Thursday, January 31, 2019

Freeze Delays, Friday Edition [UPDATED]

Minus 4 at the Home Office. Freeze Delays have been announced the following schools and districts:


Berkshire Hills
Central Berkshire
Farmington River
Gabriel Abbott Memorial
Housatonic Academy
Mt. Greylock Regional
North Adams
Richmond Consolidated
Southern Berkshire Regional
Stamford VT

**Childcare of the Berkshires (Open Regular Hours; transportation 2-hour delay)**


Berkshire Waldorf

Wind Chill Advisory Extended to Friday

Today's widespread closing and delays due to cold temperatures have caused us at GSD to recalibrate our formula for predicting Freeze Days. There is no question the national news cycle and its predictions about once-in-a-lifetime low temperatures in the Midwest had a spillover effect on the skin thickness of our beloved Superintendents and bus company operators.

[It's taking all of our strength to not be that guy. You know that guy. That neighborhood old guy who has a "Back In My Day" tattoo.]

So let's move on to Friday morning. Tomorrow morning will be slightly warmer--temps around 0 for most Berkshirites--but the breeze will make it feel 6-8 degrees colder than that. Given that forecast, we can't rule out a few delays tomorrow. Even though these are essentially the exact words we wrote yesterday around this time, we really mean it this time.

What about a real snow storm? you might ask. When is that going to happen? As we look into our meteorological crystal ball, we do not like what we are seeing. Temps are going to zoom all the way into the 50s by Tuesday before coming back down to the 20s by the weekend. If we're going to get a delay next week, it will be on Friday. The chance for a snow day next week is somewhere between 0 and 1 percent.

February vacation is only 11 school days away. We will likely get shut out next week, but during the week of the 11th we will see colder temperatures and an above average chance for precipitation as we get closer to the break.

We'll run a delay list if and when those calls come in.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Freeze Days and Delays

[updated a 6:49 AM]


Berkshire Waldorf HS
Central Berkshire
Emma Miller Memorial
Gabriel Abbott Memorial
Housatonic Academy
Mount Greylock Regional
North Adams
Northern Berkshire (McCann)
Pine Cobble


Berkshire Country Day
Berkshire Hills
Farmington River Regional
Richmond Consolidated
Southern Berkshire
Stamford VT


Child Care of the Berkshires (and no transportation)

Snow Squalls Today

Later today, keep an eye out for high winds and band of intense snow squalls. This is a strong line of snow and could dump a quick 2 inches on Berkshire County some time between 3 and 5 PM.

And we'll just have to see about Freeze Delays tomorrow. After today's disappointing results, we're not feeling as optimistic. Temps will definitely be below zero, and it will be breezy. Some schools will opt for the delay, but we don't think we'll see a county-wide clean sweep. So much of this decision depends on the bus company and if it thinks its buses will need more time.

Squalls are coming.

Snow Ending; Deep Cold Edges Closer; Delay Updates

A few snow showers are lingering, but the storm is essentially over. Temps will fall throughout the day today, eventually bottoming out around -5 for most folks tomorrow morning. The wind will kick up as well making for a most unpleasant start to the day.

We have just a few delays for schools in and around Berkshire County this morning

TWO-HOUR DELAY [updated 5:31 AM]

Farmington River
Hoosick Falls, NY
Mohawk Trail
New Lebanon, NY

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Snow Has Arrived (Evening Report)

The forecast is still essentially the same for this moderate Winter Storm, and we're still on track for half a foot in the Berkshires. Moderate snow has overspread the area (as of 6 PM). Unfortunately, the storm is expected to come to a close around 2 or 3 AM. Unless we get some very heavy bands of snow--the 1- to 2-inch per hour bands--we'll stay on the low end of the predicted snowfall total and end up with 6-7 inches.

Image courtesy of NWS Albany.
We know you want a snow day tomorrow--and it will be snowing hard when you go to bed tonight--but road crews are going to have time to get on the roads hours before the morning commute. However, a complicating factor for tomorrow are snow squalls, which will form as the storm departs our region, But we probably won't see those squalls until later in the morning. Alas, travel from 7 AM to 9 AM will be slow but the roads will be passable.

