The snow drought continues full-force, disappointing outdoor winter-recreation aficionados but delighting residents who would just as soon put off the slipping, sliding and shoveling as long as possible.
Make no mistake, it will be a stormy week with two systems heading our way. But the first, due on Tuesday, will be all-rain, with wind and mild temperatures in the 40s. The next, late Thursday into Friday, is also slated to be all-rain, with above-normal temperatures continuing until a cooldown on Friday that could produce a few flakes before the second storm departs.
Over the weekend, it will feel like winter, cold but dry with plenty of weak winter-solstice sun on the shortest days of the year. The odds of a white Christmas look increasingly bleak. With December half over, the lack of any snow cover in the Berkshires is a rare, though not unprecedented, event.
Skiers will find plenty of snow if they head well into northern New England, however, because the two rainstorms that will drench the Berkshires this week will be all powder for northern Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, and possibly for New York’s Adirondacks.
If you’re up at 6:12 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, you can celebrate the exact moment of the winter solstice, when the sun appears to be at its southernmost point. We’re already picking up a minute of extra light before sunset every couple of days, but sunrise will continue to be as late as 7:22 until the second week of January, when early mornings begin growing brighter.
— Clarence Fanto