Late-winter snowfall blankets Berkshires

The overnight snowfall packed a stronger punch for the Berkshires than some forecasters had predicted, causing many school districts to shut down or delay their openings on Friday morning — though Pittsfield opted to stick with normal schedules.

The heavy, wet snow made for treacherous driving conditions in the early morning as road crews struggled to keep up with a continuing snowfall that began to wind down by mid-morning.

The National Weather Service’s winter-weather advisory was set to expire at noon, though eastern Columbia County in New York was upgraded to a winter storm warning; similar warnings remained in effect from the eastern slopes of the Berkshires to Worcester, according to the National Weather Service office in Taunton, near Boston.

Speed limits on the entire length of the MassPike were reduced to 40 miles per hour.

With snow still falling, unofficial totals at Pittsfield Municipal Airport were in the 7-inch range. Other unofficial measurements reported to the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y., from trained spotters and observers include:

North Otis: 8 inches

Lenox: 7.4 inches

Lenox Dale: 7.9 inches

Hancock: 5.4 inches

Alford: 5 inches

Clarksburg: 4.8 inches

Lanesborough: 4.5 inches

FInal storm totals are expected to be available later on Friday.

With brightening skies expected Friday afternoon and a mild, sunny weekend in prospect with highs well up in the 40s, rapid snowmelt is expected. But ski areas are reporting some of their best conditions of the season for winter sports enthusiasts.

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