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

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!

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