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

Friday, December 30, 2016

Snow Squalls

Be on the lookout for a few potent snow squalls today, especially between 7 AM and 1 PM. These squalls could drop an inch on the Berkshires quickly.

Also, Saturday night appears to be our next best chance for a measurable snow fall. The snow will be light as it will be from a fairly weak Alberta Clipper. Expect 1 or 2 inches starting at dusk on Saturday.

Snow squalls all morning.
As for yesterday's storm, it was a bit of a bust. We ended up with 4 inches on the button at the GSD Home Office, and regionally, Savoy was the big winner with 7 inches.

For those working today, have a happy Friday and watch the roads this morning.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Storm Update: AM Report

Just a few noteworthy cancellations and closings as the snow begins in earnest in the Berkshires. MCLA has closed for the day, and the city of North Adams has issued a Snow Emergency to run from 9 AM to 9 PM today. This means no on-street parking and the strong suggestion to limit travel in North Adams.

It looks unlikely that any games or contests scheduled for tonight will be played.

Expect half a foot from Pittsfield north and 3-5" in South County.

CLOSINGS:

MCLA
Mt. Greylock, Williamstown, Lanesborough -- closing at 1 PM; no evening activities

SNOW EMERGENCY:

North Adams

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

We Have Maps!

Get your snow boots ready as we have a robust storm headed our way for Thursday. Had schools been in session, we would have seen widespread snow days, with many schools calling in the snow day tonight.

We are seeing one computer model bring a nose of warm air into the mix for this storm in the afternoon. So, this means that snow totals could be down for southern parts of Berkshire County as well as areas to our west. But we'll still see 3-4 inches even if the warm air does move in and change some of the snow to rain.

Expect snow to start around 9:30 for Berkshire County and pick up in intensity in the afternoon and early evening. We think the bulk of the snow will have subsided by 2 AM. Winds will also kick up in the afternoon, making conditions even worse.

Here are some fun maps to ponder:





Not a bad array, is it? The worst case scenario tomorrow is around 3-4 inches. The best case scenario will be 12-14 inches. 

Friday morning's commute should be slow but it there won't be any new snow to worry about at that time.


Winter Storm Warning Is Up

As a little birdie hinted to us yesterday, the Winter Storm Watch was upgraded today to a full Winter Storm Warning starting at 9 AM tomorrow for all of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont. Other adjacent areas have a Watch or Winter Weather Advisory.

Image courtesy of Accuweather.

The bottom line is that travel conditions look miserable tomorrow between the hours of noon and midnight. This will be a fast-moving storm, but it has the potential for some inch per hour or two-inch per hour snowfall rates. At the least we're looking at 5-7 inches for everyone tomorrow, which will certainly give road crews plenty to do all afternoon and night.

We also cannot rule out the possibility that this storm flops. If the track of the low pressure system nudges northward, we will slide underneath the heavy snow belt and only see 3-4 inches. That scenario is less likely but still a possibility.

Any snow you see today is not related to tomorrow's storm. A few lake effect-type showers and flurries are likely in the Berkshires today.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Winter Storm Watch for Thursday

Our very good winter--so far--looks to be continuing on Thursday. The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Storm Watch starting at 9 AM on Thursday. This Watch means that there is a strong likelihood of a 6-12 inches snowfall for the Berkshires.

What's not to like about this map?

We think that the NWS will upgrade the Watch to a Warning at some point tomorrow. Most of the indicators that we look for show that we'll get 5 or 6 inches throughout the county between noon and midnight on Thursday, but those totals could easily edge higher.

We'll have more to pass on about this potentially potent storm tomorrow.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Rain then Snow for Vacation Week

With all the traveling going on this week, the GSD Staff felt a strong need to give a weather update for planning purposes only.

Tomorrow, the Berkshires have a Freezing Rain Advisory in place from 1 PM to 10 PM. It looks like the main form of precipitation on Monday will be rain. Because the ground will still be very cold--temps will be in the 12-15 degree range in the morning--the initial rain will freeze and cause potentially dangerous driving conditions. By evening, temps will have risen well above freezing, and the rain should continue to fall lightly overnight Monday.

On Tuesday we could see upslope snow with at best an inch of accumulation. Any snow we see on that day will be very hit or miss. Most locations will see no snow or just a dusting.

