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

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.