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

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Building Storm for February 9-10

Our feelers are out to all of our major and minor forecasting sources, and we're hearing from a number of parties that a storm is a-brewin' for next week.

The conditions are lining up for a not insignificant coastal storm (yes, a nor'easter) for Tuesday night into Wednesday. We know for certain there will be enough cold air for an all snow event. We're mostly sure a low pressure system will come from the upper Midwest and then transfer its energy to a coastal low. We also have been led to believe that the coastal low gain in strength as it makes its way in a northeast direction along the coast. Several forecasters feel that the main target area for this storm--should it develop--will be New England.

We like that Berkshires are more or less smack dab in the middle of the projected storm zone for this storm. Thanks, Accuweather, for the image.
The big X factor is the track of the storm. It could track more inland, which would allow warmer air to sneak in and change the snow to rain, thus leading to lower snow totals. It could also head out to sea and give us an even lighter snow event.

The initial models are encouraging, so we're going to keep an eye on it. There's no need to get too excited, but the preliminary reports and forecasts are the strongest we've seen this winter for a moderate to heavy snowfall for the Berkshires.

But given the historically poor winter we've had, we are going to proceed pessimistically and just assume that the storm will go out to sea. We're not giving up hope, but we'd rather be pleasantly surprised than have our hearts broken (again).

This map for next Tuesday shows the low from the upper Mississippi Valley transferring its energy to a coastal low. The position of the coastal low in this map is perfect for a major nor'easter. Thanks, NOAA, for the graphic.

We'll be updating regularly for this storm should it become more of a certainty.

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