Of bigger interest for snow lovers will be an event for Thursday. A low pressure system will track across southern New England. It won't be a blockbuster event, but we see the potential for 2-4 inches of snow for Thursday morning's normal commute hours. It also might switch over to mixed precipitation around noon. We'll have to keep an eye on this storm, as some of our weather sources are calling for 3-6 inches. We have our fingers crossed for all those cross country skiers out there.

If you're out and about tomorrow afternoon, give yourself extra time. We'll have more about Thursday's storm over the next few days.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Mixed Precipitation for Christmas Eve

It's vacation time, so the GSD Staff is about to take a break for days.

Before we do, here are a few weather alerts if you're traveling in the next few days:

*Saturday morning, Christmas Eve, looks potentially messy with mixed precipitation expected starting around 3 AM and lasting through the morning. It all will change over to rain by noon, and you can say goodbye to a lot of the snow on the ground tomorrow. Road conditions could be difficult in the morning, but they will improve throughout the day. We should see a total of about a quarter of inch of precipitation.

*The next storm will come to our area Monday afternoon and evening. It looks like all rain for the Berkshires, but we might see a few wet flakes and some sleet mixing in especially in the afternoon.

*More wintry mix/rain is expected on Thursday before we see the temperature drop on New Year's weekend, giving us improved opportunities for all snow events. At this juncture we do not see any big storms in the long-term forecast.

The good news is that the weather pattern is active; the bad news is the relative warmth for Christmas weekend.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Very Light Snow for Thursday

It's Wednesday so that must mean we're talking about the potential for snow to end the week. And "weak" is the operative word as our next snowmaker will only yield a paltry one-inch of snow for most of the Berkshires.

The timing of this storm has improved, though, so it's possible that roads could have a coating tomorrow morning. The cold air in place will actually work against us tonight. The radar after midnight will indicate that it is snowing over our area, but that will not be the case as the snow will evaporate before hitting the ground. It might not be until 6 AM until we see the snow accumulate. As a result, we will recognize the threat of snow in our True North Confidence Meter, but we strongly believe there will be no delays tomorrow.

Courtesy of NWS Albany.
The very light snow will continue throughout much of the school day. Road crews should be able to handle it and make the afternoon commute a breeze. Those of you heading out of town tomorrow afternoon should not have any problem getting where you need to go, unless you are heading to the Adirondacks, where there may be 3 or 4 inches in some locales.

It looks like our snow on the ground will hang on through the weekend and we will have a White Christmas. Let's just remember that last year the Berkshires were in the mid-60s on Christmas Eve, and we even hit 60 in Pittsfield on Christmas Day. Old Man Winter's present to us all this year is his presence.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Light Snow For Thursday

And down the stretch they come...

While most college students and prepsters are now on break, the poor slugs in public school are still grinding away, getting smarter than their older and more independent fellow students. Several schools do have Friday off, and the rest have a half day, except for Mt. Greylock, Lanesborough, and Williamstown, who have opted for the full day of school. Taxpayers are getting their money's worth there, for certain.

Graphic courtesy of The Weather Channel. The location with the most days with snow in a year a typical year is Mt. Washington, NH.

Sadly, we will not see a weather-related interruption of school this week. It should snow on Thursday during the day, but the volume will not be high enough to merit any delays or releases. It's also will not cause the cancellation of any after-school or evening activities.

As for big storms, we don't see any in our meteorological crystal ball. The deep cold we've been experiencing recently will recede, and we will return to temps in the mid-30s (during the day) for the next two weeks. We might see a flurry here and there but no prolonged stretches of precipitation are in the long-term forecast.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Watch the Mercury Fall

The wacky weekend weather continues today. After a good 4-6" for almost all of the Berkshires yesterday, the rain his begun and temps are climbing into the high 40s. At the GSD Office at around 7 AM we even heard a clap of thunder, due to the warm front that has now passed through.

Data courtesy of the National Weather System
But hold onto your hats because a cold front is a-coming! We will see a 40 degree temperature swing in less than 24 hours. That's right, 40 degrees. We should top out in the high 40s--maybe even 50 in some places in South County--and then by 7 AM tomorrow, we will be looking at single digits on the thermometer.

This means that you could see flash freezing of wet roadways this afternoon and evening, creating the insidious and nefarious black ice. Road crews should be able to treat roads by the start of school, but there may be an outlier delay called in the morning due to icy conditions. We'll set the True North Confidence meter at a very modest 5% to indicate the slim chance of a delay for one or two schools.

