roads will be much better by noon.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Storm Recap

Here are just a few snow totals from Monday's storm as reported to the NWS:

GSD Home Office -- 5.0'"; North Adams -- 5.5"; Lanesborough -- 6.0"; and Great Barrington -- 5.0".

All in all the storm performed just about as expected. The snow ended a little bit earlier than we thought, and the snowfall across Berkshire County was more uniform than expected. For that reason, we saw more snow days in the southern part of the county than we predicted. Snow days were the norm, not delays.

It's been many years since we've had two snow days prior to the New Year. With only 9 more school days until vacation, from a mental health perspective we really don't need any more snow days. These last two weeks before vacation typically zoom by anyway, but that last full week before vacation will be manic. A well-timed delay or snow day in that week would certainly not go unappreciated by students and teachers alike.

From what we're seeing, the weather pattern looks active for the next few weeks. Enjoy that 40 degree afternoon we just had because the mercury is headed south and will not stop dropping until Friday when we wake up to a balmy -4 degrees. Good times! High temps on Thursday and Friday will barely reach the teens. This is unusually cold weather for this time of year. The average high temp historically is in the high 20s.

As for snow, we could see a few squalls tonight and some snow showers or light snow on Wednesday night in conjunction with the cold front. There will be a very low chance for delays on Thursday due to upslope snow. Over the weekend, we might see measurable snow, but it should be light. The top outcome would be 5" by the end of the day on Sunday. We're monitoring it carefully as lots of college students will be making their way home this upcoming weekend.

Finally, we have a sneaking feeling that next Thursday the 22nd will be messy. We'll just leave it at that. For now.

Keep an eye out for those squalls tonight, and we could see black ice late tonight and tomorrow morning as the temps drop below freezing.

Storm Morning

It's still snowing at the GSD Home Office (5 AM), with about 3" on the ground already. The snow is very light but will pick up intensity between 5 AM and 7 AM slightly before coming to an end between 9 and 10 AM.

Here's the latest list of delays and cancellations, which we'll update throughout the morning:

2-HOUR DELAY:

Bement School (Old Deerfield)
Berkshire Hills
Farmington River Regional (Otis)
Florida (Gabriel Abbott)
MCLA
Pine Cobble School (Williamstown)
Williams College

3-HOUR DELAY:

Southern Vermont College

CLOSED

Adams/Cheshire
BArT
Berkshire Community College
Berkshire Country Day
Central Berkshire
Clarksburg
Hancock
Hoosick Falls, NY
Lanesborough
Lee
Lenox
Mohawk Trail
Mount Greylock
North Adams
Northern Berkshire (McCann)
Pittsfield
Savoy (Emma L Miller)
Southern Berkshire (upgrade!)
Southwest Vermont SU (Mt. Anthony)
Twin Valley HS (VT)
Williamstown


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Evening Report: How You Should Approach Your Morning

[POST UPDATE 9:45 PM: Hoosick Falls, NY has cancelled for tomorrow; Williams College--student are in their reading period--has delayed their opening for the children's center until 9:30 and administration offices until 10:00.]

Here are a few more weather maps for your perusal before we discuss your suggested protocol for tomorrow morning:



Here's what you should do for tomorrow: set the alarm for 6:00 AM. Check GSD. We'll know most of the delays and cancellations by that hour. Should your school appear there, then set the alarm for two more hours or not at all. Enjoy.

Should your school not appear there, set the snooze for 20 minutes and then check GSD again. If you still don't see your school...man, tough luck. Get your backside out of bed and into the shower. Throw those Eggos into the toaster 'cause you are going to need sustenance for a grueling day of school. There may be no longer day of school than a would-be snow day that turns into a full day. We will feel your pain.

The above negative scenario should only impact about 20% of students in Berkshire County, and most of those students will live in the southern school districts.

There has been no change to actual meteorological information we have been researching for the past two days. The WSW is still on for Northern Berkshire, and the WWA is still predicted for Southern Berkshire. The only big weather concern is how soon the warm nose of air creeps its way into the Berkshires. The True North Confidence Meter will stay where it is.


Evening Report: Not So Fast, South County...

The GSD Staff is very excited about the possibility of delays and snow days tomorrow, but we all may need to temper our enthusiasm about this storm, especially if you live south of I-90.

The Winter Storm Warning and the Winter Weather Advisory are still in place, but some of the computer models are indicating that warm air might nose its way into Berkshire County around daybreak. If this happens, then we could see a period of sleet and then a quick changeover to rain. We like not that.

This warm air is only supposed to impact South County and Litchfield County in Connecticut, but we're not liking its close proximity to the rest of Berkshire County. Schools in higher elevations may be impervious to this warm air mass. But still, we're not happy about this development.

As of 5 PM, it is snowing in almost all parts of Berkshire County. A little coating on the roads tonight could certainly cause a few very bold superintendents to make an evening call about a delay or snow day for tomorrow. But it's not the kind of storm where we're going to see many districts go with a premature storm decision.

Here's what the 5 PM radar looks like:



That dry slot over Pennsylvania is a little concerning, but the moisture you see forming off the coast of New England is very encouraging. There definitely is some iffiness about this storm so it is no slam dunk.

The best case scenario for the county would be snow days for almost everyone and a 2-hour delay for the remaining one or two districts in the south. The worst case scenario would be a full day of school for schools south of I-90 and delays for everyone else.

We might have one more final commentary later, but if we don't post again, check in between 5 AM and 6 AM when most districts make their decisions. We'll have a list going then. Also, if you have one in your repertoire, give us your best snow dance tonight! Many students are going to need a little luck to go their way to make it a county sweep for snow days on Monday.

Midday Report: 5 to 8 Inches for Monday

Very high clouds are starting to gradually fill in. The sun will slowly become filtered this afternoon, and you can expect to see the first flakes of the second major storm of the season around 4 PM. The snow will be light at first and then fill in, picking up in intensity after midnight.

