Relief from the sauna-like heat and humidity that's embraced the Berkshires for most of the past two weeks is on the way.
Following a round of showers and thunderstorms in the South Berkshires on Monday afternoon -- the second straight day the Great Barrington vicinity was drenched -- slightly cooler and drier air is on tap for today, according to the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y.
But by late Thursday, a strong cold front -- marking the leading edge of a more moderate, dry air mass -- is expected to push through the area and lower the humidity and return temperatures to daytime highs of 75 to 80 degrees and overnight lows of 55 to 60.
Concern remains for excessive rainfall from any storms that may develop, especially given saturated soil from above-normal moisture in the past six weeks, according to meteorologist Hugh Johnson at the NWS office.
Today, the slightly drier air mass will offer a welcome break before the leading edge of cooler air approaches from the Great Lakes late Wednesday or Thursday, with another round of storms possible. Before the cool air arrives, temperatures are likely to soar toward 90 with high humidity returning on Wednesday.
But from Thursday night into Sunday, there's a strong likelihood of dry and seasonably mild conditions, without the intense heat and humidity that prevailed during the first two weeks of summer.
While it was a rain-soaked June, only 0.40 inches has been recorded so far this month at Pittsfield Municipal Airport.
But a line of intense thundershowers that moved across South Berkshire on Sunday afternoon deposited 1 to 2 inches in some locations from the state line to Becket, Otis and Sandisfield. The brunt of the storms hit West Stockbridge, Stockbridge, Lenox, Lee, Sheffield and Great Barrington.
To contact Clarence Fanto:
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