Bleak week ahead? With forecasts shifting rapidly because of befuddled computer models, the weather outlook is especially challenging.

As the National Weather Service office in Albany acknowledged in a sheepish online post Sunday morning: “Temperatures will warm up by the middle of the week, but there is some uncertainty as to how warm we get and whether or not we see more showers for the middle to end of the week.”

With another shot of unusually chilly and blustery air for late April moving into the region overnight, This morning’s wakeup may feel less than cheerful, with temperatures hovering just above freezing (Mondays being difficult enough for many of us, anyway).

The rest of today should be sunny, followed by another deep chill by dawn on Tuesday. However, if the leading edge of warmer air makes it into the Berkshires, the day could turn out reasonably pleasant.

The balance of the week is harder to predict, with Wednesday expected to be the warmest day, with highs in the 70s and plenty of sunshine.

Showers are mentioned in the forecast midweek through Friday, but with less than a 50-50 chance. If the dry spell persists, the U.S. Drought Monitor is bound to keep charting Berkshire County as abnormally dry, heading toward a mild drought if there’s no soaking rainfall soon.

Rain and melted snow measured by the National Weather Service at Pittsfield Municipal Airport indicates a 30 percent shortfall since Jan. 1, and an even worse 35 percent departure below average for the normally showery April.

The long-range view from the government’s Weather Prediction Center offers little encouragement, with the first week of May remaining dry, though warmer than normal.

Nationally, no relief for rain-starved California. Pacific moisture produced only a few showers on Sunday, but nothing more for the week ahead.

A potentially stormy week is shaping up for the nation’s midsection, with intense rainfall and thunderstorms from northern Texas into the middle Mississippi Valley. Severe weather is possible for several days during the midweek period as a volatile disturbance could stall over the Ohio Valley before moving offshore from the mid-Atlantic states.

Heading into next weekend, daily highs may reach 10 to 20 degrees above normal over most of the West, with some daily record highs and warm lows possible over the Southwest.

Florida and the rest of the Southeast should enjoy plenty of sun and highs into the 80s this week, with only some stray thunderstorms possible during the afternoons.

The Outlook is today's look ahead at the week's weather, its impact on the Berkshires and beyond. Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com.