Because this storm is dependent on the expected development of coastal energy, there is a chance this could be a big bust and we'll only see 2-4 inches. But all the models are in rough agreement, so totals should be higher than that.

Let's take a look at some local graphic art:





Factor in Channel 13's map from today's earlier post and you can see that meteorologists are generally in agreement.

Given the timing of the storm, we probably will see a superintendent or two call in a delay or snow day tonight. If that does happen, we'll start our running list of school delays and cancellations this evening.

Winter Storm Warning for Northern Berkshire and So. Vermont; Advisories Elsewhere

In the overnight hours, the National Weather Service made weather announcements for Berkshire County. The GSD Staff has pretty good institutional memory, and we're pretty sure this is the first time in the relatively brief history of Greylock Snow Day that we've seen a Winter Storm Warning issued for one part of Berkshire County and only a Winter Weather Advisory for the rest of the county. Usually everybody gets the same thing or one part has a Watch and one has a Warning, but rarely do we see the Warning/Advisory split.

From our friends at WNYT in Albany.
Last night we predicted an announcement of a Winter Storm Watch or Winter Weather Advisory. To our pleasant surprise, the NWS went nuclear and right to the Winter Storm Warning for Northern Berkshire. The short of it is that it will snow for all of Berkshire County and it will snow moderately, making for a messy, messy, messy morning commute. The NWS is expecting at least 7 inches of snow in a 12-hour period for Northern Berkshire, and 4-6 inches for Southern Berkshire county.

The chance for a snow day is very high for Central Berkshire, schools in the Mount Greylock district, North Adams schools, Adam/Cheshire schools and of course Florida. Pittsfield is the dividing line, and it and schools to the south are still very much in line for a full snow day. But because snow totals will be as low as three inches in the southern portions of the county, there's a chance we could see only delays for schools in the Southern Berkshire and Berkshire Hills districts.

Snow should start around midnight and last until 10 or 11 AM Monday. Our next update but this storm will come between noon and 2 PM.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Snow Approaches

Greetings, snowhounds! We're still on track for the strong possibility of a snow day on Monday. We're already seeing Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Watches for counties to our west, and our latest evaluation of all of our weather sources suggests that the snow will start mid-afternoon on Sunday and carry through the late morning hours on Monday.

The NWS will likely issue a Winter Weather Advisory for the Berkshires later tonight or early tomorrow morning. If we see the more desirable Winter Storm Watch from the Berkshires, then our chances for a snow day Monday will go up even higher.

In our analysis, we've seen as little as 3-5 inches predicted for the Berkshires and as much as 7-10 inches. Even if we split the middle of these snow forecasts, we're looking at widespread school cancellations for Monday. The snowfall potential is merely moderate, but it's the timing--and right now it's looking to be very good--that will ultimately decide all of our fates for Monday.

Here's a nice little forecast map from the National Weather Service:

4-8" for the Berkshires

We like what we're seeing, and we'll have more and better info tomorrow.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Sunday/Monday Storm Is Coming

Be on the lookout for some brief periods of intense snow this Friday morning. The NWS has issued a Special Weather Statement about lake effect snows. A few bands of snow could be intense enough to coat roadways and make them slippery. These brief bands of snow will taper off in the afternoon.

Snow squalls for Friday.
As for Monday's storm, it won't be a big storm one, but there are certainly enough of the right kinds of ingredients to bring excitement to the GSD Staff. At the moment, we see a 50/50 proposition for a snow day for Monday's storm, and as long as we continue to see the right numbers for overall liquid precipitation, we think this percentage will climb even higher by Sunday night.

As for the numbers we're seeing regarding liquid precipitation, we're seeing around a third of an inch. That should give us 3-5 inches of snow, depending on how cold it stays initially. Temperatures will be rising during the day on Monday, which could keep the snow to liquid ratio down around 10:1. But, with the rising temps, we would also see a period of mixed precipitation midday or early afternoon on Monday, which superintendents would have to factor in in their decision-making. This could be one of those snow days that gets called because of the threat of snow and sleet, not because of the actual snow on the ground at the time of the morning commute (although we do expect snow to be on the ground at that time as well).

It certainly is convenient that our three significant weather-makers have fallen on Mondays. That's a trend that we all would be happy to live with for the rest of the winter season.

We'll have a lot more of the inside weather dope on Sunday. The GSD Staff is off at a conference in central New York on Saturday, so we might not be able to post anything that day. But check in with Twitter and Facebook if you are anxious for storm news, and then expect the full GSD treatment on Sunday. And with maps!


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Upslope Snow Dissipates

It looks like we're in for a full day of school tomorrow. The winds have picked up and the temps are dropping, but the lake effect snow and upslope snow have not been as pervasive as forecasters thought they would be. So, set the alarm for your normal time.

We like what we're seeing for Sunday, but now it's more of a late Sunday/Monday event. There is still a lack of clarity about what's going to happen, but more and more it looks like snow will start very early Monday morning (but before the commute) and will last the rest of the day on Monday. We could see as little as 2-3 inches or as much as 6-8, but the timing looks good. This storm would produce a full snow day decision or nothing; delays would not be really in the mix because of the forecast for snow throughout the day.

We'll be updating you through the weekend about Monday.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Colder Air and More Snow Coming

Get ready for the cold temperatures to lock in for the next ten days. The cold front will move into our area tomorrow, which means that we'll see snow showers as the temps decline.

Superintendents may not want to hear this, but we may see a period of lake effect-like snow (a.k.a upslope snow). You may remember a few weeks back when the strong upslope snow dropped over a foot of snow in some places in the Berkshires, which led to county-wide school cancellations. With that kind of teaser you'd think that snow days are in the offing for Friday, but, sadly, that is not the case.

What will probably happen is a period of several hours of snow Thursday night into early Friday with maybe as much as 2-3 inches on the ground by the end of the day Friday. Because it will be colder and the wind will be blowing the snow, it's possible but not likely that a few superintendents will see the need to call in the delay for Friday.

