After back-to-back snowfalls, Berkshires brace for frigid temperatures

Monday December 31, 2012

In the wake of two winter storms in four days, the Berkshires expected to ring in 2013 with just a touch of snow and the coldest temperatures of the season, according to forecasters.

Tonight, revelers heading out for New Year's Eve celebrations may encounter the occasional snow shower until early New Year's Day, according to meteorologist Brian Montgomery of the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y.

"I don't see a huge issue, but we could have some travel concern with additional snowfall making roads slippery," Montgomery said.

Montgomery noted the weather concern for the rest of this week will be bitter cold temperatures, with overnight lows dipping close to or below zero.

"We'll have an Arctic air mass by Wednesday and another by Friday, but I don't expect any major storms for the next 5 to 10 days," he said.

As for the weekend snowfall of roughly 4 to 6 inches, it was atop the 5 to 12 inches of snow and sleet that fell on the county earlier in the week --both accumulations courtesy of separate coastal storms.

Initially, the National Weather Service office in Albany, N.Y., expected a couple inches from the latest storm, only to upgrade anticipated snowfall amounts by Saturday.

"That storm intensified overnight [Friday] giving the Berkshires more snow that first thought and it lingered longer than we expected," said meteorologist Brian Montgomery.

The light to moderate snow began falling Saturday afternoon, continuing until late Sunday morning. The persistent snow, coupled with windy conditions after daybreak on Sunday, created hazardous driving conditions in some spots, especially by open fields.

Nevertheless, local and state police reported no serious accidents, just several motor vehicles skidding off the road.

To reach Dick Lindsay:,
or (413) 496-6233.

Snow totals, in inches, from the latest storm:

Stockbridge ** 8.0

Great Barrington* 6.2

Lanesborough 6.0

Pittsfield 5.2

Alford 5.0

Source: National Weather Service, unless otherwise indicated. ** Harold French, * Nick Diller


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