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:


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


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
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.


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


Southern Vermont College


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.


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


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.