As for the Sunday storm, we're still signs of 3-5 inches. Most likely the storm will not be too severe and any snow that falls will be cleaned off the roads by the morning commute, but we're still very much intrigued by this possible storm and are giving it our full attention.

Here's an interesting map:


What this shows is the probability of a quarter of an inch or more of liquid. If we use a fairly modest ratio of 10 inches of snow for every inch of liquid, then a quarter of an inch of liquid means we'll see at least 2.5 inches of snow. With colder air in place, that modest snow-to-liquid ratio can climb as high as 15 or 16 to 1. So, if we are to believe this map, we can surmise that several inches of snow are indeed possible by the middle of the day on Monday.

Keep your eye on the snow tomorrow evening--roads could get slick fast. And don't just assume school is going to start on time on Friday.

Get Ready For a Full Day

Precipitation was lighter than expected and it came through earlier, as expected. The only delay is Florida (Gabriel Abbott) and we think that will be it.

More details to come about Sunday's potential snow event later today.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Bad News/Good News

Welcome back to GSD, your weather broker for the 2016-17 season.

Let's get the bad news over with first, and even that is not so terrible. The snow we were hoping would impact tomorrow's morning commute may be coming a few hours too early. [Sigh.]

Because amounts are supposed to be light--only 1-2 inches--we think road crews will have enough time to take care of business tomorrow morning before the buses roll. Snow might still be falling during the morning commute, so this isn't a complete throwaway. Again, schools who didn't have the delay on Monday have a better chance for a delay tomorrow, but just by a little bit.

The good news is that a Sunday storm is still in the works. It may end up arriving too early to impact the Monday morning commute significantly, but we may see a shovel-able snow on Sunday. At the very least the snow will allow skiers to get their fix as well as make the Berkshires look a lot more holiday friendly.

And, we did spot this forecast while checking in with our weather sources today:

A very ambitious forecast for Williamstown for Sunday and Monday courtesy of Intellicast.

It's most likely a glitch in the system and we won't see 6-10 inches, but as they say: where there's smoke there's fire. If the storm does develop to its full potential, we're probably looking at a more realistic 3-6 inches Sunday night into Monday.

Here's to eternal optimism! And we'll have a running list going tomorrow morning, early, if--and that's a large size if--we start to see delays getting called in.


Monday, December 5, 2016

More Delays for Wednesday

Who doesn't love a two-hour delay on a Monday? South County definitely doesn't as they got shut out of the fun this morning. The districts that opted for the delay today were all north and east of Pittsfield.

The good news is that those unlucky students do not have to wait long for the next opportunity for a weather-related shortened day. We have an almost identical situation in store for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. The timing looks really encouraging with snow starting around 3 AM and lasting into the morning. It's another 1-3 inches for the Berkshires, but the timing is what will seal the deal if we do get delays.

We also think the psychology of the superintendent will play a big role in who gets delays and who doesn't on Wednesday. Those who gave out a delay will be slightly less likely to give another one on Wednesday. Those who didn't give one today will feel more inclined to give one out. That's just how these people's brains work.

There is just a little bit of chatter in the wind from meteorological folks about a possible Sunday night snow storm (if a secondary low pressure system forms off the coast.) At the moment the chances are slimmer than better for this development, but it is a possibility that you need to be aware of.

We Have Delays

Yes, we have delays this fine snowy morning. We'll keep a running list here. Hopefully it will grow throughout the morning:

TWO-HOUR DELAY:

Hoosick Falls (NY)
Adams-Cheshire
North Adams
Clarksburg Elem.
Florida (Gabriel Abbott)
BArT
Central Berkshire
Mount Greylock
Lanesborough
Williamstown
McCann

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Chance For Delays Monday Morning

As we did during Thanksgiving week, we see the potential for three separate storms this week. All could produce measurable snow totals, but unfortunately the most snow we'll see is three inches out of any of the storms.

You'll notice it is a lot colder as of today (Sunday). With this cold front, we have a mass of frozen precipitation moving toward us ever so slowly from the west. It will snow in the early morning hours of Monday--one to three inches across the region--which could mean delays if you live in a district that has a conservative and cautious superintendent. Even though this storm is not a big snow producer, the timing looks to be just about perfect. When you wake up tomorrow, it will be snowing and there will be about an inch of accumulation on the ground. We think a few superintendents may decide to wait out the messiness and go with the late start.

That blue blob will arrive around 4 AM Monday.
The rest of the week is an unsettled jumble of storms with very little clarity about how much snow we'll see. If it does snow again after Monday morning's small storm, it will fall late on Tuesday night (again, 1-3 inches) and during the day on Thursday. The latest models we've seen point to a rain event for Thursday. If it does snow on that day we'll see--yet again--1-3 inches.

Keep your eyes and ears open tomorrow morning for possible delays. We don't think there will be any Winter Weather Advisories announced for this storm--there just isn't that much precipitation--but we could see a Special Weather Statement about slick roads for the morning commute.

We'll set the True North Confidence Meter at 20% just in case a few schools decided to delay the start of the day.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Freezing Rain Advisory for Tuesday, November 29

Late breaking news: the NWS has issued a Freezing Rain Advisory for Tuesday morning's commute. Expect to see slippery roads, especially in higher elevations.

These icy conditions could develop in towns north of I-90 after 3 AM. Ice is hard to predict, but there's definitely a good chance a superintendent who is on the ball might see the need to delay school for a time to allow road crews to sand and salt streets, roads and avenues.

We'll throw a 20% chance of delays on the ol' True North Confidence Meter to reflect that a few school administrators might call in delays, especially in Northern Berkshire County.

After 8 AM we'll see the freezing rain change to all rain.

Another round of surprise decisions for a shortened day may be in store! You've been alerted!

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Week Ahead

Wow, we really misjudged yesterday and today's storm. Legendarily so. If we had missed it the other way--predicted a snow day and ended up with school--we might have had to shut down Greylock Snow Day. But we haven't had a miss the good way in several years, so we were due.

