RUSSELL (Mass. ) – As is typically the case, the hills west of the Pioneer Valley and the Berkshires are expected to see the most snow.
This includes hills in western Hampden, western Hampshire and most of Franklin County.
There are a couple factors that make higher elevations see more snow: temperature and lift.
Temperatures, as you increase elevation, are typically colder during winter storms. As a result, the snow is lighter and fluffier and can accumulate faster the higher up you go.
Lift occurs when snow rides up over hills and mountains, squeezing out more moisture and dumping more snow. On the other side of these hills or mountains, the atmosphere dries up a little bit and can create a “shadow” effect over the valley areas.
With this particular storm, there won’t be a HUGE difference in snowfall accumulation amounts between higher and lower terrain. This is mainly due to the fact that temperature differences won’t be that much between the lower and higher elevation towns and cities. There may be some slightly cooler air north and west of the valley to produce slightly less sleet and more snow, but the difference in accumulation might be only a few inches.
The lift known as “orographic lifting” might still be a factor to bring slightly higher amounts to the hills.
Right now the forecast for most of the hills, the Berkshires and Franklin county calls for snow and sleet accumulation of between 8-12 inches.
Stay with 22News throughout the day as we track the storm as it picks up in intensity and pot