Our next snowmaker should be Thursday night into Friday. It's too early to tell if it will impact Friday morning's start of school.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Winter Weather Advisory for Saturday

The cold is locked in for a few more hours on Friday night, but we'll start to see things warm up as our next snow storm gets ready to invade our area.

The NWS has posted a Winter Weather Advisory for the Berkshires, which will begin at 1 AM and end at 1 PM Saturday. We are seeing varying predictions of 2-4 inches for valleys and all the way to 6-8 inches for higher elevations in the County. We think most locales will get 4 or 5 inches.

Travel Saturday morning will be dicey, to say the least. Once road crews have time to tackle the roads, the conditions should improve in the afternoon, but the colder temperatures will hold on throughout the day (much longer than we expected). We could see sleet and freezing rain in the late afternoon/evening period for the Berkshires Saturday night, but it should not be debilitating.

Regardless of how much snow we get, drivers should take extra care as they run their errands, stuff those stockings, and head out to holiday parties on Saturday. As for the region--we're thinking about family members returning from far away--we'll see the same 4-6 inches across northern New England and 2-3 inches as far south as New York City. It's going to be a slow day of travel for the first part of the day on Saturday, but then the warm-up should make roads safer starting Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning will be fine, but we'll see a cold front move through in the afternoon which could trigger a few snow showers in the afternoon.

Be safe on the roads tomorrow in the AM. We're already well past last year's snow totals, so enjoy!

Freeze Delays for Friday

It's a simple 1 degree at the GSD Home Office, but there's barely any wind. This means that most schools will be in full session today. We may have a few outliers trickle in, but you'll have to get up for your regular start of school.

The good news is that snow is coming tonight. Hopefully the changeover to rain will not wreck the conditions for skiers. We'll have more on that later today.

TWO-HOUR DELAY:

Southern Berkshire
Frontier
Greenfield

CLOSED

Mohawk Trail
Central Berkshire (upgrade)

*new additions in red

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Temps Are Dropping

We still have just the one delay announced in Berkshire County (Southern Berkshire), but we are reading reports of widespread delay calls in central Mass, eastern Mass, and New Hampshire.

It's cold and windy, but as we get closer to morning, the winds should diminish. Temps will bottom out at 0 or -2 between 6 and 7 AM. Keep in mind that these are really, really cold temperatures for this time of year. Subzero temps in mid-December is out of the ordinary.

As for the weekend storm, we're still on for 3-6 inches. We'll see snow start around midnight or shortly after and continue to snow through mid-morning on Saturday. In many ways it is a carbon copy of our most recent storm, except with this new storm we'll see the temps rise right up in the mid-30s, which will change the precipitation to rain. Contests and dramatic performances on Friday night should be safe from cancellation or postponement.



Freeze Delays For Friday

We may have to bump up the chance for a delay tomorrow, as Southern Berkshire has boldly stepped forward and made the decision to delay the start of school for Friday.

Accuweather with a prediction as bold as So. Berkshire's decision about tomorrow.
As for Thursday afternoon and evening, we will see intermittent and sometimes steady light snow on and off until about midnight. The snow is more like a mist than a true snow squall. Roadways could get coated quickly due to the cold temperature, so take extra care.

There's been no change to the advisories (wind and wind chill). We're still at advisory levels and have not seen the upgrade to warning levels. We doubt they will get upgraded as the night goes on.

If more delays get called in tonight, we'll report them here and on our Facebook page.

TWO-HOUR DELAY FOR FRIDAY:

Southern Berkshire

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Busy End of the Week

Boy, there is a lot of weather happening in the next few days. Let's cut right to the highlights:

*A High Wind Watch is in effect for the Berkshires for tomorrow afternoon and evening, and a Wind Chill Watch is in effect for Thursday afternoon through Friday morning.

*Snow showers could pop up throughout the day Thursday with a dusting or half inch possible.

*Temperatures below zero are expected Friday morning.

*Snow starts Friday night and lasts through the morning hours on Saturday. Expect 3-5 inches before the snow changes over to rain and then possibly back to snow Saturday night.

NOAA is predicting 4-6" for us by 6 PM Saturday.
Indoor activities should be very popular over the next few days. It does not sound like it will be a lot of fun to be outside tomorrow afternoon because of the cold and wind combo. We do have to recognize that there could be delays due to the cold on Friday morning. According to the NWS, there is a chance the Wind Chill Watch will be upgraded to a Wind Chill Warning, and if that happens, then schools may want to re-think having students stand out at bus stops when it's -1 degrees and the wind is still howling. Should there be delays on Friday due to the cold, they will not be widespread.

