Remnants of tropical cyclone to usher in hot weather

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Call it a "taste of the Tropics," or more likely, a huge gulp.

After a mellow summer-weather season combined with a three-week dry spell, forecasters are eyeing the remnants of tropical storm Barry, still a rainmaker as it dissipates over the next several days.

The impact on Berkshire County could be muted, a beneficial rain that would replenish lakes and lawns. But the National Weather Service cautions that occasional deluges from thunderstorms could rake the region Wednesday evening into Thursday.

So far this month, only 0.35 inches of rain has been recorded at Pittsfield Municipal Airport, compared to an average of 2 inches for the first half of July.

Starting Friday into early next week, get ready for sweltering "triple-H" weather — hazy, hot, humid — and what could be the season's first heat wave, with temperatures approaching 90.

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"It will be downright muggy," according to WNYT Newschannel 13 and WAMC meteorologist Paul Caiano. After what's left of the post-tropical cyclone moves out, a tropical air mass will continue to produce thunderstorms and torrential downpours Thursday, he predicted. A heat wave with hazy sun and high humidity follows Friday through Monday.

The National Weather Service defines a heat wave as three or more days in a row with temperatures of at least 90.

"Temperatures are forecast to throttle back to seasonable levels or even slightly below average for a time next week in the East as heat shifts to the western U.S.," AccuWeather.com Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok predicted in an online post. "There should also be a substantial drop in humidity in the Northeast next week."

The government's Climate Prediction Center also foresees relief from the heat for the final week of July, with below-normal temperatures and slightly below normal rainfall.

The average high for the rest of this month, based on 80 years of records at Pittsfield Municipal Airport, is 79, with an overnight low of 57.

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


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