Sunday, December 30, 2018

Promising Start to 2019

Happy New Year, winter weather fans. Maybe--just maybe--we are coming out of this winter funk we've been in, as there are indications of two chances for snow in the upcoming week. One is minor and one could be much more significant.

Hardly a ringing endorsement from NWS Albany for much snow tomorrow night.
First, we have a Winter Weather Advisory for tomorrow night, which is not good for New Year's Eve revelers or those First Night celebrations. This event looks minor and will affect Northern Berkshire County more than South County. We could see up to 3 inches, especially in higher altitudes, between 7 PM and midnight tomorrow night. This minor storm could miss us completely but it's worth keeping an eye on it.

But the bigger and better news is a possible Thursday/Friday storm. Current runs of the models are all over the place with the timing and the type of precipitation, but the European model (our more consistent and reliable model, typically) is indicating a period of moderate snow on Friday. The North American model has the storm starting on Thursday night, which would be much more preferable if we are hoping for a three-day weekend. It too is predicting a moderate snow storm.

We definitely are intrigued by what we are hearing about Friday, and the GSD Staff will put all of its resources to study it this week.

Even if there isn't wintery mix of sleet and snow tomorrow night, drive safely if you're out and about ringing in the New Year.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas Eve Snow

As grim as it has been this month for snow, we might get a small consolation prize on Monday with a little Christmas Eve snow. Few things are better to get us in the holiday spirit.

It would be perfect if this snow were to fall on Monday night, but, alas, it looks like it will fall during the midday hours. Beggars shall not be choosers.

We should see snow in the Berkshires before 10 AM. As the source of this snow is an Alberta Clipper, the snow will be light. It might pick up for a time again in the late afternoon or early evening hours Monday, but the grand total for this storm should not exceed 3 inches.



Our prediction is that come Tuesday morning, it will indeed be a white Christmas in the Berkshires.

Happy holidays, everyone. Thank you for following and reading and supporting Greylock Snow Day.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Cold Streak Continues...

A few schools in New York have delays, as do a couple in Springfield, but no districts have called in delays in Berkshire County. Roads are wet but clear of snow and sleet at GSD Headquarters.

It looks like another lean week without any major storms. Our potential storm for Friday looks like a rain event but we'll continue to monitor it.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Snow For Sunday Night; Chance for Delays Monday Has Increased

For most of Berkshire County, the forecast for sleet did not come through during the day (which isn't a bad thing), but we are pleased to announce that we are still on track for 2-3 inches of snow tonight. The snowfall prediction has risen slightly due to the last run of the models, and most locations in the Berkshires should see 3 inches or just under.

The center of the storm has now moved off the coast of Long Island and is moving toward Cape Cod, and we're finally starting to see the traditional counter-clockwise rotation of precipitation over us as the storm strengthens over the water.


There is a ton of moisture to our south as of 6 PM Sunday, but that moisture is having trouble penetrating the air over Berkshire County. Eventually it will and that's when we'll get snow. Expect snow to start to come down steadily after 8 PM.

Be alert to delays tomorrow, especially those on the east side of Berkshire County. If we do see delays, Adams/Cheshire, Central Berkshire, and Farmington River RSD will be the likely candidates for delays.

We'll run our list tomorrow early AM should the snow keep falling well past midnight.


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Winter Weather Advisory: Sunday, Dec. 16

After a spring-like temps today, a cold front is approaching and will shepherd in frozen precipitation.

Our best guesstimate for the start of this storm is between 8 and 9 AM south to north in Berkshire County. Roads could be slick throughout the day especially if sleet falls throughout the day, which is expected. Temps will eventually drop below freezing, and we will see the sleet change to all snow in the afternoon. Some parts of Berkshire County could get 3" of snow, but most will see 1-2".

There's not a lot of juice in this storm, so we'll hold off on any predictions about delays on Monday as they will likely not happen. We'll definitely monitor the situation throughout the day tomorrow if things start to change in our favor.



More to come tomorrow! It's good to be back.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

El Nino Blues: A Very Scroogy Forecast

It certainly has been a while since we've checked in with our faithful flake followers. We apologize for not updating you, but as you have witnessed, there just hasn't been much to report around here. And the forecast is not encouraging for the rest of the month. A White Christmas this year is highly unlikely.

After a blockbuster November, we have seen little precipitation in December. A few dustings here and there have filled the chilly Berkshire air, but it's pretty much been boring winter fare for the last few weeks. Temps are around normal this week (high 20s), but they will warm up to the low 40s for the weekend before returning back to the mid-30s next week.

We may get a few snow showers tomorrow afternoon, but it should be dry through the weekend. We may see drizzle overnight on Friday, but the air should be warm enough to avoid icing conditions. And then midday Monday we may see more prolonged snow showers. But with the warm air in place, snow on Monday will likely melt on the roadways before it can accumulate.

At this time we do not see any major storms in the pipeline for New England for the next few weeks.

Here is a very general forecast map for the temperature in the continental US from December 20 to December 26:



It shows that this warm-ish December pattern is likely to continue. Even if it does snow at some point next week, it will be the slushy, wet kind of snow that will have a tough time accumulating on the roads. We are not fond of this map at all.

We'll let you know if the Monday mild disturbance shows any signs of life, but we're going to have to get used to the reality that the next snow day will not occur until January, 2019.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Snow and Sleet Tonight (Dec. 1)

Hello, Flake Followers. Please be alert to the potential for snow and sleet this evening in the Berkshires, especially in higher elevation towns.

The NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory--our third this week--due to the potential for about an inch of snow and coating of ice. It starts at 10 PM Saturday and ends at noon on Sunday.

We don't think this minor system will amount to much, but those of you who have to travel in the early morning tomorrow should be aware of this Winter Weather Advisory.

As for the rest of December, we've seen guidance from weather experts we trust that conditions will be stormy. Disruptions in the Polar Vortex could yield a stormy December. Obviously, we like what those folks are saying, and we're keeping a keen eye on the potential for several December snow storms.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Light Snow For Today; No Delays

It's still snowing in much of Berkshire County but it is very light. Main roads are clear in Williamstown, but side roads are snow-covered. As of now a few schools in central New York have called in delays, but no school districts in Berkshire County have opted for the later start. Should that change, we'll run a list right here.

