Following an outbreak of spring fever, Berkshire residents are facing the unwelcome return of wintry weather for the rest of the week.
Tuesday's bright sunshine and warm temperatures will be quickly forgotten on Wednesday as a complex storm threatens to bring a mix of precipitation to the region.
"It's a really tricky storm," said Ian Lee, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y. "We're still trying to figure out the exact track. A deviation of 20 to 30 miles makes the difference between rain, freezing rain and snow."
A winter storm watch remains in effect for North Berkshire from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning. Forecasters expressed concern over a possible buildup of ice, beginning after dark.
The forecast for central and northern areas of the county says morning rain should mix with freezing rain on Wednesday afternoon, heavy at times, with an ice accumulation up to a tenth of an inch.
In the evening, a brew of rain, sleet and freezing rain is expected, followed by snow after midnight. Snow and sleet accumulation of 4 to 7 inches is likely atop a potentially treacherous coating of ice. Areas of blowing snow could make for a challenging commute on Thursday morning.
South Berkshire is due for heavy rain during the daylight hours on Wednesday, with sleet mixing in after dark and all snow after midnight. Snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 4 inches is likely south of the MassPike, as well as a coating of ice.
Snow may continue until mid-morning Thursday as temperatures nosedive toward the mid-teens, with northwest winds gusting up to 35 mph. Overnight into Friday, although it will be dry, near-zero lows are due by dawn.
To contact Clarence Fanto:
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