Storm will bring torrential rains and gale-force winds

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A powerful storm along the New England coast was set to deliver a one-two punch of torrential rains and gale-force winds to Berkshire County, eastern New York and southern Vermont by the time it moves out of the region late Thursday.

At AccuWeather.com, forecasters called it a "meteorological bomb" while the National Weather Service warned of an "explosive nor'easter" that could dump 3 to 5 inches of rain on Berkshire County, with blustery winds that could cause property damage.

The NWS office in Albany, N.Y., issued a precautionary flood watch stretching into Friday morning. Rising water levels on area rivers and streams and blocked storm drains from fallen leaves and debris were the potential culprits, according to forecaster Brian Montgomery.

The weather service also issued a 24-hour wind advisory through 8 p.m. Thursday with gusts up to 45 mph that blow down tree limbs, resulting in scattered power failures. The advisory urged residents to secure outdoor objects and use extra caution on the roads, especially in high-profile vehicles.

"Given the rainfall amount forecasts, wet grounds and increasing winds with still plenty of leaves could pose an impact hazard with fallen trees and limbs as well as isolated power outages," Montgomery stated in an online post late Wednesday.

The storm, rapidly gaining strength late Wednesday, may be classified as a "bomb cyclone," AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski predicted. Record-low air pressure for mid-October, an indicator of a severe storm, is possible in Massachusetts, the rest of New England and eastern New York, Sosnowski noted.

The scheduled American League Championship Series game at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx had to be postponed from Wednesday until Thursday evening because of the storm's impact in the New York metro area.

The winds shifting from east to northwest early Thursday were likely to knock over some large or poorly-rooted trees and lead to property impacts throughout New England, AccuWeather predicted.

The super-soaking rain and blustery winds should begin to ease on Thursday evening, according to forecasters.

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On the back end of the storm, colder temperatures and still-gusty winds should produce the coldest air of the season so far by Friday.

A milder, mostly clear weekend should mark the end of prime fall foliage in the Berkshires after the storm causes rapid leaf-drop across the region.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.

FACTBOX:

Storm Signals

Forecast highlights for Berkshire County:

Thursday: Rain tapering off by noon, then showers, west winds gusting to 40 mph. Rainfall totals 3 to 5 inches.

Thursday Night: A chance of showers before 2 a.m., then mostly cloudy, northwest winds up to 30 mph.

Friday through Sunday: Mostly clear, high in the 50s, warming to 60 on Sunday, nighttime lows in the mid-30s. Gusty winds early Friday, then easing.

Source: National Weather Service.


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