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Summary: Our weather will remain quiet, without any big storms, and temperatures pretty close to average through early next week. The polar front jet stream has weakened, with a fairly zonal orientation and has even shifted slightly to the north, into a more “normal” location for March. The surface high pressure system which has given us fair weather for the past 2 days has shifted to our east and off the coast. The southerly flow around the backside of the high (clockwise circulation) is bringing us the mildest temperatures we have seen in a while with highs well up into the 30s and low 40s today and likely in the low 40s again on Saturday. A surface low has formed to our south along a subtropical branch of the jet stream but is drifting out to sea well to our south and will not impact us.
A weak cold front will pass through our region late Saturday with some cloudiness and just the chance of a snow flurry or snow shower Saturday evening. It will then turn breezy and colder behind the front on Sunday, with temperatures dropping back into the 20s to low 30s. However, as surface high pressure builds in behind the front, there should be abundant sunshine to help diminish the pain. A weak “Alberta Clipper” type surface low will dive south over the Great Lakes Sunday night into Monday but, once again, there is only the chance of a snow flurry or snow shower with this system. After the clipper passes, the zonally oriented jet stream will shift slightly to the north again so that our temperatures will likely soar into the 40s on Tuesday.
Unfortunately, that brief taste of spring may not last. The long range computer model runs for the past few days have consistently amplified the jet stream flow pattern for mid-week, with cold surface high pressure anchored over eastern Canada and the generation of a surface low along the eastern side of the jet stream trough base in the Midwest on Wednesday morning. However, the two long-range models differ significantly in their solutions, which is not unusual 5-6 days out. Both models have been quite consistent in their solutions for the past few days. The European Model (ECMWF) has a more classic New England March snowstorm scenario with the jet stream becoming more amplified, and a much deeper surface low developing. The low center moves through the Ohio Valley on Wednesday and off the DelMarva Peninsula Wednesday night. With this scenario, snow would develop here late in the afternoon or evening on Wednesday and continue heavy at times overnight. The eastward progression of the low is relatively slow, due to the amplified jet stream, with the low only drifting to south of Long Island by Thursday morning. The low then deepens as it moves over the warmer ocean waters and speeds up a bit as it moves over Cape Cod and towards the Canadian Maritime on Thursday. With this scenario, snow would continue, although lighter, through a good part of the day Thursday. If the ECMWF solution was realized, Berkshire County would get a fairly good dumping of snow, possibly a foot or more.
The U.S. GFS model has a less amplified jet stream with the cold trough pushing farther south. Thus, a weaker low is generated over the Tennessee Valley on Wednesday and off the Carolina Coast Wednesday evening. With this “flatter” jet stream scenario, the low does not deepen considerably and moves quickly out to sea, well south of Cape Cod, on Wednesday night. If this solution was realized, Berkshire County would only receive a period of light to moderate snow late Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night, with only a light snowfall of 2-5″ or so.
Interestingly, until the last one of these scenarios, last Monday, the ECMWF had been more consistent and correct with its solutions for these storms than the GFS. For last Monday’s storm, both models had similar solutions (5-6 days out) to the ones they are generating now. However, the GFS ending up being more correct, with that storm moving out to sea to our south and Berkshire County getting no snow at all. Therefore, a good gambler would probably bet that the GFS will be right again and we will not get a big snow storm. However, my gut is telling me that the ECMWF scenario is more realistic looking and I fear that we could get a classic March snowstorm dump. I hope this is wrong…….I will keep an eye on the situation and post updates.
Mostly clear, calm, and not as cold.
Low temperatures in the low to mid teens.
Mostly sunny to partly cloudy in the morning. Increasing cloudiness and becoming breezy during the afternoon. Seasonably mild. There is the slight chance of a snow flurry late. Probability of precipitation 20%. No accumulation expected.
High temperatures near 40 to low 40s in Pittsfield; low 40s in Lee, Stockbridge, Adams, North Adams and Williamstown, Great Barrington and Sheffield and; upper 30s to near 40 over the elevated terrain.
West-northwesterly wind at 5-10 mph during the morning, increasing to 10-15 mph during the afternoon.
Mostly cloudy with the slight chance of a snow flurry during the evening. Clearing after midnight.
Low temperatures near 20.
Northwesterly winds at 5-10 mph.
Mostly sunny, breezy and colder.
High temperatures near 30 to low 30s in Pittsfield; low 30s in Lee, Stockbridge, Adams, North Adams and Williamstown, Great Barrington and Sheffield and; upper 20s over the elevated terrain.
West-northwesterly winds at 10-20 mph.