So, we think about 40% of students will get to enjoy a late start tomorrow. Likely candidates: North County schools along the Vermont border, Central Berkshire, and Farmington River. Schools in higher elevation towns and those in the eastern part of the Berkshires should see more snow, thus they will have a better chance at a delay. We also can not rule out 1 or 2 full snow days due to extenuating circumstances. And many schools in Southern Vermont will have full snow days.

We like your style, Channel 6 Albany!
We'll have our list running early tomorrow. Tonight the Staff's computers will be shutdown for a few hours for regularly schedule maintenance--access to GSD will not be affected--and then we'll be back up and running again by about 10 PM should there be any breaking weather news.

Winter Storm Warning for Tuesday, Jan. 29

We have gotten the upgrade to a Winter Storm Warning, but that is not going to lead to a boost in the True North Confidence Meter.

We can not emphasize enough how completely terrible the timing of this storm is. It will arrive too late to necessitate early releases, and it will finish too early to impact the school day Wednesday. This is a 12-hour event, and while the snow will come down moderately for many of those hours, road crews will have more than enough time to clear off roads for most school districts by the start of the morning commute.

We will still see a few delays, but more students will be in school for a full day on Wednesday than those with a late start.

After school activities will likely be cancelled today. Image courtesy of NWS Albany.
If anything changes, we'll let you know.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Plowable Snow on Tuesday, Jan. 29th

The Winter Storm Watch is still in effect for North and South County from tomorrow afternoon to Wednesday morning, even though the storm will long be over by the morning commute on Wednesday.

We were hoping for the upgrade to the Winter Storm Warning, but some of the models showed lower-than-anticipated liquid precipitation forecasts for our area. Of course we are holding out hope that Berkshire weather headlines go from -TCH to -RNING after the next run of the models later tonight. Our friends in the Adirondacks and Bennington County did get the Warning upgrade, so we're at least in the ballpark.

Not that it matters that much for cancellations and delays because the timing on this one is el stinko. It will likely start after school tomorrow and finish up by 3 or 4 AM on Wednesday. A big hearty "boo" to that.

So, the Staff is not feeling great about this storm. In fact, if we were betting people, and we had to pick Wednesday or Thursday as the better chance for a delay, we would go with Freeze Delay on Thursday. We are definitely not ruling out delays on Wednesday--especially for those schools in higher terrains--but this is not a (fairly) predictable nor'easter-type of storm.

Here are a couple of maps showing the slightly lower confidence with this storm than we saw this morning:

Image courtesy of WRGB Albany.

Image courtesy of WNYT Albany.

Winter Storm Watch: Tuesday/Wednesday (Jan 29-30)

Overnight, the National Weather Service announced a Winter Storm Watch for the Berkshires and surrounding areas, especially to our north and northeast.

The current expected onset is around 1 PM Tuesday, and the storm should end around 4 AM Wednesday. Potentially, say the experts, we will see 6 to 10 inches of snow. The Berkshires would be on the lower end of that prediction, especially in South County.

We don't like the timing of this storm one bit, but we do like the more aggressive number of inches predicted to fall.

We'll check in with our usual cast of knowledgeable types throughout the day and deliver a more complete report in the early afternoon. But here's one map to feast on in the interim.

Image courtesy of NWS Albany.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Active Week Ahead: Snow and Cold

This week will be a lively one with snow and a deep drop in temperatures expected to descend upon the Berkshires.

Tuesday will be the snowiest day of the week. The timing and the predicted snowfall totals do not appear to be conducive to school closings, but we are holding out hope that the length of the school day will be impacted in some way, shape or form. Light snow should begin falling in the morning on Tuesday, and then heavier snow comes down later in the afternoon and early evening. We're not talking about a lot of snow here--unless the storm gains more strength as it deepens off the coast.

If we're on the low side, will see 2-4 inches; if it strengthens we'll see 6-8 inches, especially north of Pittsfield. Still, the timing is not ideal and road crews would have ample time to clear up the highways and byways by Wednesday morning. We might see a few delays on Wednesday but that's about the size of it. What's more likely to happen is after school activities will be cancelled for Tuesday.

