A weak surface low pressure system located off the New Jersey coast will intensify rapidly as it moves north/northeastward this afternoon and tonight across Cape Cod and into the Gulf of Maine. As of early afternoon, it is snowing moderately across the county with approximately 2″ of accumulated snow (Richmond). It appears that the storm will move more rapidly and track slightly to the east of the forecast from yesterday. In addition, the low pressure center should be slightly less intense. Therefore, although we will still receive significant accumulations, totals should be a bit less than forecast yesterday, the snow should taper off a few hours earlier this evening, winds won’t be quite as strong tonight and Friday, and there will likely be less in the way of “wrap around” snow showers.
As the surface low pressure system moves rapidly into the Canadian Maritime tonight and Friday, the trough in the jet stream wave pattern which generated the surface storm will move over us Friday and Friday night, giving Berkshire County a brief period of colder and windy weather, although temperatures will still be near normal for the date. Strong west-northwesterly winds circulating around the departing surface low will flow across the still unfrozen Great Lakes and generate some significant lake-effect snow later tonight and during the day on Friday across western and central NY state. Some of this snow will reach Berkshire County in diminished form, scattered off and on snow showers and flurries.
The jet stream wave pattern then begins to flatten out (zonally [west to east] oriented) on Saturday and remains that way into early next week. A weak Alberta Clipper type low will move to our north Saturday night but may be close enough to give the county a little light snow or snow showers overnight Saturday. However, accumulations should be only on the order of 1 – 2″ at most. A deep trough in the jet stream wave pattern will develop over the western US on Monday with concurrent “ridging” over the eastern US. As a result, it will become unseasonably mild here Monday night into Wednesday. In addition, a surface low will develop along the easter edge of the trough and move northeastward into the Great Lakes on Tuesday. The low will drag is attached warm front across Berkshire County and generate a pretty large dose of rain here during the day on Tuesday. This will, unfortunately for winter sports lovers, destroy any powder we accumulate today. The trough will then propagate eastward and then “broaden out”, resulting in much colder temperatures through next weekend. A storm in the southeast may make a run at us next Friday……
Berkshire County Analysis:
Snow will be moderate to occasionally heavy through the afternoon, tapering off and ending from west to east between 5 and 7 pm. It will become windy overnight with scattered snow showers developing after midnight. It will be windy and chilly Friday, with temperatures holding steady. Off and on lake-effect snow showers will be around for most of the day Friday. It will remain cloudy and turn colder Friday night, with a few lingering snow showers or flurries and diminishing winds. It will remain cloudy on Saturday as the Clipper low approaches from the west. Light snow or snow showers will likely develop Saturday evening.
Revised total snow accumulation forecast (by end of the day Friday):
South County: Generally 3 – 6″, with the lowest amounts in the lower elevations near the Connecticut border and highest amounts in the hill towns to the east. There could be as much as 8″ in a few spots in the hill towns to the east (i.e., Otis, Becket). Expect 4 or 5″ in Great Barrington.
Central Berkshire: Generally 4 – 8″, with the lowest amounts in the lower elevations to the west and highest amounts in the eastern hill towns. There could be as much as 10″ in a few spots over the elevated terrain to the east. Expect 5 – 7″ in Pittsfield.
North County: Generally 5 – 9″, with lowest amounts in the lower elevations and highest amounts in the hill towns to the east. Expect 5 – 7″ in Adams, North Adams and Williamstown. A few spots over the elevated terrain to the east could see up to 10″.
Berkshire County Forecast:
Snow tapering off during the evening and ending by 6 or 7 pm. It will remain cloudy and become breezy/windy overnight with scattered snow showers developing after midnight. Low temperature in the mid 20s, upper 20s in the lower elevations of South County and low 20s over the elevated terrain. West-northwesterly winds at 10 – 20 mph.
Mostly cloudy and breezy/windy and seasonably cold, with scattered snow showers and flurries. Snow accumulations a dusting to as much as 1″. There could be as much as 1 – 2″ if a persistent band sets up, particularly over the elevated terrain. Temperatures holding fairly steady in the upper 20s in the lower elevations of central and northern Berkshire (i.e., Pittsfield, North Adams), low 30s in the lower elevations of South County (i.e., Great Barrington) and mid 20s over the elevated terrain. Westerly winds at 15 -20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.
Mostly cloudy and turning colder, breezy in the evening with diminishing winds after midnight. Scattered flurries and snow showers are still possible with little or no additional accumulation. Low temperatures in the mid to upper teens. Westerly winds at 10 – 20 mph in the evening, diminishing after midnight to 5 – 10 mph by morning.
Mostly cloudy and seasonably cold. There is the chance of a snow shower toward nightfall. High temperatures near 30, low 30s in South County, upper 20s over the elevated terrain. Winds shifting to southerly and increasing to 10 – 15 mph during the afternoon.