The 5:15 radar; light snow moving north to south across Berkshire County.
Light snow should continue to fall off and on throughout the day due to the circulation of the low pressure system--still over New England--creating lake effect-like snow from north to south. Delays will be less common today because there will be no burst of moderate snow like the one we had yesterday during the commute.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Another Winter Weather Advisory--Delays for Wednesday?

Greetings, Flake Followers. This sneaky post-Thanksgiving break storm refuses to yield, and we're in for another snowy evening.

Tonight the NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for all of Berkshire County. South County schools could be in line to partake in the two-hour delay party tomorrow, should the top end of the prediction come through.

NWS-Albany has predicted another 2-6 inches for this evening. The Advisory ends at 7 PM tomorrow, so this will again be one of these wait-and-see types of storms. The reason for the advisory is that the low pressure system is fairly stationary and just spinning over New England. This spinning is pumping snow from north to south right over the Green Mountains and the Berkshires. If this pattern continues, we could easily see the 5-6" on the top end of the prediction. But as soon as the low pressure starts to lift from our region east-northeast, we'll see the snow come to an end.

The snow over the Berkshires (7 PM radar) is moving north to south.

What this means is that delays are indeed possible tomorrow, but it's another low-confidence prediction from our staffers at GSD. We more or less botched this morning's storm prediction for North County--we did not foresee how perfect the timing was for that wet and greasy snow--but at least we had the right school districts in line for a delay or stray snow day.

Not as good as last night's map image.

Because of how treacherous roads were this morning, and we do think the snow pump will continue through much of the night, we foresee a few schools having delays tomorrow, with the usual suspects in line for the best chances at a shorter day: Savoy, Florida, Clarksburg, Adams/Cheshire, Central Berkshire. We'll just have to see if the snow persists long enough to give South County schools a shot at a delay.

Most schools in Berkshire County will have a full day of school tomorrow, but--again--we won't be surprised to see 4-8 schools and districts with delays. We'll be up bright in early to report on any calls from schools.

Delays and Closings for Tuesday, November 27

Many schools have upgraded from delays to full snow days. Terrible timing for this storm for Superintendents.

Here are the districts and schools with a shorter day or no school:

SNOW DAY:

Adams-Cheshire (upgrade from a delay)
BArT
Clarksburg
Central Berkshire
Emma Miller
Gabriel Abbott
Hoosick Falls (NY)
Mohawk Trail
McCann
New Lebanon (NY)
North Adams
Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union
Stamford (VT)

TWO-HOUR DELAY:

Childcare of the Berkshires (**Transportation cancelled but still open**)



Monday, November 26, 2018

Rain to Snow This Evening

A slushy rain is falling at GSD World Headquarters in Williamstown this evening, and as of 7 PM the temp is hanging steady around 38 degrees.

Whether or not we get delays tomorrow really depends on the temperature. That sounds fairly obvious when snow is involved--we get that--but with this storm the rain will turn over to snow before we hit 32 degrees on the thermometer. The determiner for delays will be how early we hit the all snow temperature threshold.

Notice that these totals are through 7 PM on Wednesday
Still, it looks like North County schools will be the big winners if there even are winners tomorrow. Based on current forecasts, a full day of school is definitely in question for Florida, Savoy, Clarksburg, Adams/Cheshire and North Adams. Also, we will keeping an eye on Lanesborough/New Ashford and that patch of route 7 by Brodie Mountain. Those locales could have plowable slushy snow totals by morning.

For the rest of the county, the snow will start to accumulate after high school students are on their way to classrooms, but the elementary runs of the busses might be more adventuresome.

At this point we think there will be at least a few delays tomorrow with the potential for several North County schools and Central Berkshire getting into the mix if the snow is coming down moderately at daybreak. And we can't definitively rule out an oddball full snow day for one of our northernmost schools.

But there is too much uncertainty with this storm for our liking, and we will not be surprised if, because of the high temps, this minor storm is a more of a bust than a boon.

Winter Weather Advisory for Northern Berkshire County -- Monday Night & Tuesday Commute

The chance for a delay we discussed yesterday just got better for students north of Pittsfield. The NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory that begins tonight at 7 and ends tomorrow shortly after noon. Forecasters are expecting 2-4 inches of heavy, wet snow with some high elevation locales topping out at 6 inches.

3 PM radar; plenty of moisture out there for snow.
While we like the upgrade to a Winter Weather Advisory, we're not confident the temps will sink low enough fast enough to change the rain over to snow in time to muck up the roadways for the morning commute. Temps will still be in the upper 30s overnight so that transition will be slow in coming.

If there are delays tomorrow, we will see them for Mount Greylock, North Adams, McCann, BArT, Adams/Cheshire, Florida, Savoy, and Central Berkshire.

We'll have more later this evening.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Active Weather Pattern This Week (Nov. 26) But Limited Snow

After an unseasonably cold Turkey Day--many locations near us set record lows--things have warmed up to seasonable temperatures and the fall mud season has resumed.

Here's a rundown on the storms this week and what you can expect:

MONDAY: Cold rain leads to colder rain in the evening and then a changeover to wet snow for higher elevation towns. The rain should begin around noon.

TUESDAY: We need to keep an eye on the morning commute. There may be enough cold air in place plus enough precipitation to make for a messy drive in to school. Delays might be in play, but we don't have a lot of confidence that we'll see any for that day. In the afternoon and evening we'll see windier and cooler conditions with occasional snow showers and squalls.

NWS Albany is not promising much snow for this early week disturbance.
WEDNESDAY: Snow showers and squalls continue but should not bring too enough accumulation to warrant delays. With temps around 32 degrees, roadways will take longer to get covered.

THURSDAY: Quiet. Perhaps a stray snow shower. Mid-30s.

FRIDAY: Quiet again but we might see an Alberta Clipper sneak in from the west and drop a few inches on us in the evening. It's a little early to get a good read on this storm, but we'll be keeping an eye on it.

The best chance for delays will be Tuesday and Wednesday, but our confidence is under a 10% chance for both of those days. We'll update the developing Tuesday morning situation on Monday night.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Light Snow Continues

Snow is falling at the GSD World Headquarters at 5:30 AM, but it is light and the roads are wet but clear. Delays will be unlikely this morning, but drivers should show caution as roads might slick up for the morning commute.