After a GSD Staff Post-Storm Debrief today, here is why we missed it:

1) So many storms over the last few years have been busts that we've learned to approach these "out of nowhere" storms with caution. Once bitten, twice shy, et cetera, et cetera.

2) These upslope, wrap-around storms are harder to predict especially because snow totals are so specific to elevation. There was so much spread in snow totals throughout the county. Some areas in Northern Berkshire County received 4 inches. Places in South County got a foot and a half. And it was supposed to be a more northerly storm. Weather guidance is getting better and better about these kinds of anomalous storms, so we might have to rely more on the data and models more than common sense would typically allow.

3) We're rusty. We didn't get too many reps in last winter, so we're slightly out of practice. That will change. You can expect an immediate return to the high quality of service you've been accustomed to over the years. That's why, in response to our mistake with this storm, we are going to offer 50% off the cost to access this sight for the rest of the 2016-17 season. That's right. That's 50% off our regular price for the next 5 months! That's the kind of thing we do for our loyal followers.

In the end the day off for most students means that a short week just got even shorter. Most schools will be in session on Wednesday, but with a half day the norm before the feasting, a 1.5 day week is just what the doctor ordered.

As for wintery weather in the forecast, we have three minor disturbances heading our way that should drop some form of frozen precipitation on us. None of these storms will produce more than an inch or two of snow. For all three storms, higher elevations should see more snow, and valleys will see more mixing and even rain. On Wednesday night into Thanksgiving, we could see sleet and snow, with the precipitation ending by the afternoon. Roads could be slightly messy on Thursday morning but nothing like last night and today. Saturday night presents a very similar situation, and then we expect the same wintry mix/light snow storm for Monday. None of these storms will bring any surprise upgrades. If anything, they will fizzle and just bring a few showers. The best chance for a measurable amount of snow will Thursday morning.

Enjoy the short week! The next several weeks look unsettled, but temps look like they'll be in the high 30s and 40s. Storms will trend toward rain and mixed precipitation for the next 21 days.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Delays and Cancellations for Monday

UPDATE: Snow continues to fall at a light but steady clip throughout the Berkshires. We may see a break in the action around 9 AM but then more rounds of steady, light snow throughout the day. Of more concern, perhaps, is the wind, which is gusty and powerful and blowing the snow back onto already treated roads. We will not be surprised to see many delays this morning and even cancellations. The roads on the ride in to the GSD Home Office this morning were not good at all.

UPDATE (6:00 AM): Most districts have opted for the full snow day. What a pleasant surprise! We don't mind being wrong when it works in everyone's favor. The lingering question will be if the two-hour delay schools upgrade to the full snow day.

Here is the updated list of school-truncating announcements from districts in our region:

TWO-HOUR DELAY:

Adams-Cheshire
Clarksburg
Hoosick Falls (NY)
North Adams
Savoy (Emma L Miller)

CLOSED:

BArT
Berkshire Christian
Berkshire Community College
Berkshire Country Day
Berkshire Hills
Central Berkshire
Florida (Gabriel Abbott)
Hancock
Lanesborough
Lee
Lenox
McCann
Mount Anthony (Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union)
Mount Greylock
Otis (Farmington River)
New Lebanon (NY)
Pine Cobble
Pittsfield
Richmond
Southern Berkshire
Williamstown






Final Snow Storm Update for Sunday

One of our GSD Staff members travelled route 7 tonight and discovered one thing: the roads are a mess! Roads were mostly untreated from Lee northward except in a few troublesome hill spots, and the town of Williamstown had route 7 down to wet pavement, but overall the driving quality was treacherous. The staff member saw evidence of at least three cars that had slid off the road. If the snow continues to fall throughout the night--and it's doubtful that it will--then we'll see widespread delays for the county tomorrow.

The problem, though, is this snapshot of the radar:

The 7:35 PM radar.

There is a nice big blue patch over Berkshire County, but that patch is moving north to south, so it looks like we're going to see uninterrupted snow only for the next four hours or so. If it stops around midnight, say, then that will give road crews plenty of time to clean up the roads.

One factor working in favor of delays is the blowing and drifting of snow. We do have a wind advisory in effect through tomorrow night which could mean blowing snow onto the roadways well into the morning hours.

As a result of these changes in the conditions, we've decided to bump up the likelihood of a delay to 35%. The chance of a snow day is remote.

Those students with pre-holiday tests should definitely study for them. We really hope we're wrong, but most students will have a full day tomorrow.

Snow To Continue Overnight

Greetings, Snow Lovers. We hope you're enjoying this early season storm. Here a few snow totals we've observed from the local environs: 12" in Canaan, NY; 8" in Hinsdale; 4" in Williamstown.

We're firmly in phase 2 of the storm, which is this upslope light snow we'll see for most of the night. Because the snow will continue for much of the night and the temps are going to drop a few degrees, we're going to bump the chance of a delay tomorrow to 25%. Most schools will have a full school day, but a few will see delays, especially those with students in the higher elevation towns.

While 25% is not very encouraging for those who would like a shorter day tomorrow, don't forget that a certain President Elect also had a 25% chance of winning a well-documented election exactly two weeks ago today. So, yes, we're saying there's a chance for all of the students out there.

Keep your fingers and toes crossed.

Sunday Morning Snow

Heavy snow is now falling throughout all of the Berkshires. Expect the snow to continue until about 10 AM and things will slow down. It looks like the GSD Home Office will get 3-4" for this first part of the storm.

Part two of the storm will be less predictable. The wind will kick up and we should see snow pick back up toward the evening when the back end of the storm kicks in and the flow of the storm moves from north to south. With the back end part of the storm, we could get 1 inch or we could 6 inches. It all depends on how much moisture is in the air from the first part of the storm.

Please see the previous post, which has more details about the chance for delays tomorrow.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Snow Possible for the Next Two Days

Wow! What a difference a day makes. About 36 hours ago, we were looking at the potential for an inch or so on Sunday and Monday in the Berkshires and that was about it.