Image courtesy of Accuweather.
Right after the Tuesday storm, we'll be in wait-and-see mode on Thursday morning for Freeze Delays. Brutally cold air will overspread the Berkshires on Wednesday night, and we'll be well below zero for the Thursday commute. Conditions will be very similar to our most recent Freeze Delay (last Tuesday) so, logically, we should see many delays.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Delays for Friday, Jan. 25

Another dicey morning for Berkshire County buses is on tap. for Friday With the heavy rain today and subsequent changeover to snow, there are many icy patches out there and some schools may need to delay the start of school. We don't think delays will be the norm, but a few more schools may call in.

Here's the latest:


Gabriel Abbott Memorial

We are looking closely at two storms for next week. One could hit Tuesday/Wednesday and the other will arrive at the end of the week. The second storm might not impact any school days, but we're going to monitor both storms intently.

Delays for Thursday, Jan. 24

Temperatures have not risen as high as expected, and many low-lying areas are seeing patches of ice. As a result, a few districts and schools have called in delays this morning.


Housatonic Academy
Richmond Consolidated
Southwest Vermont SU

We might see a changeover to snow later this afternoon, which could give us a quick inch or so, and then the temps will drop below freezing, which could make for slick conditions Friday morning. Drive safely out there--today is a mess.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Winter Weather Advisory for Wednesday, Jan. 23

As is usually the case, the freeze day snuck up on us, and many Superintendents and Principals made the call to delay the start of school or, in the notable case of Pittsfield, cancel for the day. We thought that there would be a delay or two, but to see 75% of the County start late or close was surprising.

It was very cold out there, but as a society we are becoming more and more cautious about these kinds of weather events. The more information we have, the more risk averse we are becoming.

Superintendents do not have to wait long to make another weather-related decision. NWS Albany has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for tomorrow. Temps did not get up to 20 today, as was forecasted, so enough cold air will be in place to cause ice tomorrow when the next weather system rolls into Berkshire County.

Fortunately for Superintendents, the timing of the WWA is between 9 AM and 6 PM. Some schools may have to cancel after school activities if the sleet and freezing rain holds on through the afternoon, but the GSD Staff thinks the changeover to plain ol' rain will occur before the release of the afternoon buses. Driving in higher elevation towns could be tricky tomorrow afternoon, so take it slow in those places that are slow to warm up.

Temps right now (early evening Tuesday) are as low as they are going to get for the next three and half days. We are forecasted to shoot way up into the mid 40s tomorrow and even hit 50 on Thursday before the cold air creeps back in and returns us to our normal (for this time of year) mid/high 20s on Friday. We could see a brief period of snow midday on Thursday as the rain tapers and the cold air seeps in.

Forecast map for early next week (Monday through Wednesday). The blue represents between .5 and .75 inches of liquid, which would mean about a 6-9 inch snowfall. Light blue is 9-12 inches.

We still have our feelers out for a big storm early next week. The weather pattern is much more complicated for next week, which is why the models have not come to a consensus as they did with this past weekend's storm. Enough pieces are in place to give us a coastal storm/nor'easter, but we wouldn't put a lot of stock in that prediction right yet. Many things need to fall into place for that to happen.

If a big storm does happen, it should occur on either Monday or Tuesday (or both) of next week. And we'll be continuing to monitor it so you don't have to.

Freeze Delays -- Tuesday, Jan. 22

It's a balmy -6 degrees at the GSD Home Office this morning.

TWO-HOUR DELAY [updated 6:07AM]

Adams-Cheshire Regional
BART Charter
Central Berkshire
Childcare of the Berkshires (centers will open on time but buses will be on a two-hour delay)
Farmington River
Gabriel Abbott Memorial
Mohawk Trail Regional
Mount Greylock Regional
New Lebanon
North Adams
Richmond Consolidated
Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union


Berkshire Christian
Berkshire Waldorf
Emma Miller Memorial

Monday, January 21, 2019

Freeze Delays for Tuesday, Jan. 22


So now that the big (semi-) storm has passed, it's time to focus on weathermakers that could impact the length of our school day. And it looks like we need to look no further than tomorrow morning.

Freeze delays are in play for several districts tomorrow morning. With the forecast for subzero temps and gusty winds still in the forecast, waiting for buses will be uncomfortable. Several districts have already called in delays for Tuesday, which we will continue to monitor this evening and tomorrow morning.

