Forecasters warn of storms and possible flash floods incoming Monday into Tuesday

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Forecasters are urging residents in the region to beware of potentially severe thunderstorms and possible flash flooding on Monday afternoon into early Tuesday.

The flood watch issued on Sunday by the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y., covers a wide area, encompassing Berkshire County, southern Vermont and nearby New York and Connecticut. It cites a very heavy rain potential, especially in the Berkshires.

The leading edge of cooler, drier air from Canada is expected to clash with the murky, tropical air mass hanging over much of the Northeast, according to government forecaster Joe Villani. The result: Widespread showers and thunderstorms and torrents of rain between noon Monday and 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Total rainfall in some areas could exceed two inches an hour if thunderstorms move slowly or become stationary.

Normal rainfall for the entire month of June is 4.4 inches, according to long-term observations at Pittsfield Municipal Airport.

It's difficult to pinpoint the precise areas where the heaviest rain and greatest risk of flash flooding are most likely, the weather service cautioned, but the ingredients are in place for this potential across the flood-watch area, with a high likelihood in Berkshire County.

The high risk for severe thunderstorms prompted the flash flood alert as part of a "rather ominous" outlook, Villani stated, including a threat of damaging wind gusts and possible, isolated burst of large hail.

The storm threat should subside very early Tuesday morning, as the muggy tropical conditions are replaced by a slightly cooler and much drier air mass that should linger into Friday.

Contact correspondent Clarence Fanto at cfanto@yahoo.com or 413-637-2551.


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