So, needless to say we were very surprised and delighted to see the notice that a Winter Storm Warning was posted for Northern Berkshire County starting at 1 AM Sunday.

There's an even chance this map could be right...
But three things were very odd about this announcement, the last of which should give you pause about getting too excited about a delay or snow day for Monday.

Odd thing number one: typically there is a progression for these early season storms from the Winter Weather Advisory to the Winter Storm Watch and then to the Winter Storm Warning. In basic terms, the Advisory suggests under 6"of snow is possible; the Watch means 6+" is possible; the Warning means 6+" is likely. Usually the National Weather Service does not go right to the Warning.

Odd thing number two is the long duration of the Warning period: 1 AM Sunday to 7 PM Monday. That's not that unusual for midwinter storms but it's unusual for this time of year.

Odd thing number three--and the main reason you need to slow your roll, as the kids say--is that this Winter Storm Warning is only for locations above 1000 feet. (ICYMI--Florida 1895', Dalton 1198', Lanesborough 1129', Cheshire 963', Adams 799', North Adams 705', Williamstown 636')

What this means is that we will get a blast of snow--upwards of 3" even in the valleys--when the cold front moves through very early on Sunday (5 AM-ish). (And by the way, those mid-60s you enjoyed today? They are history. Sunday will see highs in the high 30s and gradually sinking throughout the day and on into Monday to right around 30 degrees.) Then, as the front goes through and cold air gets pulled into the Berkshires from the north, it's going to produce a snow-making machine that will lock in over the Berkshires and drop snow on us for several hours in the evening Sunday and on into Monday. The snow could be heavy in the mountains, but it will be less heavy in the valleys.

So...after careful study of the data pouring in, we think that towns like Lanesborough, North Adams, Adams and Cheshire will see anywhere from 3" to 8". Our good friends up on Florida Mountain could have a snow day Monday, but the rest of us in Northern Berkshire county can at best only hope for a delay on Monday morning. And even that chance is going to be slight because of the warmth of the roadways due to the 60 degree temps the past two days.

Things may change tomorrow, but right now we see a 15% chance of a delay for schools north of Pittsfield and virtually no chance for schools in mid-county and below. Central Berkshire has a slightly higher chance because of the hill towns in that district.

All you nordic and alpine skiers: keep your fingers crossed that the forecast gets even worse! And enjoy the first real shovel-able snow of the season! We'll have much more tomorrow.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Winter Comes A-creeping...

You heard the magical S word in the news lately, and now you've come to the source that will give you the real story.

Here's the authentic narrative, a.k.a the skinny:

Snow showers Sunday night into Monday, and a similar scenario for Thanksgiving Eve and Turkey Day itself, but that's about the size of it.

It's unlikely we'll see much, if any, accumulation, especially in the lower elevations of Berkshire County. The farther south you go, the less of a chance you will have of seeing snow on the grassy surfaces. Hill towns might get an inch or so.

Watch for plummeting temperatures over the next five days. We will breach the 60 degree mark on Saturday (shorts weather?), but by Monday the highs will be in the low 30s. Winter is upon us.

With this kind of marked shift in the temperatures, there is always instability and precipitation but the best we can expect are bands of occasionally heavy snow showers Sunday afternoon and into Monday morning. There is very little chance of a delay on Monday morning (but wouldn't that be nice?).

Close, but not a direct hit. Thanks to Accuweather for the graphic.
On Wednesday, we could see snow late at night then a shift over to rain early Thursday and then snow again as the storm wraps around and brings cool air in from the northwest, thus turning the remaining precipitation into the frozen variety.

Even though the forecast does not bring us accumulating snow, the good news is that the temperatures are starting to dip. A prolonged cold stretch will greatly increase the likelihood of a school-day truncation or cancellation.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

October 27 Snow Report

It's the evening of October 27th and the plows are rumbling away down route 7. Is it a sign of great things to come, or just an early winter tease?

Let's get some of the facts of today's snow out of the way. It is about two weeks ahead of schedule. Our first measurable snow usually falls around November 14. The snow arrived on time, but it lingered longer than we expected, which gave it time to coat the roads just enough to make them slow-going. Albany picked up 1.7 inches, and we had 1.2 inches at the GSD Home Office in Williamstown.

No, there will not be a delay tomorrow. Just no. No.

As for the onset of a terrible winter...cool your jets. Temperatures will return to normal by Saturday, which means plenty of days in the 50s. And we're even eyeing low 60s on Wednesday of next week. Beyond that, the forecast is for normal temperatures with slightly above average precipitation for the next three weeks or so.

Enjoy this glimpse of winter, but it may be a few weeks before we meet again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Midday Snow for Thursday

Things are looking good tomorrow that we'll see our first accumulating snow of the 2016-17 season! Northern Berkshire county will be the big winners tomorrow, with as much as 3-4 inches in higher elevations.

It is supposed to be cold enough--27 degrees for a low temperature tomorrow at daybreak for most of the county--to allow for snow to fall even at our lowest elevations. The roads will not be impacted in any significant way as it is just too warm still, but grassy areas could see an inch or two in spots. South County will see flakes but not much accumulation.

The one thing that could bump up our snow totals slightly is if the precipitation is heavy at the onset of it. The heavy precip tends to drag colder air down with it, which would mean the snow would fall for longer before the inevitable changeover to rain.

The first Accuweather map of the season. Thanks, Accuweather!
The snow window tomorrow looks like it will be between 10 AM and 2 PM with steady rain afterward.

So, no delays or early releases tomorrow, except for the slightest chance of a chance for a release up there on Florida Mountain.

Most after school practices and games will likely be cancelled or postponed tomorrow, but those decisions largely will depend on the heartiness/hardiness of the coach and the drainability of the field. Volleyball matches won't be affected, or at least they shouldn't be.