As for actual snow and ice, it looks like we'll just miss with a mostly rainstorm on Wednesday/Thursday, but then there is lots of meteorological chatter about a big coastal event somewhere in the January 27-30 window. All the long-range models are telling the weather experts that we're in an active storm period, and the cold should persist through the end of February. We're guessing that February will be the big snow month of the season, but the end of January could be very active.

We'll update the delays for tomorrow as they come in.

TWO-HOUR DELAY [updated 7:20 PM]

Adams-Cheshire Regional
BART Charter
Central Berkshire
Childcare of the Berkshires (centers will open on time but buses will be on a two-hour delay)
Emma Miller Memorial
Farmington River
Gabriel Abbott Memorial
Mohawk Trail Regional
Mount Greylock Regional
North Adams
Richmond Consolidated
Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union

Friday, January 18, 2019

Map-o-Ganza! (Jan. 19)

Kudos to reader Sarah Thurston Housman's "Baby Shark" comment on Facebook for this menacing beauty by Henry Margusity. Doo doo doo doo doo, indeed. We will be swimming in snow come Sunday.

Twelve to eighteen is acceptable, but 14 to 24 inches? Come on, Channel 13, you're better than that. Imagine if GSD threw out a 0 to 10 inch prediction; you would not stand for it. And that bottom right corner is just plain lazy.

Channel 7 gets either the "Trying Too Hard Award" or "Not Trying Enough Award." In lieu of predictions numbers: Green--this is what you get for owning beach front property and having amazing summers. Off-white--Hire someone to clean off your snow--you can afford it. Light blue-- Light blue, light snow, light night. Blue--This is Patriots Country--Go Pats!; Pink--The trendy choice for moderate snow. Orange--Sound the alarm, raid to the grocery store, hide the children and small pets--we're going to need a bigger refrigerator!

The difference between this map from Channel 5 and Channel 7's map is the difference between a paid and an unpaid intern.

The individual progressions makes a certain amount of sense--purple to pink, pink deep red/maroon--but taken as a whole this map is tough on the eyeballs The numbers, though, are appealing, which is redeemable.

The Weather Channel. The Crown Jewel of weather map artistry. So many layers and subtleties. Logical and graceful. Magnifique! (And the the 2-3 feet prediction isn't bad either!)

Bring on the Storm

No news is bad news this morning. No delays or cancellations. The cold air mass was just too much for this weak little system. We may get a few snow showers and dusting this morning, but it won't amount to much and should not impede the ride home from school.

The only thing left to do is get excited for the big storm. Many events that were planned for Sunday have been cancelled, and that's the right call. Buckle up, it's going to be a big one.

Storm start times, per NWS Albany.

Map-o-Ganza will come out later this morning.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Winter Storm Watch for Saturday (Jan. 19)

All of the noise about the big weekend storm is drowning out tomorrow morning's possible delay producer, but that's not a terrible thing as this minor system seems to losing some of its steam as it inches toward the Berkshires out of the Ohio Valley.

We still may see a 1 or 2 inches by Friday morning, but the chance that it gives us 4 inches is dwindling. As we said yesterday, the cold air will make it hard for the moisture to get to the ground, and there isn't much liquid to work with anyway. So...we're not as pumped about widespread delays as we were earlier in the week.

The X factor tomorrow is the mindset of your Superintendent. Many Supers in the northern part of the County caught a lot of heat for last Wednesday's debacle (no fault of their own). The timing and the high rate of snow fall smack dab during the morning commute really made making the right call almost impossible. So, a few Supers may still be reeling from that episode and take a more delay-friendly approach. But it will still need to be snowing between 4 AM and 6 AM for that to happen and right now that's a definite maybe.

In other news you probably have heard about...a Winter Storm Watch was posted this morning for the weekend blockbuster. The Berkshires, especially North County, could be in the jackpot zone for this storm. Someone in New England is going to get 2 feet from this storm, and it could be us. We do not recommend you make any travel plans for Sunday.

As for timing, look for light snow around 5 PM on Saturday and then it's just going to pick up in intensity and finally let up late in the afternoon or early evening on Sunday. A tidy but powerful 24-hour storm. Sleet may mix in midday on Sunday.

