The remarkably extended stretch of sunny days followed by clear, moonlit nights and comfortable temperatures in the Berkshires ended abruptly on Monday with the approach of a warm, humid air mass that promises at least three days of tropical weather.
Although Tuesday should be mostly dry, with just a chance of afternoon or evening showers and thunderstorms, more widespread wet weather is predicted by the National Weather Service for Wednesday evening and overnight. Daytime highs should at least 80, according to forecaster Neil Stuart at the Albany, N.Y., office.
But the upcoming Labor Day weekend -- summer’s last hurrah -- should see a return to cooler temperatures, low humidity and mostly clear skies, at least until Monday, when showers may return.
So far this month, as recorded at Pittsfield Municipal Airport, temperatures have been significantly below normal by 3 degrees, compared to 4.5 degrees above average in July. Only five days of August were warmer than normal, while 21 were cooler. Total rainfall remains close to average.
Meanwhile, the hurricane season continues to unfold at an unusually slow pace because of dry air suppressing the typical birthplace of Atlantic Basin tropical storms off the coast of West Africa.
However, with September marking the peak season for hurricanes, the scale is likely to tip in favor of multiple tropical systems within the next few weeks, according to Dan Kottlowski, a hurricane specialist at AccuWeather.com.
"From a climatological standpoint, the flow of dry air over the tropical Atlantic now is likely to shrink in size and weaken moving into September," he said.