The remarkably extended stretch of sunny days followed by clear, moonlit nights and comfortable temperatures in the Berkshires ended abruptly Monday with the approach of a wet-weather system that promises at least three days of mostly-dreary weather.
Although numerous showers and thunderstorms were predicted by the National Weather Service -- putting a damper on outdoor activities during summer's last hurrah -- the upcoming Labor Day weekend promises a return to idyllic conditions: cool temperatures, low humidity and mostly clear skies.
First, however, several days of warmer, more humid air will envelop the region, setting off periods of showers or nonsevere thunderstorms, especially Monday afternoon and evening, as well as Wednesday into Thursday. Any of the storms could bring heavy downpours, according to forecaster George Maglaras at the NWS office in Albany, N.Y.
So far this month, as recorded at Pittsfield Municipal Airport, temperatures have been significantly below normal by 3 degrees, compared to 4.5 degrees above average in July. Only five days of August were warmer than normal, while 20 were cooler. Total rainfall, occasional as it has been, remains close to average.
Meanwhile, the hurricane season continues to unfold at an unusually slow pace because of dry air suppressing the typical birthplace of Atlantic Basin tropical storms off the coast of West Africa.
However, with September marking peak season for hurricanes, the scale is likely to tip in favor of multiple tropical systems within the next few weeks, according to AccuWeather.com hurricane specialist Dan Kottlowski.
"From a climatological standpoint, the flow of dry air over the tropical Atlantic now is likely to shrink in size and weaken moving into September," he stated.
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