Enjoy the white stuff!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Wet Snow for Thursday Morning

Yes, it's true. Snow is in the forecast this week. It looks like we could see some wet snow on the grass and roadways during the morning hours on Thursday. The snow will change over to rain around midday, but we could have another coating (an inch or so) similar to the ones the upper elevations experienced on Saturday evening.



Will there be enough on the ground to cause delays on Thursday? It looks like the snow will fall starting around daybreak so it's highly unlikely, given the relative warmth of the roads.

But no one should be surprised to see snow on Thursday even in lower elevations. We'll have rain after that on Thursday and also on Friday.

Get out the galoshes!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The First Flakes of the Season!

Fall has arrived, and as is often the case around these parts, winter has followed closely behind. Our intrepid GSD Staff, checking out the fine foliage in Vermont, witnessed a steady wet snow in Manchester. We also are starting to see wet snow flakes mixed in with the rain in Northern Berkshire County this evening. Higher elevations will see steady snow showers tonight, which means Mt. Greylock will be snow-covered by morning.

The blue and pink are back! (5:45 PM)
There is an outside chance lower elevations could see some light accumulation on grassy surfaces in the overnight hours, but the roads should be fine for anyone who is out and about.

It won't be long before the words "delay" and "cancellation" start to creep into the GSD vernacular. Now, that's what we're talking about!

(And for a final non-winter weather announcement--watch out for the wind tomorrow. We have a Wind Advisory in effect throughout the night and most of the day tomorrow. A few spotty power outages are possible.)


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

We're Back! The Mid-October Long Range Forecast for Winter 16-17

It's that time of year again! The leaves they are a-changin'. The frost was on the mums this morning. And the GSD Staff is firing up their Apple IIEs and ready to process all the long-range forecast data and synthesize it into a thoroughly entertaining and eminently readable article that spells out how the winter of 16-17 is going to shake out.

Earlier in the year the El Nino period ended it's unclear whether a strong or weak La Nina will form. Latest indications, though, show that we will see a weak La Nina coming out of the Pacific. What does that even mean for us? Generally speaking, a La Nina pattern means a more northerly jet stream with more storms in the north and drier and warmer conditions in the south. But it's always more complicated than that.

But even a weak La Nina will give us more frequent snow events this winter than we had last winter. But that's not really saying much as any change to the pattern will increase our snow fall totals from last winter. We ended up with a miserly 12.58 inches at the GSD Home Office, which was quite simply unacceptable, Old Man Winter!

Possibly...

While we don't expect the Old Man to make amends completely for last year's weak performance, we do think we'll have a more moderate winter. Here's what we will see this year: We'll have a dry December, and then things will heat up in the eight-week period between January 15 and March 15. We're not ruling out a measurable snow event before Thanksgiving or before the December holiday period (i.e. full snow day), but most of our significant snow storms will strike us after the first of the year.

The GSD Staff forecasts between 40 and 60 inches of snow this winter. Even on the low end of that prediction, that's enough to see multiple snow days and/or delays for the good boys and girls of Berkshire County.

At the nonce we do not see any flakes in the forecast. Usually in the Berkshires we see a few flurries or snow showers by the end of October, but we might have to wait until November this year.

We'll update again soon once we see some of that frozen white gold in the forecast!

Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16 Snow

Yes, you saw it. Snow on May 16th. In the brief history of Greylock Snow Day, today's snow is the latest ever recorded in Berkshire County by this venerated weather brokerage.

It's not going to accumulate, but it continues the trend of unusual weather events we've had in the past 18 months.

We will see 70s by the end of the week, so we have that going for us.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Post-Storm Recap

All in all it was a successful snowy day in the Berkshires! North Adams get the short end of the stick; Central and Southern Berkshire made out great, as did McCann. Most schools earned their first delay or cancellation of the season.

We probably should have been a little more bullish with our prediction, but you can understand why we might have set everyone up to have low expectations.

We've heard talk tonight--from the truly desperate--about the chances for black ice delays tomorrow morning. Har-dee-har-har. Not going to happen. Don't even go there--it's not worth it.

(We suppose nothing's impossible, but we'd put it in the 1-2% range.)

This storm is likely it for the winter of 2015-16. We had 5.1 inches at the GSD Home Office in Williamstown today. We're now well out out of the woods for winning the Winter With The Least Amount of Snow record. Is that a good thing or not?

We should see a return to more seasonable temperatures (in the 50s) by the end of the week, but we'll have one more day of February-like temperatures Tuesday and Tuesday night.

Mother Nature is unpredictable. You may be hearing from us again in the next few weeks.

Delays and Closings (Updated)

It's still snowing. Most school districts in the Berkshires have opted for a delay. Three school districts have changed from a delay to the full snow day. We'll see if that trend continues. We'll mark those changes in red below:

ONE-HOUR DELAY:

Berkshire Hills
Lee

TWO-HOUR DELAY:

New Lebanon, NY
Berlin, NY
Hoosick Falls, NY

BArT
Adams-Cheshire
Richmond
Mount Greylock
Hancock
Williamstown
Lanesborough
Pittsfield
Berkshire Christian
Florida

CLOSED:

Mohawk Regional
Berkshire Country Day
Savoy
Southern Berkshire
Central Berkshire
McCann

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Maps!

We've got maps that you'll like:


And then there's this one:


And one more:



Most weather outlets have us solidly in the 4-5 inch range. In this slow winter, it does seem as if 4-5 predicted inches would be enough to cancel school for many students.

Berkshirites--don't get too jealous if you see many New York schools cancel tomorrow. With their rigid Regents testing schedule (late June) and the snowless winter we've had, school districts there have many days that they have to give back to students anyway. Many NY Superintendents will likely use one of those days tomorrow if its snowing at daybreak. We'll see if Massachusetts Supers get in the spirit as well.

Winter Weather Advisory for Monday Morning (April 4)

Encouraging news from the National Weather Service:

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Berkshire County. NOAA is calling for 3-6 inches, with 4-8 inches in higher terrains. The Advisory starts at 2 AM and goes until 6 PM.