5:30 AM radar; snow is heading east-north-east.

Snow should end by 10 AM.

The next interesting weather situation is bitterly cold air will flood into the northeast just in time for Thanksgiving. We will see single digits in the morning on Thursday, with highs only in the teens that day. We may even get below zero on Friday night. That's unusual for November.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Sneaky Snow System for Tuesday

We're seeing some signs from the NWS and other weather outlets that this disturbance might have a little more punch to it than we originally thought.



This radar image (5:30 PM Monday) shows an impressively long band of snow that is going to pass over us tonight and during the first part of the day tomorrow. If it keeps this line, the Berkshires could be the big winner from this storm and see close to 6 inches when it wraps up by midday.

Snow is already starting to fall very lightly, and we are supposed to get some lift of the moisture from the south, which will spill into the colder air and ramp up the snowfall rates. It could come down at a moderate pace for some time between 3 AM and 6 AM.

Image courtesy of WNYT, Channel 13 Albany
We still think road crews will be able to handle this storm, but we're going to raise the delay percentage a few clicks in the True North Confidence Meter because of the threat for more intense snow before and during the AM commute. But the reason we aren't more bearish on this storm is that it will be snowing two hours after the regular start to school. What's the point of a delay if road conditions will still be about the same?

Should school districts call in delays or the odd cancellation, we'll have a running list going tomorrow bright and early.

Winter Weather Advisory for Tuesday (Nov. 20)

The relatively snowy November continues.

We woke up today to an inch of new snow at the GSD Home Office. It was not the 3-4 inches we thought we might get up here in Billsville, but it did fill in some of the gaps caused by the melting we saw this weekend.

But the good news is that we have a Winter Weather Advisory for Berkshire County tonight, and it starts at 1 AM. The timing looks great. But the forecasted snowfall range is between 2 and 6 inches, which mean meteorologists are seeing all kinds of possibilities with the models.

Image courtesy of Accuweather.com.
This storm is a different kind of storm but it's about an 80% version of the Friday one. The morning commute will be messy--and there is not a dry slot to worry about this time around--but we just don't think that there will be enough snow to cause widespread delays. We'll see a few, especially in hill towns, but given the tough stance South County districts took last Friday and the close proximity of the Thanksgiving break, many schools will have a full day. Central Berkshire is probably the likeliest of districts to have a shot at a delay.

We'll probably have one or two more things to say about this minor storm later tonight. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

A Few More Inches On The Way

Keep the shovel handy as a quick burst of snow is likely to happen this evening, giving the Berkshires a 2- to 3-inch blanket of fresh powder.

The snow should start around last this afternoon, and it will be light but steady. Most areas should get two inches but we may see even more in North Berkshire county, where the especially Clarksburg, Florida, North Adams, and the Adams-Cheshire districts could get close to 4 inches.



Because of the light nature of the snow, road crews should have an easy time of clearing the roads before the morning commute. We think most schools will have a full day, but those students in the districts above should keep half an ear open for the robocall Monday morning for a delay.

Enjoy the snow!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Post-Storm Analysis--South County Left in the Lurch

The first storm of 2018-19 is in the books, and the big news was that mid-County and South County schools got shut out, which is odd given this map:

Preliminary snow totals for the Nov. 16 storm.
Because meteorologists were talking for enhanced snowfall of east-facing slopes, we can't believe that Central Berkshire did not call in a snow day. Maybe there was a district-wide professional development day. Someone did report in on Facebook that Pittsfield had an early release scheduled for today, so that ruled them out of getting a two-hour delay. But if the snow totals are accurate in the map above, we would have thought Southern Berkshire and/or Berkshire Hills would have opted for at least a delay.

So, we are feeling your pain, South County, and wish you could have joined North County in its leisurely start to the day. For all of the North County schools that had delays, we had the classic scenario where it was snowing harder in the delayed commute time than it was in the regular start of school commute time window. Please don't email your Superintendent about this--this storm was a hard one to get exactly right.

As for our next storm, we may get some light snow Sunday night, but it sounds like it won't be enough create delays for Monday. We'll monitor it, of course, but if you don't hear from us before then, you'll know the threat passed us by.


Delays and Closings for Friday, November 16

We'll update this list as more school districts make their decision. Any schools that upgrade their delay to a cancellation will be noted in red. Be advised that changes could occur this morning due to heavy bands of snow moving west to east.

TWO-HOUR DELAY:

Adams-Cheshire
BArT
Child Care of the Berkshires
Clarksburg
Emma Willard School
Farmington River RSD
Gabriel Abbott
Hancock
Hoosick Falls CSD
McCann
Mount Greylock RSD (including Williamstown and Lanesborough)
New Lebanon
North Adams
Readsboro
Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union

THREE-HOUR DELAY:

Southern Vermont College

CLOSED:

Bement School
Berkshire Country Day
Berkshire Waldorf HS
Emma Miller
Mohawk Trail RSD

Friday Nor'easter: Morning Report

[Delays and closings below.]

The darned dry slot.

The dry slot we were worried about came to fruition and has kept snow totals down. Only 3" on the ground at the GSD Home Office so far.

A little sleet is mixing in right now in the Berkshires (4:30 AM), but for most locations there is a light drizzle of snow or no precipitation.

You can see the dry slot here from this radar image (4:30 AM). The snow to our west will overspread our area later this morning, giving us 1-2 more inches of snow.

The problem this morning will be that the back part of the storm is going to wrap around and bring us another 1-2 inches of snow...right during the morning commute. Superintendents are in a tight spot. Roads are mostly clear now but they won't be in a few hours, well after they've made their decisions. And you know how well that is going to go over with students and parents if it's snowing during the 7-9 AM window. We do not envy the Superintendents' position here this morning.

We do have some delays and cancellations to report already. We will add to this list as more decisions come in.

TWO-HOUR DELAY:

Clarksburg
Gabriel Abbott
Mount Greylock RSD (including Williamstown and Lanesborough)
North Adams
Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union

CLOSED:

Emma Miller
Mohawk Trail RSD

Thursday, November 15, 2018

November Nor'easter: Evening Report

The words "November" and "nor'easter" don't typically appear side by side, but here we are girding for the first plowable event of the season.

