Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Messy, Disappointing Forecast

The GSD Staff got a little excited last week that a possible coastal storm would impact the Berkshires. We tried to temper our enthusiasm and keep expectations low, but, given the non-winter we've had, that was REALLY hard to do. So, as expected, our "big storm" will not be coming to fruition and we will be left with the scraps of two storm systems that are going to skirt around us.

This map is a snow prediction map from NOAA for Tuesday evening. The big snow out in the Gulf of Maine that you see is the first low pressure system, which we wrote about last week and which was supposed to hit us Monday night. Another near miss to our east. The big green blob over Pennsylvania is the second low pressure system that we thought might move to the coast and reform there, giving us a potent nor'easter. That snow-making system will likely stay in the mid-Atlantic region.

So...the burning questions: Will we get any snow? Will we have snow day? How about delay?

The answers are: yes, no, and unlikely.

For part one of the storm, we believe we will see a repeat of Friday on Monday night. Boston and surrounding 'burbs and Rhode Island already have Winter Storm Watches already in effect. The storm could intensify--as it did Friday--and give the Berkshires a few outer bands of sustained snow. There is a slight chance that we could see delays on Tuesday morning, but we are not confident with that prediction.

Part 2 of the storm will be a dud. There simply isn't enough moisture for us to get a school-truncating weather event. Look for snow showers and perhaps a period of light snow during the day on Tuesday and Tuesday night. Any measurable snow that falls on Tuesday will be cleaned up in time for the commute on Wednesday. Dagnabbit!

But there is good news. This system is complex with lots of moving parts. This increases the likelihood that the forecast models and maps get this storm wrong. Things could change in a hurry in our favor for a number of complicated reasons. Keep hope alive.

The other good news is that a week of vacation is a mere five school days away. We've made it this long without a snow day; there's no reason we can't make it through another full five-day week.

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