The GSD Staff loves the 2 AM start, as that means it will likely be snowing at 5 AM when Superintendents start to study the conditions, talk to other Superintendents, and speak to the bus companies.

If we're on the high side of these predictions, some students in the county will be enjoying a three-day weekend. There might even be a few teachers who have to turn in 3rd quarter grades in a day or two who might be tickled to have an extra day to grade.

Keep an eye on that radar, and do your best snow dance to ensure a 3 AM start to this storm.

More Snow For Monday

It's snowing as of this instant (3:30 Sunday), but these showers are just remnants from the quick blast of snow that gave us a few inches of snow this morning, bumping up our seasonal snow totals nearly 20%.

Our attention is focused on the next Alberta Clipper that will creep toward us in the overnight hours. There is a chance--just a chance--that we could see delays or snow days tomorrow. If the snow starts early enough, some Superintendents might choose to delay the start or cancel altogether as it is supposed to snow all day long. The catch is that there isn't that much moisture associated with this storm.


That blue blob is headed our way; the timing could be right.
We'll see a few heavy snow bands with this Monday morning storm. If we get lucky and catch them just right, the hands of many Superintendents will be forced and they'll have to make a decision. The future weather maps we're seeing put is in the "hot zone" for 2-5 inches of snow.

The one difference between tomorrow's snow and today's is that tomorrow the roads will be cold enough to allow the snow to stick. That's good news.

Stay tuned and check in later tonight for an update.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Winter Weather Advisory for the Berkshires

Snow is coming. A Winter Weather Advisory has been posted for the Berkshires for the overnight hours. Expect to see wintry conditions by the time you wake up tomorrow. Higher elevations could see 5 inches. The rest of us will see 2-3 inches. It will all end by 8 AM at the latest.

Snow is coming. It should start after midnight.
As for the Monday storm, things do not seem to be coming together. Oh, we'll see snow alright, but the timing is about as bad as it gets. The snow won't start until late morning Monday, and it will end in the evening. Conditions could be slick when school lets out, but no district will feel the need to call for the problematic early release. So...the snow day-less winter will continue for another few days.

We wish the news were better. But if you like snow any time of year, tomorrow will be your day. Enjoy.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Snow Sunday & Monday

Guaranteed: Accumulating snow in the Berkshires by noon on Tuesday.

Not Guaranteed: How much snow will fall. When it will fall.

First things first: You will likely wake up on Sunday and find snow falling from the sky. A cold front is moving in and an Alberta Clipper system is coming in from the west. We could see 1-3 inches on Sunday (by noon). The roads might be warm enough initially to melt the snow, but flash freezing and hazardous driving conditions are likely on Sunday morning. If this situation occurred on a school day, we'd see many delays for certain.

An appealing map from the Weather Channel. TWC is forecasting an earlier storm; Accuweather has the storm 6 hours later. Either forecast could be problematic for those who want a snow day.
As for Monday (or is it Tuesday? No wait, Monday?). Well, that's the problem. The very bad news is that storm could be in the dead zone--between 3 PM and midnight on Monday. It's not a nor'easter, so the duration of the storm will be limited to a 10-12 hour period. We could see 4-5 inches of snow, but it all might fall in the afternoon and evening hours, which would mean no snow days for anyone in the county. The irony would be rich, wouldn't it? We finally get a decent snow storm, but it falls right in the perfect time for it not to effect the regular school day.

Our suggestion for this storm: take the "glass is half empty" approach. The more you set yourself up with high hopes, the shorter the fall back down to the unpleasant reality that some higher power has determined that there will not be a snow day this winter.

In our spare time, the staff has tried to analyze why the Berkshires would be punished with a snowless winter, and we can really only find one answer: it's the 12th graders in our county. Typically, they don't have to make up snow days, as they regularly remind the underclasspersons. They must have done something sinister to anger the snow gods because payback has been harsh.

This storm (or storms) is not an April Fool's joke, nor is the final chapters for these storms written. More real data about the storm will follow over the weekend.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Now It's a Monday Storm

The more we're looking at this snowstorm potential, the more the GSD Staff is now considering Monday as the target day for a snow day.

There is still A LOT that can go wrong with this storm--in fact, we should probably expect everything to go wrong with this storm--but it's looking like the snow could start as early as Monday morning. That would mean Monday is very much in play for a potential snow day.

For that to happen, we would need the following to happen:

1. Predicted snowfall of at least 4-6 inches.
2. A storm window that lasts at least until late afternoon.
3. A predicted start time of 7 or 8 AM.

If these conditions are met, then the chance for a snow day could be higher than a regular evening snowfall where we wait for the morning to see if the roads are fine. If superintendents know a moderate snowfall is coming, they might be reluctant to put buses on the road during an afternoon commute that has the potential to be very messy. Plus, because there are plenty of snow days still on the shelves, superintendents might be willing break one out and throw everyone a bone.

Those really desperate for a snow day, you need to start rooting for this storm to begin in the morning on Monday.

We'll know more tomorrow night.

April Snow Storms (No Foolin')

We've consulted the weather oracles, and the high priests and priestesses are still cautiously optimistic about a moderate to heavy snow storm for Tuesday. Very little has changed since yesterday.

There does seem to be a good deal of uncertainty about Sunday's snow. Most signs show just a chance for intermittent snow showers, but some of the recent runs of the model are indicating a more prolonged period of snow Sunday morning. No matter what happens on Sunday in the Berkshires, the totals will not be very high, perhaps 1-3 inches.

As for Tuesday's storm, take a look at this map:

Courtesy of NOA.
This map shows how much liquid precipitation we're supposed to get through Tuesday. If this map proves to be accurate, we're in the 0.6" range. If we convert that liquid to snow, we're looking at 6 inches, plus or minus an inch. A 5-7 inch snowstorm--if it were timed right--would most assuredly cancel school for the day.