Everything appears on track for a half a foot of snow for all of Berkshire County. It is snowing now throughout the County, and it is starting to accumulate in South County. Conventional wisdom on this storm reveals that the bulk of the 6-8 inches will fall in the first 8 hours of the storm. Whether or not we have snow days or delays depends on what happens after 3 AM.


Three scenarios are all possible:

1) The dry slot pushes into the Berkshires and cuts off precipitation for several hours after 3 AM. Road crews would likely be able to get major roadways clear before it starts snowing again lightly after daybreak.

2) A warm nose of air creeps into the Berkshires, slows precipitation down significantly, but sleet, freezing rain, and/or freezing drizzle coat the existing snow with a .10 of an inch of ice. This scenario would likely create widespread delays, at the very least.

3) It stays colder than expected and we don't get the changeover to ice. It is still snowing lightly at daybreak but several more hours of snow fall are predicted. Widespread delays and snow days ensue.

Thanks to WNYT Albany for the great graphic.
We favor the 2nd option. It's 27 degrees right now at the GSD Home Office and that temp will creep up, eventually getting to 33 degrees around 3 or 4 AM. We think we'll see that period of sleet, which will definitely put a scare in some Superintendents, especially because it's the first snow of the year and people don't have their snow-driving reps in yet.

So, we think over half the schools in Berkshire County will have some kind of shorter day tomorrow with several full snow days upcoming. We may be a bit conservative on this prediction, but that forecasted warm air or dry slot is preventing us from announcing a County-wide snow day. At this point we are not favoring North County or South County with having more or less of a chance for the full snow day. It will be up to the will of your Superintendent.

Friday Nor'easter: Afternoon Assessment

It looks like we're in for a sizable winter storm, but we're low-keying this one because: 1) there's still plenty that can wrong; and 2) it's not a good look to over-react. Let's act like we've done this before, people.

So, yes, we got the vaunted upgrade to the Winter Storm Warning that we were looking for once the 12 PM models were released. Now snow total predictions range between 4 and 10 inches. Expect more snow in the eastern and southern Berkshires and slightly lower amounts in other parts.

Things are looking up for South County.
The timing looks pretty good right now, with our snow window between 6 PM and 1 PM. We always shave off two hours on either end to determine the real time of the storm. If the snow does in fact end at 11 AM, and we get at least 5-6 inches, then it's hard to imagine many districts will be in session on Friday. But it's a big "if" with the threat of sleet and a changeover to plain rain during the morning commute still looming out there in the forecast.

This snow will be an absolute bear to shovel and/or snow blow. Snow-to-liquid ratios may be as low as 6:1, which means it will be a very wet, heavy snow. And if we get a stretch of sleet in there as well, that will make snow removal that much worse. Stretch those lower back muscles before you start!

We'll do one more report in the early evening hours and then it will be wait and see time.

FIrst Storm of the Season -- Midday Report

The one guarantee about this storm is that it will snow. Yay, snow! Glad to have you back. All of Berkshire County will see a fresh blanket of snow by the morning commute.

But here are the big questions for this storm:

*Will it start too soon?
*Will a dry slot keep totals down?
*Will the road crews have time to clean the streets in time for the morning commute?
*Will the back end of the storm necessitate the closing of schools?
*Will the Winter Weather Advisory get updated to a Winter Storm Warning for Northern Berkshire County?

Image courtesy of WNYT Albany

Because we have so many questions with this storm, we are going to keep our prediction where it is: half the schools in the county will have a full day of school; half will have a delay or snow day.

We're are, however, seeing three encouraging signs for wider spread delays and snow days: 1) the storm may not start out as early as forecasters thought; 2) the storm totals are right on the Advisory/Warning edge, so there is a chance a Warning could get announced later today once more runs of the models come in; 3) predictions are coming in for snow rates of at least an inch an hour this evening.

You can see from the map above who is most likely to get the delay or snow day tomorrow--Farmington River, Central Berkshire, Adams-Cheshire are all more likely because the east-facing slopes could get significantly more snow than western portions of the Berkshires. But we all should know by now that any slight shift in the storm track could change the snow totals in this map drastically.

If you really want that three-day weekend, now would be a good time to rehearse your favorite snow dance. We're going to need a little luck to get this storm to cooperate and deliver the 6+ inches we'll need for across-the-board snow days. for the County.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Winter Storm Watch--Thursday Night and Friday (Nov. 15-16)

It's official. We have our first Winter Storm Watch up for the 2018-19 snow season. The NWS is calling for 4-6 inches of snow with some sleet and freezing rain mixed in. The forecasted window for this storm is from 6 PM Thursday through 2 PM on Friday.

While the timing feels pretty darn good, be aware that there could be a dry slot in the middle of the storm that slows down precipitation to a crawl from 2 AM to 8 AM. If this dry slot happens, then road crews should be able to take care of business and allow for the busses to make their ways through the winding roads of the Berkshires during the morning commute.



We'll update throughout the day tomorrow, but the GSD staff is now on board for more widespread delays on Friday and even a cancellation or two. Our best guess right now would be one or two cancellations for the hill towns--Savoy, Florida, maybe even Adams-Cheshire, North Adams, Central Berkshire or Mount Greylock--and the rest of the County school districts will see delays or nothing at all.

We want to get excited about this November storm--who wouldn't love another three-day weekend?--but that threat of a dry slot in the middle of the storm is holding us back from bolder predictions.

The next development to watch for will be to see if the Watch becomes a Warning. If that happens, then we should see cancellations throughout the County for Friday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Wintry Week-ender

Greetings, Flake Followers. Winter is drawing nigh, and it's time to talk about a storm for Thursday night and Friday.

We have a coastal storm that will reach the Berkshires in the evening hours on Thursday. There will be plenty of cold air in place in the Northeast, and we may see snow all the way down to DC, Virginia, and New Jersey from this system on Thursday.

For the Berkshires, right now we're seeing a forecasted snowfall range between 2 and 6 inches by the time it ends on Friday. There is a distinct possibility that it will start as snow, transition to sleet and rain between 2 and 5 AM, and then return back to snow as the storm exists.