Cleaning up all the snow is going to be made even more miserable because of the brutally cold temps on the back end of this storm. The high on Monday will be in the low single digits with some folks in the County not getting above 0 for the day. Throw in a steady 15-20 MPH wind and you have yourself dangerous conditions for warm-blooded mammals to be outside.

Here are some fun maps to tide you over until tomorrow's Map-o-Ganza. And tomorrow we'll be running the ol' GSD Delay and Cancellation list should we hear of any.

Image courtesy of Henry Margusity's Weather Madness blog.
NWS Albany

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Storms Still On Track

The good news is there really isn't much new news. We're not seeing too much variance in the model runs from the last few days. This high level of model agreement is unusual and is often indicative of a sure-bet snow storm.

Sadly, though, our snow totals are down for our Friday morning event. Grrr. The cold air will limit the moisture in a big way so we may get 3 inches at most for Friday morning. That's still enough for many delays for Friday--especially because the timing is so good--but we're not as excited as we were, say, yesterday.

Not going to lie--we do not like this map (for Friday morning). But thanks anyway, NWS Albany.
The big storm this weekend should be a big storm. We may see light snow as early as noon on Saturday, and it will be light until Saturday evening. The first part of the storm will bring heavy snow Saturday night, then as the low pressure systems combine and re-form off the coast, we will see more heavy snow with sleet and even freezing rain mixing in during the day on Sunday. Snow totals will be high with this storm even with the sleet and freezing rain. If the storm tracks more to our east, which is a possibility, we'll see all snow.

We think this map is just a tad ambitious, but it's only one weather outlet's perspective.

Hold on to your hats. Image courtesy of Weather Underground.
Many more details to follow tomorrow about Friday morning and the weekend's storm track and timing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Doubling Trouble

Greetings, Flake Followers. It's good to be a winter enthusiast this week. The mopey GSD Staff is finally emerging from their zombie-like states and studying models, checking temperatures, and generally getting work done. It's good to see the office busy again!

Only good news to report this evening. We still are feeling very bullish about the Friday morning delay scenario. Given how challenging the morning commute was for many school districts last Wednesday (mostly in the northern half of the county and in high elevation towns), Superintendents might be much quicker to record that robocall message this time around. NWS Albany is forecasting 4 inches for Berkshire County with just about perfect timing. We're still 60 hours away, but if the forecast holds, we'll see many delays on Friday.

Delays on Friday if this map is accurate. (NWS Albany)
The weekend storm is still showing up in the models. The predicted track did bump to the west, which could introduce sleet and freezing rain into our area, which would keep snow totals down and make snow removal by shovel most unpleasant. The one really good sign we're seeing is the predicted amount of precipitation. Right now the models are consistently showing between 1 and 2 inches of liquid. If we plug that into our 10 snow inches for every 1 inch of liquid formula, we end up with easily the biggest storm of the season.

We're definitely still bitter about this big fella falling on the weekend, but beggars will not be choosers in mid-January of 2019. As for timing, Sunday looks like a terrible day for any kind of travel in New England. Saturday should be fine for most of the day, as the storm won't start until very late in the afternoon at the earliest.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Buzz, Buzz

One big reason you're hearing so much about the weekend snow storm already is that for the first time this season, the predictive models were all more or less in agreement about the threat for snow on Saturday/Sunday. There was definitely spread in the amount of snow (and rain) the models were predicting, but the Euro and the North American were on board for a significant snow event.

Fun fact: we have a shot at a delay on Friday before the big weekend snow storm (more about that below). A minor storm will impact our area late Thursday night and early Friday morning. The timing could be perfect for this one and produce several delays despite the relatively low snow total expected from this quick hitter. We definitely need to keep an eye on this one the models might be underselling its potential.

As for the big weekend snowmaker, of course it's going to unleash its fury on Berkshire County. It's just our luck this season that the biggest snow event will fall on a three-day weekend. That's just perfect, especially with people planning weekend getaways and many college students heading back to school this weekend. Schools not already in session will have to consider opening dorms up early if the current forecast stays on track.

The determining factor for this storm for us will be its track. The moisture will be there for us, but if it tracks too far to the west, our snow totals could stay down. If it tracks just to our east, we will hit the jackpot. Speaking of jackpots, here's a hype-inducing forecast map for you:

Image from Henry Margusity of Weather Madness website.
Expect many different shifts in the forecast over the next few days. At this point, though, the GSD Official Position is that we will have a 70% chance for a foot of snow this weekend.

