The off-and-on rainy-season deluge that some wags describe as a "Berkshire monsoon" shows no signs of letting up until mid-week, according to the National Weather Service.
A tropical air mass fed by plumes of moisture from the western Caribbean Sea is responsible for the steam-bath atmosphere, meteorologist Warren Snyder at the Albany, N.Y., government forecasting office explained.
Western New England and eastern New York remain trapped between an unusually strong, expanding bubble of hot air known as the Bermuda high and a series of wet-weather systems rippling along the leading edge of warmer air draped across the region, he added.
The flash-flood watch issued on Monday morning remains in effect until 8 tonight because of what Snyder described as a conveyer belt of wet weather outbreaks moving up the Eastern Seaboard.
"The atmosphere is rich in moisture and the potential for heavy rain remains," Snyder said. He cited saturated ground from last month's near-record rainfall that led to potential flash-flooding.
Gradual improvement will begin on Wednesday, just in time for the long Independence Day holiday weekend, with sunny breaks becoming more frequent each day, along with a continuing but diminished threat of scattered showers and thunderstorms. But temperatures will approach 90 beginning on Thursday, along with muggy conditions. By the weekend, variable sunshine is predicted, but only a slight chance of rain.
AccuWeather.com is predicting a little more than 3 inches of rain for the county over the next two days. That nearly equals an entire month's average rainfall for July and is in line with government forecasters' outlook.
Because of heavy rain last month, the ground is saturated, rivers, streams and creeks are high and it won't take much to unleash some flash flooding, AccuWeather pointed out.
Total rainfall of 7.2 inches recorded at Pittsfield Municipal Airport caused the second-wettest June on record at the National Weather Service's observation station. The champion remains June 2000, when 8.7 inches swamped the area.