Thanks, Accuweather.
For this reason, we think Superintendents should get their protocols in place lest they need to call in a delay on Friday. especially if they run the schools in high elevation towns and in Northern Berkshire county. This is not a blockbuster storm--we don't think it will be a clean sweep for delays for the County--but it's powerful enough to alter the traditional timing of the morning bus runs for some students.

Stay informed. And don't be afraid to follow us on Twitter (@GreylockSnowDa1), Facebook (@GreylockSnowDay), and Instagram (greylock_snow_day).

Monday, November 12, 2018

Wet Snow This Week

As you probably could tell from your weather app, tonight's storm will be mostly rain. You may see a few wet flakes mixed in with the rain, but you'll have to be up very late. The highest elevations in the Berkshires could see an inch or so but that's the most we'll see for this early-in-the-week storm. Much of Vermont and the Adirondacks have a Winter Weather Advisory in place tonight and all day tomorrow.



We are watching a coastal storm for Thursday night into Friday. The timing looks very good, but the temperature will be iffy. Right now it looks like snow initially across most of New England. This storm is starting to get a little buzz going, so we'll monitor it closely.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Possible Storm for November 13

Despite the long-range forecast calling for a mild end of November and December, we are happy to announce the first chance of a plowable snowfall for the season. Yoha!

A sizable storm will be moving up the coast during the day Monday/Monday night and into Tuesday morning. This storm looks like it will bring snow to the northern half of New England. It's also possible that this storm will slip out to sea and graze eastern Mass and Maine, but some forecasters are suggesting that the models are off and a good shot of heavy, wet snow is headed our way. Albany, the Berkshires, the Adirondacks, the Greens, and the Whites would all be in the snow zone for this storm.

We don't want to jack up the hype too much on this storm yet, but you should be aware of this looming chance for measurable snow. It certainly is possible there could be delays on Tuesday, especially if there are power outages from the wet snow, but it's a little too early to start making predictions.

We'll have much more about this developing situation in the next few days. It sounds like this upcoming weekend would be a good time to get the deck furniture in and the snow boats out (the low ones, not the big ones).

This map is from the models that are taking the storm farther to our east than some local meteorologists are now currently predicting. What this map really shows is that there's a lot of moisture with this disturbance. If it hugs closer to the cost, northern New England could be in for a big one early next week.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Winter 2018-19 Outlook

Hello, friendly Followers of the Flake! We are back and better than ever. And we can not wait to see the flakes fly for the 2018-19 winter season. With the unseasonably cold temps we've been seeing this October and with the threat of snow showers in the next week or so, it's high time to get the Greylock Snow Day machine primed, pumped and ready to deliver.

And just a reminder--we are a snow day service. We do the deep dives, pore over the maps, put the ear to the ground and consult the tea leaves so you don't have to it. We watch the weather and then we predict snow days. It's what we do.

So, let's get on with it. What is the 2018-19 season going to bring us?

There's no real way to sugarcoat this, but the forecast is not great for the northeast this winter. It would appear that an El Nino will be in place in the Pacific. Historically, El Nino winters mean a cooler and wetter South and a drier and warmer North. Our proximity to the coast will always put is in the mix for multiple snow storms throughout the winter, but at least in the first half of the winter we are unlikely to see nor'easter after nor'easter after nor'easter the way we did last March.

Here are some long-range maps recently generated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:



It's easy to be discouraged by these maps, but you shouldn't be. So many factors go into long-range predictions that it is easy for several of them to be off, giving us very different winter results 60, 90 and 120 days from now.

GSD thinks that, similar to last winter, we'll start slowly and then the regularity of storms will increase in the second half of winter 2018-19. Despite the cold air we're experiencing right now, we'll see a warming trend for the back half of November and all of December. And then in mid-January you can expect things to look and feel much more like a good, old-fashioned New England winter.

We don't see any measurable snow in the forecast for the next few weeks, but the air will certainly be cold enough for snow in the evening hours in the higher elevations should a weather disturbance pass through our area.

Posts will be intermittent for the next month or so until we start to see real snow threats. Don't forget to check out our Facebook page (@GreylockSnowDay), Twitter feed (@GreylockSnowDa1), and Instagram (greylock_snow_day) for additional content. Feel free to message us with any questions you have. Thanks for reading!






Sunday, April 29, 2018

Last Post of the Season (17-18)...We Hope

It's April 29th and this has to be our last snow alert for the season, right?

The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement warning us about the potential for up to 4 inches of snow in high elevation towns in Northern Berkshire County.

With temps in the mid-30s in most locations and a few degrees colder in places above 2000 feet, we could see a measurable snowfall this evening in a few towns. The roads should be warm enough to prevent the snow from accumulating there, but grassy surfaces could see 2-3 inches of heavy wet snow.

Last map of the season?
Fortunately, because it has been so ridiculously cool this early spring, there are no leaves or buds on trees, so this snow will not lead to downed branches and power outages.

With 70-degree temps expected for the rest of the week, this threat probably will bring with it the last flakes of the season.

It's really been a great snow season, and keep your eyes open for a long-range forecast for 2018-19 at some point this summer.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Ice Storm Alert

Happy Vacation, all you public school folks. You made it.

Unfortunately, we have bad news to kick off the week. We have a Winter Weather Advisory in place for Saturday afternoon and throughout the day on Sunday. There is a chance for up to half an inch of sleet plus an extra layer of freezing rain on top. That's sounds awful.

The good news is that the NWS errs on the side of caution with these kinds of storms, and they miss more often than they hit. Still, it's worth being very aware that driving conditions could be hazardous for a twenty-four period starting tomorrow afternoon. Even if we don't get the ice, we're in store for many hours of cold rain.

Thanks, NWS Albany. This may not look bad, but it could get worse.
Saturday night sounds like a good time to get to that Netflix series you've been holding off on as the roads might not be a lot of fun to drive on.

Hopefully, this mess will miss us, but your radar should be up for slick travel conditions Saturday night and during the day on Sunday.

We'll have more if the forecast takes a turn for the worst.


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Snow For Friday

It's a pretty simple forecast for tomorrow: the further north and higher you go, the more snow you will see. Everyone should see a period of snow in the morning. Lower elevation towns will not see much (if any) accumulation. You might get an inch (or a little more) on grassy surfaces but the roads should be okay.

