Snow? Forget about it!

Although the official start of winter is still two weeks off, the snow season that begins in November is off to a dismal start.

The National Weather Service long-range forecast for the next two weeks calls for unusually mild temperatures for mid-December, and a lot of precipitation in the form of rain. Despite the brief shot of cold air on Thursday, look for a relatively mild weekend sccompanied by on- and off-again showers.

Not the kind of pre-Christmas weather that’s normal for New England. In fact, the inch and a half of snow we’ve had so far already puts us far below normal. The 40-year average at Pittsfield Municipal Airport shows that by now, we should have had 14 inches of snow all together.

For the year, the dry spell lingers with precipitation 25 percent below average. While predictions two weeks or more in advance are dicey at best, the trend is obvious. If we get a white Christmas, as many folks wish for and ski area owners pray for, it will be a last-minute surprise.

- Clarence Fanto

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