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

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Weekend Snow Storm

The GSD Staff is hard at work monitoring the first snowstorm of the season. Even though the storm will assuredly fall on the weekend, we're pretending that this storm is a midweek storm. We're out of practice and we need to get in our reps.

Before we start, be on the lookout for snow this afternoon (Tuesday). Conditions are right for a dusting.

So...let's say this storm were to fall on a Friday and not a Saturday. How would this storm be faring on the True North Confidence Meter? Right now we would set this storm at 25% for a snow day and 40% percent for a delay.

Here's what we know: (Again, there is no chance that this storm will affect the length of the school day on Friday. If anything, it could be a Saturday-into-Saturday-night storm. ) There's plenty of cold air in place. The storm will come out of the Tennessee valley and transfer its energy to a coastal storm. The coastal storm will move gradually up the east coast. One model has it sliding out to sea down near southern New Jersey. Another model pushes the low further to the north but ultimately pushing it out to sea near Cape Cod. We would prefer to see the second situation take place. The closer to the coast and the further north this storm goes, the better for the Berkshires.

Beside the disagreement about the track, there is also considerable disagreement about how much liquid will fall from the skies from this storm. The average of the models is about .4 inches for the Berkshires. If we put that total amount into our liquid to snow converter, we would end up with 4 or 5 inches of snow, which, if the timing were just right, would be enough to cancel school.

Even Accuweather thinks we'll be on the far edge of this storm. Image courtesy of Accuweather.
But based on how storms have been performing this winter (i.e. not performing, as in not existing), we are not particularly excited about Saturday's storm. We think only the less potent edge of the storm will impact our area before the storm slides out to sea south of Long Island. We will see 2-4 inches of powdery snow, with closer to 4 inches in South County and around 2 inches on the Mass/Vermont border. Yes, it's a Debby Downer forecast, but there should be enough on the ground on Saturday afternoon for at least a few hours of outdoor snow sports.

We really hope we're wrong, and we'll be the first to update you if the forecast changes in our favor.


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