Many Berkshire residents under a shroud of near-darkness may have wondered on Friday if the sun took the morning off.
A powerful storm barreling through southern Quebec brought not only high winds and nearly an inch of rain to the area overnight but also an unusually heavy, thick layer of low clouds that kept some automated street lights on well into the mid-morning hours.
The storm prompted the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y., to extend wind advisories until 6 p.m. Friday, with gusts up to 55 mph predicted.
The strongest wind gust recorded at Pittsfield Municipal Airport early Friday was 40 mph from the southwest just before 7 a.m. Temperatures in the mid-60s added to the eerie post-Halloween atmosphere.
Motorists in high-profile vehicles, especially on interstates like the Massachusetts Turnpike and the New York Thruway, were encountering tough travel conditions, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Jordan Root.
Flight delays of up to several hours were reported at airports in Albany, Hartford, Boston and New York City.
The National Weather Service noted that a cold front slicing through the Berkshires during the day -- the leading edge of a more seasonable air mass -- should ease the gale-force winds by sunset.
But the government forecasters warned that the prolonged high winds could bring down a few trees and power lines before the weather improves.
Some breaks of sun are possible before dark on Friday, according to meteorologist Tom Wasula, and temperatures could approach 70, at least 20 degrees above normal for the first day of November.
Although only slightly cooler air will move into the area by early Saturday, a much more potent cold front arriving Saturday night is expected to send readings below freezing along with likely rain and snow showers.
Sunday and Monday will feel especially chilly as the core of cold Canadian air settles over the region, Wasula stated, but the see-saw temperatures of recent weeks will continue with above-normal readings returning by mid-week.
To contact Clarence Fanto:
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