The eastern hilltowns of the county should see closer to 3 inches, and then the big winners will be Clarksburg, Savoy, and Florida who could see close to 5 inches.

Snow should start between 7 and 10 AM and the changeover to rain will occur for some as early as 1 PM. All in all, it will be wet snow day with some slippery roads in the afternoon and early evening in those aforementioned northern and eastern hilltowns.

Thanks, NWS Albany.
The Sunday storm looks like it is going out to sea, so that's good for those who are anti-winter at this point of the year (justifiably so).

Still, the collective GSD eyeball is wide open and focused on this Monday/Tuesday snow storm. We continue to hear that it will be an all-snow event and the only question is: will it be moderate or heavy snow?

Drive safely tomorrow, and we'll be able tell you more this weekend if there really is a chance for a snow day on Tuesday or not. We're not firm believers yet, but the conditions are too good for us to dismiss it.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Snow Maps For Friday & Sunday

It's highly likely that we'll see enough snow to cover the ground on Friday. The snow should begin around the time of the morning commute and last into the evening hours. There will likely be a changeover to sleet and freezing rain and all rain for the southern portions of Berkshire County at some point in the afternoon or evening.

From our friends at New England Cable News

The ride to school should be fine on Friday, but drivers will need to exercise caution Friday afternoon upon their return. Based on our observations, it's unlikely that any games scheduled for Friday will take place.

The Sunday storm that we briefly mentioned earlier in the day could nudge its way into southern Berkshire county on Sunday morning. This storm has much more energy associated with it, and it does have the potential to blossom into something more potent. At this point we think South County will see a period of snow that melts right away, but the potential for 3-4 inches of wet snow is within the realm of possibility.

 
A glancing blow for South County for Sunday? (NECN)
A more optimistic map for the Sunday storm. (Accuweather)
And if we're going to get one more snow day this winter, it will be Tuesday. The models are now more in agreement, and the timing looks very good for precipitation to begin after midnight on Monday. It's still too early to tell just how much snow we'll get, but enough pieces are in place for a sizable storm.

For those of you who have just about had it with winter in general, the long-range maps are showing a warm-up for the second half of April. When we get back from April vacation, things should look more normal around here for this time of year.

No End In Sight

The week after Easter began with snow and it will end with snow.

Expect a snowy day on Friday. The snow will start too late to impact the length of the school day, but we could see a prolonged period of snow throughout the day and into the evening. Most of us will see the grass get re-covered with snow, but higher elevation towns could see slippery roads by the time of the evening commute. It's quite possible we'll get a Winter Weather Advisory from this Alberta Clipper system.

This map shows a 2-4 snowfall fall for the Berkshires for Friday and Friday night.
And then there's the long-range forecast. A few weather insiders say a coastal storm could graze us Saturday into Sunday. We might see an inch or two, especially in South County.

But the big newsmaker is that the models are showing more substantial coastal storm to hit New England somewhere between Monday night and Wednesday. The models are not in agreement at all about the timing of the storm for next week, but they do seem to agree that this storm will bring moderate or heavy precipitation to our area. Over the weekend will focus more on the midweek storm.

It would not be unprecedented to have a snow day this late in April, but it certainly is unusual. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves, but next week's storm bears watching.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Snowy Commute for Monday?

While things have definitely settled down here at the GSD Home Office, we are still seeing snow in the weather headlines for the next few weeks.

Be aware that a coastal storm could graze southern Berkshire County late tonight into tomorrow morning. We should only see a few inches of snow, if the storm develops the way it is supposed to. It's possible but not likely that our southernmost school districts could see a delay.


After this storm comes through (if it comes through), we are looking at a delightfully dreary stretch of New England April weather. Rain, snow showers, temps in the 40s--just perfect conditions for all those Spring athletes champing at the bit to get their seasons started. The warmest day of the week will be Wednesday (mid and upper 50s) but it will be raining; the driest day of the week should be Thursday but it will be cold (upper 30s).

We might make it all the way to April vacation before we see temps consistently in the 50s.

Keep an eye out for snow tonight, and we'll post and tweet if there are any surprise two-hour delays.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Ice Alert for Wednesday Morning (March 28)

There's no need to rush to the store for extra milk and bread, but you should be aware of the chance for freezing rain and sleet in the Berkshires after midnight.

Precipitation will move in around 3 AM. It will be very light, but the ground might be cold enough to cause some icing.

We do not think school districts will need delays, but the possibility exists.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Light Snow Tonight

The radar sure makes it look like it's going to snow heavily tonight, but the image is deceptive. The snow is having trouble reaching the ground due to the cold air that's in place.

It's snowing in South County, but it's very light. It will slowly and steadily build up over the evening hours and leave 2-3 inches on the ground by daybreak. That is enough for some schools to call in delays. It's possible Southern Berkshire, Berkshire Hills, Richmond, and Farmington River will have delays tomorrow, but we do not think the delay a likely scenario. Full snow days are out of the question.


We're not going to get much of a break from the cold after the storm passes through. Around 40 degrees during the day and into the low 20s at night for the next four days. That's definitely below normal for this time of year.

Check in tomorrow morning to see if there are indeed a few delays.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Downgrade

NWS Albany has downgraded the Winter Storm Watch to a Winter Weather Advisory for southern Berkshire County. Sadly, it looks like this midweek storm is going to track to our south. Connecticut and portions of southeastern Mass will be the big winners, as well as NYC and Long Island.

This turn in the forecast doesn't mean we'll get shut out. We will see several hours of snow in the afternoon Wednesday, making tomorrow evening's ride home dicey. If we end up only getting 2-3" of snow, roads will likely just be wet and not snow-covered tomorrow afternoon and evening.

We're still monitoring this storm, but the reduced snow expectations and general poor timing of the storm mean we are unlikely to see a shortening of the school day either on Wednesday or on Thursday.

And our hopes for nor'easter #5 on Sunday night have taken a hit as that storm is also expected to track out to sea. With temperatures up into the mid-40s by the middle of next week, we may be seeing the end of winter.

If this is the last snow of the season, kick back tomorrow and enjoy it.

