Winds strong enough to huff, puff and blow down trees, branches and perhaps utility lines are set to buffet the Berkshires and southern Vermont into Tuesday evening.

Gusts as high as 50 mph are likely, along with prolonged, steady winds as high as 30 mph, according to a National Weather Service advisory that extends for 24 hours through 6 p.m. Tuesday. Isolated power interruptions are possible, forecasters said, as the winds kick up after the torrential rains depart the region.

The alert for western New England and eastern New York also urged motorists to be vigilant, especially in high-profile vehicles.

The strongest westerly winds are expected to stretch from the southern Green Mountains of Vermont through the Berkshires into the Litchfield Hills of Northwest Connecticut, meteorologist Ian Lee at the government forecast office in Albany, N.Y., pointed out.

Colder air will accompany the blast of late-March winds, which will be especially fierce before dawn on Tuesday. Slight improvement is likely later in the day before the wind advisory expires shortly before sunset.

A turn to early-spring conditions with temperatures rebounding into the low 60s is anticipated for Wednesday before the next storm system passes through Thursday and Friday, bringing frequent showers and a return of colder air. Over the weekend, low temperatures are likely to drop below freezing region-wide, as a chunk of Arctic air plunges south of the Canadian border for several days.


Monday's soaking rainfall was especially welcome in western New England in order to keep reservoirs well-filled despite the lack of melted snowpack. By Friday, the monthly precipitation total at Pittsfield Municipal Airport is on target to reach the March average of 3.13 inches.

AccuWeather's long-range outlook for April calls for another month of above-average temperatures with rainfall near normal.

Contact Clarence Fanto at 413-637-2551.