As for the Friday/Saturday snow storm, it looks to be light with a few moderate bands passing through our area. Despite the frigid temperatures in the morning, we'll see a warm-up all the way into the mid 30s by the middle of the day on Saturday. This warm-up will keep snow totals down.

We believe that schools would be wise to try to get any contests or dramatic performances in on Friday night as the snow should fall late and too many postponements of games this earlier in the season could prove to be challenging later in the season.

Travel on Saturday morning is going to be dicey. If you have travel far or have shopping to do, you might be wise to wait until midday as the roads will be much better by noon.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Storm Recap

Here are just a few snow totals from Monday's storm as reported to the NWS:

GSD Home Office -- 5.0'"; North Adams -- 5.5"; Lanesborough -- 6.0"; and Great Barrington -- 5.0".

All in all the storm performed just about as expected. The snow ended a little bit earlier than we thought, and the snowfall across Berkshire County was more uniform than expected. For that reason, we saw more snow days in the southern part of the county than we predicted. Snow days were the norm, not delays.

It's been many years since we've had two snow days prior to the New Year. With only 9 more school days until vacation, from a mental health perspective we really don't need any more snow days. These last two weeks before vacation typically zoom by anyway, but that last full week before vacation will be manic. A well-timed delay or snow day in that week would certainly not go unappreciated by students and teachers alike.

From what we're seeing, the weather pattern looks active for the next few weeks. Enjoy that 40 degree afternoon we just had because the mercury is headed south and will not stop dropping until Friday when we wake up to a balmy -4 degrees. Good times! High temps on Thursday and Friday will barely reach the teens. This is unusually cold weather for this time of year. The average high temp historically is in the high 20s.

As for snow, we could see a few squalls tonight and some snow showers or light snow on Wednesday night in conjunction with the cold front. There will be a very low chance for delays on Thursday due to upslope snow. Over the weekend, we might see measurable snow, but it should be light. The top outcome would be 5" by the end of the day on Sunday. We're monitoring it carefully as lots of college students will be making their way home this upcoming weekend.

Finally, we have a sneaking feeling that next Thursday the 22nd will be messy. We'll just leave it at that. For now.

Keep an eye out for those squalls tonight, and we could see black ice late tonight and tomorrow morning as the temps drop below freezing.

Storm Morning

It's still snowing at the GSD Home Office (5 AM), with about 3" on the ground already. The snow is very light but will pick up intensity between 5 AM and 7 AM slightly before coming to an end between 9 and 10 AM.

Here's the latest list of delays and cancellations, which we'll update throughout the morning:

2-HOUR DELAY:

Bement School (Old Deerfield)
Berkshire Hills
Farmington River Regional (Otis)
Florida (Gabriel Abbott)
MCLA
Pine Cobble School (Williamstown)
Williams College

3-HOUR DELAY:

Southern Vermont College

CLOSED

Adams/Cheshire
BArT
Berkshire Community College
Berkshire Country Day
Central Berkshire
Clarksburg
Hancock
Hoosick Falls, NY
Lanesborough
Lee
Lenox
Mohawk Trail
Mount Greylock
North Adams
Northern Berkshire (McCann)
Pittsfield
Savoy (Emma L Miller)
Southern Berkshire (upgrade!)
Southwest Vermont SU (Mt. Anthony)
Twin Valley HS (VT)
Williamstown


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Evening Report: How You Should Approach Your Morning

[POST UPDATE 9:45 PM: Hoosick Falls, NY has cancelled for tomorrow; Williams College--student are in their reading period--has delayed their opening for the children's center until 9:30 and administration offices until 10:00.]

Here are a few more weather maps for your perusal before we discuss your suggested protocol for tomorrow morning:



Here's what you should do for tomorrow: set the alarm for 6:00 AM. Check GSD. We'll know most of the delays and cancellations by that hour. Should your school appear there, then set the alarm for two more hours or not at all. Enjoy.

Should your school not appear there, set the snooze for 20 minutes and then check GSD again. If you still don't see your school...man, tough luck. Get your backside out of bed and into the shower. Throw those Eggos into the toaster 'cause you are going to need sustenance for a grueling day of school. There may be no longer day of school than a would-be snow day that turns into a full day. We will feel your pain.

The above negative scenario should only impact about 20% of students in Berkshire County, and most of those students will live in the southern school districts.