Winter Storm Watch (Still) For South County

Portions of eastern Mass will tack on another 12" to their growing March snow total, but it looks like most of Berkshire County will be spared a direct hit.

Forecasters are expecting a very clear cut-off line for significant snow totals and insignificant snow totals. Right now that cut-off line looks to be Great Barrington. We could see 6-8 inches along the Connecticut border and only 1-2" north of Pittsfield. But some weather experts have noted that the model runs are still showing significant variance, so that snow line could move in either direction very easily.

Eh. We've seen better. (Thanks, Channel 6, Albany, for the map.)
So, when is it going to start snowing? Because we really don't know how much snow we're going to get, it's hard to say. We think the first flakes will fall in South County between 9 AM and noon. It's certainly possible, though, that this time window is off by 90 minutes (earlier).

Southern Berkshire, Berkshire Hills, Farmington River and Richmond all have an outside chance for early releases tomorrow. The rest of Berkshire County schools have a chance for delays on Thursday, with better chances south than north.

We'll keep you abreast of any big changes to the storm track as more information rolls in throughout the afternoon.

Despite what the calendar says, it's still winter. Deal with it.

Winter Storm Watch: Southern Berkshire County

The Winter Storm Watch flag is waving over South County this morning. The expectation is for 3-7" inches beginning around 3 AM and lasting until Thursday morning. This storm will be a slow mover.

For the rest of the Berkshires, expect around 3" with maybe just an inch in towns on the Vermont border.

The models are still all over the place with this storm, which makes this storm different from the previous three storms. The heavy snow line could easily move north or south as we learn more about the expected path of the storm.

More details later today about how this storm could impact the length of the school day Wednesday and Thursday.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Increasing Chance for Snow Wednesday

If you want more snow and snow days, keep reading. If your patience is being tested by this very Decembery March, then go forward at your own risk.

Ah, the models. It would be nice if they made up their minds. As of this evening (Monday), the models are showing a more northerly track to the storm. As a result, we have a much better chance of seeing measurable snow on Wednesday.

Expected snowfall totals for Wednesday.

If this storm really ramps up, this is what we'll see. In this case, snow days are possible for Thursday.
NWS Albany is showing a 3-4" snowfall for Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night. Our friends to the east in Hampshire County and to our south in the Nutmeg State have Winter Storm Watches in effect. The potential certainly exists for the Watch area to extend to the Berkshires if forecasters think heavier snow bands will push further north.

Because the temps will remain very close to freezing throughout the day on Wednesday, we should see a period of snow in the afternoon that only sticks on the existing snow, not on the streets. Then, once the temp falls below freezing in the evening, the roads will become slick.

If we get three inches or if we get six inches, we think that road crews will have ample time to clean the streets. Some delays are possible on Thursday, but most students will have a full day of school. That's what we're saying now. Also, we won't be at all surprised if snow totals get bumped up in the next 18 hours or so.

Once we get by this mess, we're presently assessing the possibility of nor'easter #5 for Sunday night into Monday. This storm initially looks more potent than Wednesday's storm.

Good times!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Two (Minor) Storm Threats

As of now, it looks like we might be spared nor'easter #4.

We have two threats this week. The first threat is Monday night into Tuesday, and the models appear to be in agreement that this storm will slide out to sea to our south.

The next potential storm would impact us on Wednesday and possibly impact the school day on Thursday. This storm also appears to be too far to the east to give us snow, but there is a better chance that this storm track changes and brings snow to New England. Even if this storm does come closer to the coast, it might be more of a Maine storm than a Western New England one.

We'll have to see if this area of precipitation grows and moves into New England for Wednesday night/Thursday. We'll know in a day or two.
The reason for these dual storm threats are pieces of energy in the midwest that are trying to feed off of and cooperate with low pressure systems in the south. The last three storms saw good low pressure coordination, which led to blockbuster snow totals.

This week's scenarios just seem too messy for there to be an opportunity for a low pressure system to deepen and grow in intensity. What we want to see is one strong piece of energy from the midwest, but we're seeing the energy diffused among several weaker pieces.

We're definitely keeping an eye on these two storms, especially the Wednesday/Thursday one. The spring high school sports season begins on Monday (which is hard to believe), and we know that coaches will be pleased to see this adjustment to the forecast. However, we caution them not to get too comfortable just yet.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Delays for Thursday, March 15

It's still snowing; the wind is howling; roads are snow-covered; districts are going with delays this morning.

Here's our list:

TWO-HOUR DELAY:

Berkshire Christian
Central Berkshire
Emma Miller
Farmington River
Gabriel Abbott
Housatonic Academy
Pittsfield
Southern Berkshire
Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Winter Storm Warning for Wednesday Night/Thursday Morning

In a surprising development, NWS Albany has announced a Winter Storm Warning for tonight for the Berkshires.

Apparently, the snow will persist and intensify for portions of the evening and early hours of Thursday. The forecast is for 3 to 6 inches of additional snow, with some locations getting 8 inches.

The 7:30 PM radar. Forecasters are concerned about the snow line to our north and west.
If we survived today without too much fuss, then we should be able to survive tomorrow. With the temperature dropping a few degrees in the next few hours, the snow will stick to the roads better, making for slicker conditions.

We really don't think this announcement will amount to that much, snow and road crews should have ample time to deal with it. We'll bump up the Confidence Meter slightly (for delays only), but most students shouldn't be impacted tomorrow.

Best chances for delays will be in high elevation towns and in South County.

We'll run a list in the morning should any schools call in.

Snow Continues: Nor'easter #4 on the Horizon

While the center of the storm swirls over in Nova Scotia, it continues to produce bands of snow from north to south over the Berkshires. The radar shows a lot of moisture still in the atmosphere, so we could definitely pick up a few more inches this evening and in the overnight hours.

Eventually, the snow will taper toward daybreak tomorrow, which means delays are possible but not likely for tomorrow morning.

Many people commented on the fact that the roads were worse today than yesterday. Yes, they were, but main roads were passable as long as people showed some caution. Superintendents may be slightly more attentive tomorrow morning because of complaints about today.

And now this news, which just might put some people over the edge...

We thought storm #3 would bring an end to the storm pattern--usually storms come in waves of three--but storm #4 is right around the corner.

Typically, we do not put too much stock in these types of graphics, but this one from Accuweather (for Williamstown) has raised the GSD Staff's eyebrows.


