Weak winter storms could bring snow to the Berkshires next week


After a long, mellow and relatively mild late-autumn with virtually no snow, two wintry storms -- one weak, the other stronger -- may put down a coating of white as Christmas approaches.

At the National Weather Service office in Albany, N.Y., senior forecaster Brian Montgomery sees a possibility of accumulating snow late Saturday night into Sunday after a dry first half of the weekend. According to current projections, an inch or two and perhaps even two to four inches, of snow may result from a weak system out of the Midwest, but somewhat milder air arriving later in the day on Sunday could cause a transition to a snow and rain mix over the Berkshires.

"Traveling on Sunday morning could be a little tricky in spots," said Montgomery.

Early next week, attention shifts to a potential coastal storm that may impact the region on Tuesday and Wednesday. The amount of moisture remains difficult to pin down right now, because the storm is still over the Pacific Ocean, though "it's breaking speed limits across the atmosphere," Montgomery quipped.

By the weekend, forecasters will be able to hone in on a more precise timetable and intensity of the coastal system that could affect travel plans.

At Accuweather.com, senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski also foresees a snowy weather pattern setting up for the region early next week.

"The area from central and northeastern New York to interior Massachusetts, northern Connecticut and southern Vermont and New Hampshire appears to be in the middle of the wintry precipitation zone with this event," said Sosnowski. He predicted the likelihood of enough cold air to cause some travel problems.

Ski resorts in northern New England and upstate New York may benefit from several inches of natural snow to augment the machine-made snowpack enabled by a series of recent cold nights.

So far this season, 1.8 inches of snow has been recorded at Pittsfield Municipal Airport, compared to an average of about 15 inches for November and the first half of December.


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