Saturday February 23, 2013

This weekend’s winter storm -- which has been a dicey one for forecasters to track -- is coming into focus with meteorologists issuing a low-key outlook for a light to moderate snowfall in the Berkshires today and into overnight.

The higher elevations could see 4 to 8 inches of snow, while low-lying areas could get 3 to 6. Some rain could also be in the offing.

The weather system that is taking shape off the mid-Atlantic Coast today is expected to track northeastward, bypassing Long Island, N.Y., southern New England and Cape Cod, according to meteorologist Joe Villani of the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y.

Locally, light snow before dawn on Saturday is expected to pick up intensity later in the day, the forecast indicated, but not by much. The coastal system will be weaker than previously expected, and is likely to move out to sea.

One more complication is the possibility that above-freezing temperatures today, especially in valleys, may lead to a rain-snow mix or even some plain rain during daylight. Higher elevations in the Berkshires are more likely to see all or mostly snow.

The best chance of accumulating snow is overnight into early Sunday morning, Villani predicted.

The not-so-grand total snowfall foreseen by the government meteorologist: 4 to 8 inches in the hill towns and other high-terrain areas of the Berkshires, with 3 to 6 inches elsewhere in the county.


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Commercial forecasters were on the same page, with AccuWeather expecting an average of 3 to 6 inches in the Berkshires, while The Weather Channel signaled a total of 4 or 5 inches.

With an active weather pattern of fast-moving storm systems typical of late winter, long-range outlooks indicate potentially stormy weather Tuesday night into Wednesday and again Thursday night into Friday. But details are sketchy and longer days coupled with a stronger sun angle point to rain or a rain-snow mix rather than full-fledged snowstorms.

To contact Clarence Fanto:
cfanto@yahoo.com
or (413) 637-2551.
On Twitter: @BE_cfanto