The snow squalls that dropped one to two inches over parts of the Berkshires on Thursday morning represent the leading edge of a cold air mass that will keep the area under blustery winds and below-normal temperatures for the next few days.

Skies will brighten later in the day, but winds may gust as high as 30 to 45 mph, adding significant wind chill to a day with highs struggling to reach the freezing mark, according to the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y. Pre-dawn temperatures on Friday could plunge to the low teens.

The weekend looks mostly dry as a weak storm system passes south of the region, sparing Western Massachusetts from any significant snowfall.

But from Monday night through Tuesday, according to NWS meteorologist Kevin Lipton, there's a potential storm system lurking -- another double-barreled disturbance emanating from the Great Lakes, while a second area of storminess develops off the New England coast. Typically, computer models are all over the map, with some predicting snow for our area, while others foresee mostly rain or a wintry mix.

"Amounts remain highly uncertain," Lipton's long-range outlook cautions, "with anything from a widespread heavy precipitation event to a prolonged, light to moderate event possible."

The spring season begins officially next Wednesday morning at 5 with the arrival of the vernal equinox, but don't expect a warm-up just yet.


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True to form, wintry conditions will continue to pop up over New England with the occasional, tantalizing preview of mild April breezes along the way.

To contact Clarence Fanto: cfanto@yahoo.com or (413) 637-2551. On Twitter: @BE_cfanto