Hints of spring, then back to reality

Despite a few delightfully mild, sunny days just past, the upcoming holiday week promises a return to very cold mid-winter weather, alternating with brief stretches of relative warmth.

Snowfall here in the Berkshires will be light — 2 to 4 inches are possible Saturday night into Sunday from an intense offshore storm that is expected to pack a greater punch along the New England coast, still recovering from last weekend’s blizzard.

Later Sunday and into the mid-week period, blustery, cold days are forecast, so locals and visitors enjoying Berkshire ski areas will have to bundle up in order to cope with wind gusts of 35 to 45 miles per hour. By early Monday morning, the Washington’s Birthday holiday, low temperatures from 5 to 10 above are expected.

By Tuesday, temperatures will recover, rising to above normal readings with a possible snowfall changing to rain. After a couple of dry, seasonably chilly days next Thursday and Friday, another weather system may roll into the region for the following weekend (Feb. 23-24) with a chance of more snow.

So, quick changes over the next 10 days typical of late February as a strengthening sun and longer daylight yield at least a few tantalizingly mild, bright hints of spring, even though the vernal equinox isn’t until March 20.

But folks are bound to be cheered up by the return of Daylight Savings Time even sooner, in the wee hours of Sunday, March 10. Look for sunset to spring forward to 6:54 p.m. on that date.

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