The Outlook: Springlike weather to keep at bay for most of the week

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Rhymes for April — let me sing

The pleasures of returning spring ...

Fools are made, by far the worst,

On other days besides the First.

— William Makepeace Thackeray ("The Comic Almanack," 1835)

Spring is in the air, you can almost taste it. But Friday's sunny skies and a decent, dry Saturday for outdoor recreation ranging from group dog-walking (safely separated) to kayaking, biking and serious hiking have been supplanted by low clouds, rain showers and an overall gloom during the Great Pandemic of 2020.

Until this coming Friday, sorry to say, the weather in the Berkshires will be challenging for many of us longing for relief — "there ain't no cure for the stay-at-home blues," to paraphrase the 1958 rockabilly hit by Eddie Cochran, memorably covered by The Who, James Taylor and other performers.

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The culprit will be a series of low-energy, low-pressure systems drifting slowly across the northern U.S. from the Pacific Northwest to New England. The result for us: Temperatures near or slightly above normal — low 30s overnight, upper 40s daytime — with showers on and off (mostly rain, but maybe a few snowflakes early Tuesday). Clouds and showers should persist through next weekend, with any rays of sun few and far between.

The rain will be occasional, and there will be hours of respite on any given day. Optimistically, the outlook could brighten, depending on whether an unusually potent cold, dry air mass bottled up over central and eastern Canada springs a leak and manages to disrupt the passing parade of sluggish, limited-moisture systems clogging the atmosphere just south of the border.

Looking westward, heavy rain and a tornado threat are projected for the week ahead from Texas through the Deep South into central Florida, while most of California and the Southwest remain warmer than usual and typically dry for early spring.

Temperatures in April are expected to be near or slightly above normal in the Northeast and much of the nation, according to the Weather Channel. But the South should feel like summer with warmer than average highs, while the Florida peninsula, from St. Petersburg/Tampa on the Gulf Coast and Fort Lauderdale along the Atlantic will be downright hot, with daytime highs topping out near 90.

It's a good thing government weather forecasters qualify as essential workers, even though they won't be facing any tough calls in our nearby National Weather Service office in high-tech digs on the state University at Albany campus, responsible for 17 upstate New York and western New England counties, including Berkshire. The current oasis of calm won't last long, since April can be a stormy month.

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.

This story has been updated.


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