Berkshire residents bemoan 'Lost Spring of 2019' with chilly temps, May snow dusting

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Some weather-weary, fed-up Berkshire residents are calling it the "Lost Spring of 2019," and with good reason.

Only three days of the normally merry month of May have been rain-free so far, and temperatures have been more like early April or, on some days, late March. And most of April was similarly damp and chilly, with 19 rainy days.

Many sections of the county saw snowflakes Sunday, and the highest elevations in the hill towns had a dusting to an inch of snow on the ground by dawn Tuesday. With intermittent rainfall resuming under a heavy cloud cover, Tuesday's midafternoon high of 45 in Pittsfield was 21 degrees below the average daytime reading for mid-May.

Snow in May is rare, but not unheard of. There was the memorable Mother's Day snowstorm of May 9, 1977, with as much as 8 inches. Another Mother's Day snowfall, on May 12, 1996, amounted to an inch or two. The latest snow on record at Pittsfield Municipal Airport, about two inches, fell on May 18, 2002, a day that saw a wintry temperature range of 32 to 40.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y., are holding out hope for slow improvement over the next few days, beginning with a sunnier, milder Wednesday, though still cool for this time of year, when typical temperatures should range from the mid-40s to the upper 60s.

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But by Thursday, another raw, mostly cloudy day is expected, with showers possible off and on until there's a decent chance of significant warmup over the weekend, with highs finally topping 70 by Sunday and into early next week.

However, caution is called for, since there's still considerable uncertainty about the weekend outlook, according to meteorologist Ingrid Amberger at the government forecast office in Albany.

Unusual jet stream patterns for midspring funneling cold Canadian air into the Northeast are to blame for the hesitant spring season, AccuWeather.com long-range meteorologist Max Vido explained. "An atmospheric traffic jam may cause more trouble early next week," he said in an online post.

However, patience will be rewarded in June and especially early July, according to AccuWeather's long-range outlook, when summer heat makes a belated but sudden appearance. Less-frequent rainfall is expected to accompany the overdue warmup, just in time for a burst of outdoor activities, including al fresco dining and open-air concerts.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.


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