Get the shovels, sleds, skis and tubes ready because they could all be useful come Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Major Storm Buzz

The first major storm of 2019 may be just around the corner.

You're going to begin to hear a ton of buzz about a major winter storm for the upcoming weekend very soon, if you haven't already heard about it. (If you're up-to-date on our Instagram, then you know that the internet weather websites are already predicting big snow for next weekend.)

We were in the same position last weekend, and obviously a major winter storm did not pan out for New England today. But there was a major winter storm for the Midwest and mid-Atlantic states (on-going), so at least the models were right on some level.

We love the early runs of the models because they are absolutely all over the place. One map has us getting 33 inches of snow. One shows 17 inches (see below). Another shows an all rain scenario.

We like this map A LOT. Courtesy of Henry Margusity. 
Because the storm is six days away, we're not committing to any prediction at the moment--especially because it doesn't involve a snow day--but you should be attuned to the possibility of a major winter event starting next Saturday. And you should definitely be skeptical as well. Even though this next storm seems to have a lot more going for it in terms of its intensity, we haven't really been blessed this winter (like we were last March) so that run of bad luck could certainly continue.

Regardless of how it turns out, at this early juncture you are up to speed on this developing weather situation. And if it does snow, it will be a Saturday/Sunday event.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Quiet And Cold Week Ahead

That big storm we were hoping for on Sunday is going to happen. Unfortunately, it is going to do all of its damage to our south. We might see a few clouds from this big storm, but no snow is expected for the weekend. The Midwest, the Appalachians, and the Virginia/DC area will all be the big winners this weekend.

You probably noticed how darn cold it is. And it is going to stay cold this week, setting up excellent pond skating conditions. Sunday looks like a great day to dust off the ol' skates and get some outdoor exercise. As the week goes along, the temps will start to moderate, but in general we'll be below historical averages this week with the cold.

As for the good stuff--the white stuff--we won't see any of it until maybe at the end of the week. A few minor disturbances are expected to infiltrate our area starting on Friday with minor accumulating snow showers and periods of snow during the weekend. It's much too early to know if Friday morning's commute to school will be impacted so don't waste any mental energy thinking about it.

Close but no cigar. (image courtesy of Accuweather)

If you have friends in the areas above, live vicariously through them this weekend.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Delays and Closings for Wednesday, Jan. 9

[Updated Early Release and Closing list below -- 8:37 AM 1/10]

We have a mostly wet mess on our hands this morning. Temperatures did not drop as fast as expected overnight, and the period of rain has lasted all the way to this morning. But wet snow is starting to mix in and will eventually lead to some accumulation by noon today. Due to the nature of this storm, higher elevation towns will be the big winners.

NWS Albany is calling for a snowy day in the Berkshires.
Interestingly, NWS Albany has bumped our snow totals for North and South County. The prediction is now for 4-7 inches in the North and 2-6 inches in the South. If we get those wraparound upslope snows, which is in the process of happening, we should at least get to the bottom end of those predictions. This morning we think the roads during the high school run of buses could be starting to slick up, and the ride to elementary school might be more problematic, especially in the northern half of the county.

Despite the warm temperature, we do have a few delays and cancellations to report:


Berlin (NY)
Brunswick (NY)
Burr and Burton
Hoosick Falls (NY)
Southwest Vermont SU


Mount Greylock 10:45

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Winter Weather Advisory for Wednesday, Jan. 9

Usually we get all bubbly about an upgrade from nothing to a Winter Weather Advisory, but these WWAs haven't been yielding much fruit lately. So, we are reporting that an Advisory has been posted for Northern Berkshire county only.

Rain is currently falling (6:30 PM) but this piece of the storm will come to an end soon. We will be precipitation free for a few hours while the temperature starts to nose downward. After midnight we could see more rain then sleet then finally all snow. Hopefully, it will be snowing when Superintendents hit that snooze button around 4 or 4:30 AM tomorrow. And if that happens, then we might see delays for several schools, as the snow is forecasted to last throughout the morning.