We're also beginning to see northeast media reporting on the potential for this storm. We're too far out to give any particulars, but you may need to keep the high snow boots handy.

Winter 2017-18--the gift that keeps on giving.

Winter Weather Advisory for Wednesday, March 14

The storm continues, in a way. Wraparound snow will impact Berkshire County throughout the day today. An Advisory has been announced that lasts until 8 PM this evening. We think the bulk of the accumulating snow will wrap up by early afternoon.

Two to five inches is possible today but we should be on the low side of that range. Some of you will see rougher driver conditions this morning than you did yesterday morning, which is cruelly humorous, as we have no delays in Berkshire County today. Southwestern Vermont Supervisory Union does have a one-hour delay.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

March 13 Storm Update

Well, that certainly did not go as planned. The expected 8-10 inches of snow was about half of that, as the bulk of the heavy snow fell in the Connecticut River valley and over in southeast Mass and northeast Connecticut.

The big snow band didn't miss us by much, and it really never came down hard enough for the roads to become too treacherous. Some schools did roll the dice and go with the full day--Pittsfield, Lenox, and Lee among a few others--and their decision proved to work out very well...for administrators.

It's hard to fault Superintendents who called the day off--the forecast was terrible and the radar did appear to support periods of heavy snow throughout the day.

And we're not entirely out of the woods just yet. We're seeing wrap-around snow now and the Berkshires could pick up another 2-3 inches tonight. There is concern that the roads might slick up more as the temps drop below freezing. As a result, delays tomorrow morning are possible but not that likely.

At this point we do not see any more storms in our near future. The most noteworthy aspect of the forecast? It will be very cold on Monday with the high around 25 degrees. That's very cold for this time of year.

Cancellations and Delays: Tuesday, March 13

Very light snow is falling at the GSD Home Office and roads wet but not snow-covered. That will change as impressive bands of moderate and heavy snow are off to our south and southeast and making their way toward Berkshire County. There have been no changes to the Winter Storm Warning.

School districts are calling in snow days. So far, almost 300 schools in the Commonwealth have canceled school for today. That's an impressive tally.

Here's the list, which we will update as the decisions come in:

SNOW DAY:

Adams-Cheshire
BArT
Berkshire Christian
Berkshire Country Day
Berkshire Hills
Berkshire Waldorf
Central Berkshire
Clarksburg
Emma Miller
Farmington River
Gabriel Abbott
Hancock
Lanesborough
Mohawk
Mount Greylock
North Adams
Northern Berkshire Vocational
Readsboro VT
Richmond
Southern Berkshire
Southwest Vermont SU
Stamford VT
Williamstown

EARLY RELEASE:

Hoosick Falls NY

Monday, March 12, 2018

Nor'easter #3: Right On Time

Someone posed the GSD Staff a very legitimate question earlier today: if we took the previous two storms out of the equation, what would the numbers look like on the True North Confidence Meter?

What an excellent question. On its own, this storm would be a slam dunk. Guaranteed delays and 90% confidence for a full snow day.

But we know Superintendents are feeling the strain. A snow day tomorrow means several school districts are going into the week of June 25th (Monday). They really don't want to do it, which means the Superintendent part of the equation looms very large.

Here's what we like about this storm: The timing is outstanding. And here's a direct quotation from NWS Albany about the morning commute:
This snowfall will make for a slow and slippery commute on Tuesday
morning, which is unfortunately when snowfall rates (one half to
three-quarters of an inch per hour) look to be in place across
our area.
That's moderate snow at the time buses are rolling. That's reason #1 why we think everyone will at least have a delay tomorrow.

And here's the latest snowfall prediction map from our friends at NWS Albany:



These maps have consistently shown between 7 and 11 inches of snow for the last three days. Earlier this morning this map showed a 7-inch storm for the Berkshires; we like the upward trend of this most recent version. If this map proves to be true, nearly everyone will be enjoying the day off from school.

Other than the Superintendent factor, the only other piece of information that's scary about this storm is that the cut off on the western edge will be severe. This means that Springfield could get a foot and the Berkshires could get 2-3 inches. Or, the Berkshires could get a foot, and Albany will see only a few inches. Forecasters we respect think that enough moisture will push far enough west for moderate to heavy snow in the Berkshires, but just how far west that western edge is is a concern.

Last Wednesday night we had a late night freakout about the western edge of the storm; we thought the storm was going to come to a rapid close and rob of us our Thursday snow day. That proved to be unfounded. But because this storm is slightly further to the east, there is a chance we could be left out of the major swath of snow.

Officially, we think that it will be the rare school that does not call in at least a delay for tomorrow. In fact, 144 schools in Massachusetts have already called off school for tomorrow (as of 5: 30 PM). Best bets for snow days in the Berkshires are for North County schools as well as Hancock, Central Berkshire, Savoy, and Farmington River.

Under most circumstances, we would see Superintendents call in their decision tonight on a storm of this magnitude, but their reluctance to grant another snow day means most of us will have to wait until tomorrow morning to find out.

The running list will begin later tonight or bright and early tomorrow morning.


Maps!

Here are some midday maps for your perusal. Some of these are overcooked. We're likely to get 6-8 inches of fresh powder when it's all said and done.

Superintendents are really going to be reluctant to call in a snow day tomorrow, but NWS Albany is reporting that the time of the heaviest snow for the Berkshires will be during the morning commute.

The royal blue/pink/red is a lot to process. Great numbers but unsettling visually.

Standard fare from Channel 13. Soothing. Purple works better than royal blue.

Lazy.

It's always nice when Boston acknowledges the existence of Western Massachusetts. This favorable map is from Matt Noyes of New England Cable News. 

Upgrade: Winter Storm Warning

The snow is on its way. We do have a few reservations about this storm, but forecasters are expecting 6-9" for the Berkshires starting around midnight tonight and lasting throughout the day on Tuesday.

The timing could not be any better. If the forecast is off in a negative way, we'll still see 2-3". If it's off in a positive way, we'll see over a foot.

Here's our favorite forecast map:


These totals are not overwhelming, and we expect there will be several more tweaks to the snow maps as forecasters get a better understanding of the track of the storm (as is always the case).