One thing that's certain about the storm for Tuesday: it will be cold enough for all snow. No changeover is expected, which is also something we haven't been able to say about many storms this year.

We'll have more about this intriguing situation tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

April Snow Showers Bring...Glee? Rage? Indifference?

Having just written the obituary for Winter 2015-16, the GSD Office is suddenly back in action and in full storm forecasting mode. No, we are not testing out our new Thunderstorm Prediction Machine. We're looking at bona fide snow events. That's right. Plural.

After months of warm temperatures, it looks like the first week of April will look more like the first week of February. Temperatures will plummet after Thursday (highs in the upper 60s!) and become decidedly frigid and wintery by Sunday. Friday and Saturday will be very manageable (50s), but the cold front zips in on Saturday night, along with it the possibility for a few inches of snow late Saturday and early Sunday. Higher terrains in the Berkshires could see up to 4 inches. By Monday morning, temps will be in the mid-teens.

But the bigger news--because it could involve school closures--is a larger storm expected for Monday night into Tuesday. From our various weather sources, we have encountered the words "moderate to heavy snow event" in association with this storm. Great googly moogly!

We know, we know. We've been down this road before this year. We completely understand your skepticism. The only thing different about this storm--and it's not insignificant--is that the Euro and North American models are all already in agreement about the size of this storm. We'll just have to wait and see, but there might be something special about this storm.

We're on it and will be updating daily.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Freezing Drizzle Possible

We could see freezing drizzle in Berkshire County tonight between midnight and 6 AM tomorrow morning. While it is highly, highly unlikely, we could see a random delay tomorrow if conditions end up worse than is expected. There's not too much evidence that the forecast will worsen (in our favor).

Precipitation will be light. The best chance for freezing drizzle is in higher elevations and in areas north of Pittsfield. So take it easy out there tomorrow morning if you have to scrape your car.

We're not out of the woods yet for winter weather, but you know we're always looking for it.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

One More Monday Snow Update

For those truly desperate for a snow day tomorrow, one more post:

You may have seen that the storm track has edged farther west than forecasters originally thought yesterday. While that is certainly true, it won't be enough to generate a snow day. There is the outside-est of outside chances that we'll see a delay in southern Berkshire County. If there's a delay, it will be South Berkshire because they might get an inch or so.

For the rest of us, we might see a dusting somewhere between 2 AM and 6 AM. If only this storm had come through with even a moderate snowfall because the timing would have been perfect. Alas.

Enjoy the spring temperatures. Forties Monday and Tuesday then we'll see 50 by Wednesday.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

And There She Goes

We are now taking names for the Winter of 2015-16. Leading candidates:

Winter 2015-16: The UnWinter
Non-Winter 2015-16, Sponsored by El Nino
Winter 2015-16: Four Seasons Are, Like, So Overrated.
Winter 2015-16: At Least We Won't Have Classes in July!
Winter 2015-16: You're Hilarious, Mother Nature.
Winter 2015-16: (Whatever.)

Here's the latest on our big Monday storm.

Thanks, Accuweather! (Feel free to read the exclamation mark as facetious.)
Going, going, gone!

We deeply apologize for getting your hopes up. We'll see you in August for a Super Long-Range Forecast for the Winter of 2016-17!

(Actually--bitterness aside--we'll probably post a few times before then. We're still in the snow window for this year. And it's been a few years since we've had a good April snowstorm. Perhaps we're due. In the meantime, enjoy another full week of school. Only four more weeks until April vacation.)


Friday, March 18, 2016

Rein In Your Enthusiasm

Overnight the GSD Staff received bad news. The storm that will affect us Sunday night into Monday is looking like it wants to journey farther to the south and east. This means less liquid precipitation over our area, which means less snow.

Realistically, snow lovers need to readjust their thinking and hope there's enough snow for a delay. We definitely think there will be snow Sunday night, but based on what we're hearing from our sources, there will only be about a third of an inch of liquid precipitation connected with this storm. This means four inches or fewer. Rats.

We're not giving up hope, though. The Euro and North American models are starting to come into agreement, but still a few runs of the models give us a big storm. Again, all it takes is a 50 mile shift in the track of the storm and we could hit the jackpot.

For now, take it down a notch and wait for more precise information later today and tomorrow. There will be changes yet to the forecast.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Latest Info on Monday's Storm

NOAA Albany Forecast Discussion: "Noreaster."

Weather Channel:



Accuweather meteorologist and Northeast weather expert Bernie Rayno (via Twitter): "I don't think there is a way out of snowstorm for New England."

Gas up the snowblower.

Latest Models: The Predicted Swath of Snow Moves West

As we (sort of) predicted last night, the models have operated in their typical fashion and have flip-flopped. They are now once again predicting a moderate or even heavy snow for our area for Sunday night into Monday. Yes, the storm is back on.

No one really wants the snow, but who's going to pass up a snow day? If it's going to snow this late in the season, it might as well generate a three-day weekend.

Here's a tasty looking projection map from the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center:

Thanks, NWSWPS.
It's very encouraging at this stage in the developments. The GSD Staff is certainly excited, but everyone needs to keep expectations in check. We shouldn't forget that it's been a terrible winter for snow lovers, and these trends tend to stay consistent throughout an entire season.

The big discrepancies with the projections for this storm are with the amount of precipitation. The projections range from .25 inches to 1 inch of liquid precipitation. This roughly means anywhere between 3 and 12 inches of snow for us. Hopefully in the next 24 or 48 hours we'll be able to give you more specific information about just how much liquid should fall from the skies with this storm.

The other thing we know is that the storm will be relatively fast-moving. Right now we're guessing a 6 PM Sunday to 12 PM Monday window for the snow, which is just about perfect for a snow day should there even be enough snow.

Before you get too excited, though, here's your meteorological wet blanket: A jig or jog in the track of the storm by as little as 50 miles will greatly how much snow we get, so this storm is anything but a certainty.

But it is fun to talk about, and you know we'll have more info tomorrow.