So you're saying there's a chance.
This winter has featured a decided North County bias so we don't expect any delays or snow days in South County again with this storm. The districts closest to the Vermont border will have the best chances for delays, and we could even see Central Berkshire get into the mix because of its location on the east facing slopes of the Berkshires. Places like Adams and Cheshire and Hancock could see as much as 6 inches when it all comes to an end later in the day.

Our hope tomorrow, which we wrote about earlier today, as that we get those upslope snows going from the storm exiting to the Gulf of Maine. That would simply be good for the soul even if it doesn't yield a snow day or delay.

We do think the chance for delays is higher than today's chance. We also could see a renegade snow day caller-inner tomorrow. We'll run our list as usual early in the AM should we need to report anything noteworthy.

Snow For Wednesday; Frigid End of the Week

The timing of these two early-week storms just isn't working out for us. The snow and freezing rain came through too quickly today, and tomorrow it looks like the snow won't kick in until after the high school runs of the buses. And don't even start thinking about an early release unless the NWS suddenly calls for a Winter Storm Warning for Wednesday, which is highly unlikely.

But there is a chance we could get a sneaky 3-5 inches of snow tomorrow. We have a classic set-up where a low pressure system exits to our east and pulls moisture and cold air from the north over the Berkshires. We've written about this scenario before where a lake effect-like setup occurs and we get what is called upslope snow all day (even though it comes out of the north). Watch this video from Boston meteorologist Dave Epstein. It shows perfectly how we might be in for a full day of light and, at times, moderate snow if the snow pump really gets cranked up. We're not saying it is going to happen, but we should be prepared in case it does. The best case scenario would be a Winter Storm Watch out of this exiting storm.

Even if it does snow all day tomorrow, the only fallout would be practices, rehearsals, and games cancelled Wednesday night.

As for the weekend nor'easter, we're seeing a wide range of possibilities with up to a foot in a few models and a complete bust from many models. It's a little early in the week for the classic windshield wiper effect--storm predicted (a week away), storm predictions fizzle (3-4 days before), storm predicted again (36 hours before)--so if we were betting people, we'd say that the storm is an underdog at this point in the proceedings.

Enjoy this relatively mild day because it will be frigid later in the week. Highs in the teens on Friday!

Delays for Tuesday, Jan. 8

The storm slid through a little faster than anticipated, and road crews were out early to take care of the little snow that did fall. While we may see a few snow showers here and there this morning and possibly some freezing drizzle, the bulk of the precipitation has come to an end. Just a few schools have called in delays:


Gabriel Abbott
Mohawk Regional

Tomorrow presents an interesting set-up with light snow predicted for much of the day. We're not sure it's going to start early enough for delays or snow days, but we'll be monitoring it and report out later this afternoon.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Winter Weather Advisory for Tuesday Morning

Just an update to let you know that NWS Albany has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the morning commute tomorrow. An enhanced ice threat has moved us into the WWA, and we've gone ahead and raised the chances for delays tomorrow a few clicks.

The Advisory is for the entire county. Ice is very hard to predict. If we get lucky, we'll see several delays for districts tomorrow. If we don't, a full day of school will be in store for all. If there are delays, we'll run those here tomorrow morning as soon as the calls come in.

See today's earlier post about this week's active weather pattern, but signs are showing up that tomorrow night's snowfall might be more enhanced than we thought a few hours ago. Here's NWS Albany's latest snow projection through Wednesday evening (which includes tonight/tomorrow morning's expected snowfall of 1"):

Check in tomorrow for more developments including updated info about the weekend storm.

Delay Threats Early This Week; Big Snow Sunday?

Inch by inch we're making progress toward a "real winter." We have two minor disturbances to contend with early this week and then possibly a major disturbance for the weekend.

Not one but two chances for delays exist this week. Both would be in the low probability category, as there isn't much moisture to work with. The first chance comes Tuesday morning as snow will move into the Berkshires in the early morning hours and should still be coming down during the morning commute. We're only looking at 1-2 inches, so a Superintendent will have to be very cautious to want to take away precious classroom time for such a minor snow event. Schools in the northern half of the county have a better chance for delays as this storm will impact counties to our west and north in a much more significant manner.

"Storm" might be too strong a word for this minor disturbance.

