The Outlook: Grab bag of spring weather for April's 1st full week

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"April is the cruelest month,

breeding lilacs out of the dead land,

mixing memory and desire,

stirring dull roots with spring rain."

—T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land (1922)

Even in normal times (how we long for their return!), April can be frustratingly cruel, as the poet wrote, and can fool us on any given day or week, not just the first of the month.

The days ahead leading up to Passover, Good Friday and Easter are a case study of how in a few blinks of the eye, we can go from a most-welcome early spring to a harsh reminder that wintry weather is not bound by the calendar, whether it's November or April.

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It's been a real treat when venturing outside late in the evening for the day's final dog walk to hear the chorus of spring peepers in a crescendo, especially near rivers, streams, wetlands and marshes. The milder the evening, the higher the volume.

It's reassuring to find, in a U.S. Geological Survey report, that in the northern reaches of their range, these tiny frogs are biologically equipped to endure occasional periods of subfreezing temperatures during the breeding season.

As AccuWeather predicts with a bit of hyperbole, after late-spring warmth surges into parts of the east through the middle of the week, winter looks to return ahead of Easter weekend. We won't see the upper 70s that folks in the Ohio Valley and the Washington, D.C., area could enjoy over the next three days. But the National Weather Service in Albany assures us of back-to-back sunny days Monday and Tuesday, with highs near 60.

It's worth remembering that the long-term average for Berkshire County in the second week of April ranges from lows of 30 to highs of 50, so we remain above normal.

Wednesday looks like a washout, with a steady, cold rain as temperatures drop back into the 40s before bottoming out in the mid-30s at night. Then, on Thursday the leading edge of colder air heralds a cloudy, chilly, showery period right into the weekend, with nights near or just below the freezing mark, along with a chance of rain showers during the day and snow showers at night.

While Florida and the Southeast enjoy sunshine and highs in the 80s this week, a storm that's drenching southern California on Monday will begin a slow-motion trek toward the East Coast, potentially triggering a coastal sibling next Saturday and Sunday, with a soaking rainfall possible for the Northeast. Too soon to be sure.

But spring can't be denied, hints of green shoots are beginning to emerge in meadows and open fields, and by midmonth, winter will be on its last legs, not a moment too soon.

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.


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