There has been no change to actual meteorological information we have been researching for the past two days. The WSW is still on for Northern Berkshire, and the WWA is still predicted for Southern Berkshire. The only big weather concern is how soon the warm nose of air creeps its way into the Berkshires. The True North Confidence Meter will stay where it is.


Evening Report: Not So Fast, South County...

The GSD Staff is very excited about the possibility of delays and snow days tomorrow, but we all may need to temper our enthusiasm about this storm, especially if you live south of I-90.

The Winter Storm Warning and the Winter Weather Advisory are still in place, but some of the computer models are indicating that warm air might nose its way into Berkshire County around daybreak. If this happens, then we could see a period of sleet and then a quick changeover to rain. We like not that.

This warm air is only supposed to impact South County and Litchfield County in Connecticut, but we're not liking its close proximity to the rest of Berkshire County. Schools in higher elevations may be impervious to this warm air mass. But still, we're not happy about this development.

As of 5 PM, it is snowing in almost all parts of Berkshire County. A little coating on the roads tonight could certainly cause a few very bold superintendents to make an evening call about a delay or snow day for tomorrow. But it's not the kind of storm where we're going to see many districts go with a premature storm decision.

Here's what the 5 PM radar looks like:



That dry slot over Pennsylvania is a little concerning, but the moisture you see forming off the coast of New England is very encouraging. There definitely is some iffiness about this storm so it is no slam dunk.

The best case scenario for the county would be snow days for almost everyone and a 2-hour delay for the remaining one or two districts in the south. The worst case scenario would be a full day of school for schools south of I-90 and delays for everyone else.

We might have one more final commentary later, but if we don't post again, check in between 5 AM and 6 AM when most districts make their decisions. We'll have a list going then. Also, if you have one in your repertoire, give us your best snow dance tonight! Many students are going to need a little luck to go their way to make it a county sweep for snow days on Monday.

Midday Report: 5 to 8 Inches for Monday

Very high clouds are starting to gradually fill in. The sun will slowly become filtered this afternoon, and you can expect to see the first flakes of the second major storm of the season around 4 PM. The snow will be light at first and then fill in, picking up in intensity after midnight.

Because this storm is dependent on the expected development of coastal energy, there is a chance this could be a big bust and we'll only see 2-4 inches. But all the models are in rough agreement, so totals should be higher than that.

Let's take a look at some local graphic art:





Factor in Channel 13's map from today's earlier post and you can see that meteorologists are generally in agreement.

Given the timing of the storm, we probably will see a superintendent or two call in a delay or snow day tonight. If that does happen, we'll start our running list of school delays and cancellations this evening.

Winter Storm Warning for Northern Berkshire and So. Vermont; Advisories Elsewhere

In the overnight hours, the National Weather Service made weather announcements for Berkshire County. The GSD Staff has pretty good institutional memory, and we're pretty sure this is the first time in the relatively brief history of Greylock Snow Day that we've seen a Winter Storm Warning issued for one part of Berkshire County and only a Winter Weather Advisory for the rest of the county. Usually everybody gets the same thing or one part has a Watch and one has a Warning, but rarely do we see the Warning/Advisory split.

From our friends at WNYT in Albany.
Last night we predicted an announcement of a Winter Storm Watch or Winter Weather Advisory. To our pleasant surprise, the NWS went nuclear and right to the Winter Storm Warning for Northern Berkshire. The short of it is that it will snow for all of Berkshire County and it will snow moderately, making for a messy, messy, messy morning commute. The NWS is expecting at least 7 inches of snow in a 12-hour period for Northern Berkshire, and 4-6 inches for Southern Berkshire county.

The chance for a snow day is very high for Central Berkshire, schools in the Mount Greylock district, North Adams schools, Adam/Cheshire schools and of course Florida. Pittsfield is the dividing line, and it and schools to the south are still very much in line for a full snow day. But because snow totals will be as low as three inches in the southern portions of the county, there's a chance we could see only delays for schools in the Southern Berkshire and Berkshire Hills districts.

Snow should start around midnight and last until 10 or 11 AM Monday. Our next update but this storm will come between noon and 2 PM.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Snow Approaches

Greetings, snowhounds! We're still on track for the strong possibility of a snow day on Monday. We're already seeing Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Watches for counties to our west, and our latest evaluation of all of our weather sources suggests that the snow will start mid-afternoon on Sunday and carry through the late morning hours on Monday.

