Summer is making an encore appearance this week as a string of summerlike days -- and possible record heat -- envelop the Berkshires.
Dark, dismal skies and heavy showers on Tuesday morning were the prelude to a three-day stretch of summerlike weather not seen since mid-July, punctuated by potentially severe thunderstorms.
The core of a very warm, or even hot, air mass will be over western New England and eastern New York through Thursday, according to Brian Frugis at the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y.
Humid nights and sultry days are expected -- until an onslaught of much cooler air reaches the region on Friday, leading to the coolest weather of the season so far this weekend.
Highs today could flirt with 90 degrees or above, especially in South Berkshire. The record for Sept. 11 at Pittsfield Municipal Airport was set in 1983, when the temperature hit 90.
The latest 90-degree high of the summer came on Sept. 16, 1939, according to records, which began the previous year.
The threat of severe weather will be lurking throughout the midweek period, according to the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. Forecasters are targeting Thursday and Thursday night as likely for very heavy rain before the arrival of an autumnal air mass.
Summer’s last stand could produce outbreaks of severe storms with frequent lightning, hail and damaging winds, especially on Thursday, said AccuWeather’s senior forecaster Alex Sosnowski.
Following the prolonged hot spell from late June until July 19, the date that saw the summer’s high of 91 degrees, the Berkshires have been spared typical summer heat. Highs failed to reach 85 for the past seven weeks, according to the Pittsfield airport records at the National Weather Service’s automated weather station.
Despite a slight uptick in tropical storm activity over the eastern and central Atlantic this week, the eastern U.S. is not in the crosshairs of any potential hurricane for at least the next week to 10 days, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reported.
Tropical Storm Gabrielle is kicking up high seas and strong winds over Bermuda, while Humberto -- even if it reaches hurricane status -- is expected to churn harmlessly in the central and north Atlantic before dissipating, the forecasters predicted.
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