Weather forecasting remains a tricky business.
That was proven over the weekend, where forecasters had predicted significant amounts of snow for western and central Massachusetts beginning late Saturday afternoon and well into Sunday. But what we got in our region was anything but a significant snowfall as that storm track didn’t materialize as forecast.
Chances are, despite some grousing about weather forecasters and the accompanying hype for any kind of weather-related event, everyone is glad we dodged this storm.
Which brings us to Wednesday’s weather.
If you were paying attention to forecasters Tuesday night, they were saying that areas of western and central Massachusetts had the potential to see snowfall in the four-to-six-inch range. But, this particular storm wouldn’t just be snow. It would be the kind that falls under the label of “wintry mix,” snow, sleet, rain, maybe even a little freezing rain.
Another way to describe it is “slop.”
And this time they hit it on the head. In Greenfield on Wednesday morning, the wet storm turned to rain. Meanwhile in the higher terrain, the precipitation could be mostly snow, but here, too, it could change, depending upon temperatures.
Ah ... New England in late February.
Snow? Wintry mix?
It’s all to be expected, even as weather patterns are influenced by climate change. But the climate may not be the only change here. Our willingness to push ahead, despite the weather also may be changing.
We were surprised to see that a couple of school districts in the area, Mohawk and Pioneer, had canceled school for the day and Greenfield Community College — sensitive to the fact that many of its students are also parents — had followed suit and closed.
We realize that those making such decisions are using the best information they have available at the time. But there was also a time where it would take a lot more weather than we’re seeing to trigger a cancellation.
And for Pioneer and Mohawk, it’s just another day that will get tacked onto the end of the calendar when warm days will prove another kind of distraction for those in the classroom.
Are we getting soft?