The NWS will likely issue a Winter Weather Advisory for the Berkshires later tonight or early tomorrow morning. If we see the more desirable Winter Storm Watch from the Berkshires, then our chances for a snow day Monday will go up even higher.

In our analysis, we've seen as little as 3-5 inches predicted for the Berkshires and as much as 7-10 inches. Even if we split the middle of these snow forecasts, we're looking at widespread school cancellations for Monday. The snowfall potential is merely moderate, but it's the timing--and right now it's looking to be very good--that will ultimately decide all of our fates for Monday.

Here's a nice little forecast map from the National Weather Service:

4-8" for the Berkshires

We like what we're seeing, and we'll have more and better info tomorrow.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Sunday/Monday Storm Is Coming

Be on the lookout for some brief periods of intense snow this Friday morning. The NWS has issued a Special Weather Statement about lake effect snows. A few bands of snow could be intense enough to coat roadways and make them slippery. These brief bands of snow will taper off in the afternoon.

Snow squalls for Friday.
As for Monday's storm, it won't be a big storm one, but there are certainly enough of the right kinds of ingredients to bring excitement to the GSD Staff. At the moment, we see a 50/50 proposition for a snow day for Monday's storm, and as long as we continue to see the right numbers for overall liquid precipitation, we think this percentage will climb even higher by Sunday night.

As for the numbers we're seeing regarding liquid precipitation, we're seeing around a third of an inch. That should give us 3-5 inches of snow, depending on how cold it stays initially. Temperatures will be rising during the day on Monday, which could keep the snow to liquid ratio down around 10:1. But, with the rising temps, we would also see a period of mixed precipitation midday or early afternoon on Monday, which superintendents would have to factor in in their decision-making. This could be one of those snow days that gets called because of the threat of snow and sleet, not because of the actual snow on the ground at the time of the morning commute (although we do expect snow to be on the ground at that time as well).

It certainly is convenient that our three significant weather-makers have fallen on Mondays. That's a trend that we all would be happy to live with for the rest of the winter season.

We'll have a lot more of the inside weather dope on Sunday. The GSD Staff is off at a conference in central New York on Saturday, so we might not be able to post anything that day. But check in with Twitter and Facebook if you are anxious for storm news, and then expect the full GSD treatment on Sunday. And with maps!


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Upslope Snow Dissipates

It looks like we're in for a full day of school tomorrow. The winds have picked up and the temps are dropping, but the lake effect snow and upslope snow have not been as pervasive as forecasters thought they would be. So, set the alarm for your normal time.

We like what we're seeing for Sunday, but now it's more of a late Sunday/Monday event. There is still a lack of clarity about what's going to happen, but more and more it looks like snow will start very early Monday morning (but before the commute) and will last the rest of the day on Monday. We could see as little as 2-3 inches or as much as 6-8, but the timing looks good. This storm would produce a full snow day decision or nothing; delays would not be really in the mix because of the forecast for snow throughout the day.

We'll be updating you through the weekend about Monday.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Colder Air and More Snow Coming

Get ready for the cold temperatures to lock in for the next ten days. The cold front will move into our area tomorrow, which means that we'll see snow showers as the temps decline.

Superintendents may not want to hear this, but we may see a period of lake effect-like snow (a.k.a upslope snow). You may remember a few weeks back when the strong upslope snow dropped over a foot of snow in some places in the Berkshires, which led to county-wide school cancellations. With that kind of teaser you'd think that snow days are in the offing for Friday, but, sadly, that is not the case.

What will probably happen is a period of several hours of snow Thursday night into early Friday with maybe as much as 2-3 inches on the ground by the end of the day Friday. Because it will be colder and the wind will be blowing the snow, it's possible but not likely that a few superintendents will see the need to call in the delay for Friday.

As for the Sunday storm, we're still signs of 3-5 inches. Most likely the storm will not be too severe and any snow that falls will be cleaned off the roads by the morning commute, but we're still very much intrigued by this possible storm and are giving it our full attention.

Here's an interesting map:


What this shows is the probability of a quarter of an inch or more of liquid. If we use a fairly modest ratio of 10 inches of snow for every inch of liquid, then a quarter of an inch of liquid means we'll see at least 2.5 inches of snow. With colder air in place, that modest snow-to-liquid ratio can climb as high as 15 or 16 to 1. So, if we are to believe this map, we can surmise that several inches of snow are indeed possible by the middle of the day on Monday.