We have a slightly better chance for delays on Wednesday because more snow is expected. A low pressure system is supposed to strengthen off the coast of New England tomorrow night. There could be enough wrap-around energy to give us heavy snow periods late on Tuesday night, totaling up to 3 inches for the Berkshires, especially in higher terrain. There are a lot of ifs with this storm, so again we don't think there will be many, if any, delays on Wednesday morning, but the chance exists only if the best case scenario develops. Again, North County schools' chances are greater than South County schools' for two-hour delays.

But all the buzz this week will be about a Sunday nor'easter. The North American model is predicting it, but the European is less certain. Typically, the Euro does a better job so we really must caution you not to get too excited about a big storm, even though some runs of the NA model are showing a foot for the Berkshires. Many pieces of energy need to click into place for us to get "the big one" we've been craving for the last few months.

Let's see how we make out over the next few days before we get too excited about a storm for Sunday, especially because the Sunday storm will likely be over before Monday and won't yield snow days.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Winter Weather Advisory for Saturday Morning; Tuesday Storm Fizzling

It's getting busier around these parts, and unsettled weather will dominate the headlines for the next few weeks and, hopefully, on into the end of January. Unfortunately, we do not have any big storms in the immediate forecast. Yes, this means Tuesday's storm will fail to materialize.

First things first. We have a Winter Weather Advisory for the first half of Saturday. We may see some freezing rain in the morning before a change to all rain by noon tomorrow. We think NWS Albany is being cautious with this one, but slippery roads could slow you down if you have early morning errands or travel plans.

Saturday looks to be one of those wet and cold and unpleasant winter days where indoor sports, games, and activities are the way to go. Catch a movie (we recommend Green Book), binge a show (The Good Place is kind of fun if you haven't hit it yet), play a game (who doesn't love Rat-a-Tat Cat?).

Tuesday's storm does not appear that it wants to cooperate. The two energy systems that we needed to phase together apparently want to stay apart. Alas, we will not be getting a snow day on Tuesday as there simply will not be enough moisture to generate enough snow. Oh, we'll still see snow on Monday night and we could see some squalls on Tuesday, but it will be very light and could change over to rain at some point.

We're terribly sorry to report this news. But do not despair. We think much bigger and better storms are headed our way for the middle and end of January.

Drive safely in the morning tomorrow. We'll monitor the early week messiness, and we're keeping an eye on a storm for next weekend as well.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Snow Tonight and Early Next Week

Signs are afoot that we may be turning the corner. While an end-of-the-week big storm did not materialize, we do have some snow on the way this evening that has a very small chance of impacting the morning commute tomorrow.

Bennington County has a Winter Weather Advisory in place for this evening for elevations over 1200 feet. This means that North County school superintendents should at least be aware that snow will fall for several hours in the early morning hours. While there is not much moisture with this storm, some locations along the Vermont border could see 2-3 inches. If the timing is right and road crews (literally) sleep on this storm, we could see a few delays. The usual suspects--Adams/Cheshire, North Adams, Mount Greylock, Savoy, Florida, Southwest Vermont SU--have a much better chance for delays than any district south of Lanesborough. We want to emphasize, though, that the chance is very low for many delays.

WNYT Channel 13's snow prediction for tonight's minor snow event.
As for future storms, one of our favorite winter storm prognosticators (Judah Cohen) loves to watch the Polar Vortex (PV), and his analysis of model runs of the PV suggests that we're in for a prolonged period of storminess starting in about a week. According to his calculations, there should be enough cold air and storm frequency to make it feel like winter again in the Northeast. We're buying what he's selling and expect things to pick up considerably for middle and late January.

For next week, it looks like there are two pieces of energy that could give us snow. One looks to bring light snow to us Monday night, and the second piece (a coastal low developing off of New Jersey) could bring us more moderate frozen precipitation Tuesday during the day and Tuesday night. Our initial reaction to this forecast is one of skepticism. We're not seeing the phasing of the two storms (phasing would result in a blockbuster), and the timing is lousy. But there looks to be enough cold air and moisture with this mess to at least get the phrase "two-hour delay" into the discussion for the morning commute on Tuesday.

We doubt there will be delays tomorrow, but if you start to hear snow plows around 5 AM, you never know.