Snapping back to reality following last week’s record-shattering warm spell, we see the week ahead looking all too typical for mid-November: A bleak landscape, nearly all trees shorn of their leaves, thick clouds obscuring the sun much of the time, high winds ushering in a blast of even colder air by dawn on Monday, and a wintry, grim mood befitting our current pandemic emergency.
A quick look-back at our early November “heat wave:” The six-day run of record highs ended last Wednesday with 68 degrees, preceded by daytime “sizzlers” ranging from 71 to 74. The normal or average high for the Nov. 6-11 period was 31 to 50. Day-by-day, the average for this unprecedented warm weather for mid-autumn ranged from 14 to 23 degrees above normal.
Several more eye-opening facts: Going back to 1938, when the U.S. Weather Bureau (as it was then known) began keeping track at Pittsfield Municipal Airport, we’ve never had six days in a row of record-breaking highs.
To put it another way, if this had happened in mid-summer, we might have experienced highs of 100 degrees, give or take a degree, for all six days. The actual all-time high for Pittsfield, 95, was reached only three times over the past 82 years.
Now, looking ahead, after a windy Monday, a fairly tranquil week is likely with a cloudy Tuesday and low-odds chances of rain or snow showers.
Then it will be a quiet mid- and late-week period, with at least some sunshine as we adjust to sunsets before 4:30 for the next seven weeks. Our next chance for rain or snowfall will come next Sunday and Monday.
Daytime highs will start off in the 20s and 30s Wednesday before rising into the 40s and 50s later in the week and into the weekend. Lows will moderate from the teens and 20s to the 30s by the end of the week.
The U.S. Drought Monitor now has the entire county in the clear, with near-normal soil moisture and river flows. But eastern Connecticut and Massachusetts, all of New Hampshire and most of Maine are still in a moderate drought.
Looking ahead to Thanksgiving week, the Climate Prediction Center foresees temperatures slightly above normal in most of the Northeast region, and rain or snowfall about average for late November.
Since the average low for the period is 27 and the average high is 43, winter sports enthusiasts can look forward to decent snowmaking potential at the major ski resorts in the Berkshires, upstate New York, Vermont and New Hampshire. But right now, no significant natural snowfalls are in sight.
Nationally, heavy rain or snow is predicted in the Pacific Northwest on Monday, depending on elevation, with above-normal temperatures likely in California and the Southwest. Later in the week, expect a cooling trend in the western and central U.S. following several days of extreme warmth from the Southwest into the southern Rockies. By next weekend, much of the East will enjoy a significant warmup.