Keep your eye on the snow tomorrow evening--roads could get slick fast. And don't just assume school is going to start on time on Friday.

Get Ready For a Full Day

Precipitation was lighter than expected and it came through earlier, as expected. The only delay is Florida (Gabriel Abbott) and we think that will be it.

More details to come about Sunday's potential snow event later today.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Bad News/Good News

Welcome back to GSD, your weather broker for the 2016-17 season.

Let's get the bad news over with first, and even that is not so terrible. The snow we were hoping would impact tomorrow's morning commute may be coming a few hours too early. [Sigh.]

Because amounts are supposed to be light--only 1-2 inches--we think road crews will have enough time to take care of business tomorrow morning before the buses roll. Snow might still be falling during the morning commute, so this isn't a complete throwaway. Again, schools who didn't have the delay on Monday have a better chance for a delay tomorrow, but just by a little bit.

The good news is that a Sunday storm is still in the works. It may end up arriving too early to impact the Monday morning commute significantly, but we may see a shovel-able snow on Sunday. At the very least the snow will allow skiers to get their fix as well as make the Berkshires look a lot more holiday friendly.

And, we did spot this forecast while checking in with our weather sources today:

A very ambitious forecast for Williamstown for Sunday and Monday courtesy of Intellicast.

It's most likely a glitch in the system and we won't see 6-10 inches, but as they say: where there's smoke there's fire. If the storm does develop to its full potential, we're probably looking at a more realistic 3-6 inches Sunday night into Monday.

Here's to eternal optimism! And we'll have a running list going tomorrow morning, early, if--and that's a large size if--we start to see delays getting called in.


Monday, December 5, 2016

More Delays for Wednesday

Who doesn't love a two-hour delay on a Monday? South County definitely doesn't as they got shut out of the fun this morning. The districts that opted for the delay today were all north and east of Pittsfield.

The good news is that those unlucky students do not have to wait long for the next opportunity for a weather-related shortened day. We have an almost identical situation in store for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. The timing looks really encouraging with snow starting around 3 AM and lasting into the morning. It's another 1-3 inches for the Berkshires, but the timing is what will seal the deal if we do get delays.

We also think the psychology of the superintendent will play a big role in who gets delays and who doesn't on Wednesday. Those who gave out a delay will be slightly less likely to give another one on Wednesday. Those who didn't give one today will feel more inclined to give one out. That's just how these people's brains work.

There is just a little bit of chatter in the wind from meteorological folks about a possible Sunday night snow storm (if a secondary low pressure system forms off the coast.) At the moment the chances are slimmer than better for this development, but it is a possibility that you need to be aware of.

We Have Delays

Yes, we have delays this fine snowy morning. We'll keep a running list here. Hopefully it will grow throughout the morning:

TWO-HOUR DELAY:

Hoosick Falls (NY)
Adams-Cheshire
North Adams
Clarksburg Elem.
Florida (Gabriel Abbott)
BArT
Central Berkshire
Mount Greylock
Lanesborough
Williamstown
McCann

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Chance For Delays Monday Morning

As we did during Thanksgiving week, we see the potential for three separate storms this week. All could produce measurable snow totals, but unfortunately the most snow we'll see is three inches out of any of the storms.

You'll notice it is a lot colder as of today (Sunday). With this cold front, we have a mass of frozen precipitation moving toward us ever so slowly from the west. It will snow in the early morning hours of Monday--one to three inches across the region--which could mean delays if you live in a district that has a conservative and cautious superintendent. Even though this storm is not a big snow producer, the timing looks to be just about perfect. When you wake up tomorrow, it will be snowing and there will be about an inch of accumulation on the ground. We think a few superintendents may decide to wait out the messiness and go with the late start.

That blue blob will arrive around 4 AM Monday.
The rest of the week is an unsettled jumble of storms with very little clarity about how much snow we'll see. If it does snow again after Monday morning's small storm, it will fall late on Tuesday night (again, 1-3 inches) and during the day on Thursday. The latest models we've seen point to a rain event for Thursday. If it does snow on that day we'll see--yet again--1-3 inches.

Keep your eyes and ears open tomorrow morning for possible delays. We don't think there will be any Winter Weather Advisories announced for this storm--there just isn't that much precipitation--but we could see a Special Weather Statement about slick roads for the morning commute.

We'll set the True North Confidence Meter at 20% just in case a few schools decided to delay the start of the day.