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Enjoying a brief warm-up

  • Michael Dadamo, 15, of Albany, N.Y., catches some air Saturday at Berkshire East Ski Area. While he donned a sweatshirt, some woreT-shirts and even tank tops down the slopes on the 50-degree day. However, the week's forecast calls for a return of frigid temperatures.<br/>Recorder/David Rainville

    Michael Dadamo, 15, of Albany, N.Y., catches some air Saturday at Berkshire East Ski Area. While he donned a sweatshirt, some woreT-shirts and even tank tops down the slopes on the 50-degree day. However, the week's forecast calls for a return of frigid temperatures.
    Recorder/David Rainville Purchase photo reprints »

  • Todd Dubreuil of Shelburne Falls,braved the slopes of Berkshire East in a T-shirt and vest Saturday, while his wife, Julie, and sons Cody, 3, and Jesse, 8, bundled up a bit more on the 50-degree day. Their son Tyler, 10, was squeezing in another run on the spring-like afternoon.<br/>Recorder/David Rainville

    Todd Dubreuil of Shelburne Falls,braved the slopes of Berkshire East in a T-shirt and vest Saturday, while his wife, Julie, and sons Cody, 3, and Jesse, 8, bundled up a bit more on the 50-degree day. Their son Tyler, 10, was squeezing in another run on the spring-like afternoon.
    Recorder/David Rainville Purchase photo reprints »

  • Michael Dadamo, 15, of Albany, N.Y., catches some air Saturday at Berkshire East Ski Area. While he donned a sweatshirt, some woreT-shirts and even tank tops down the slopes on the 50-degree day. However, the week's forecast calls for a return of frigid temperatures.<br/>Recorder/David Rainville
  • Todd Dubreuil of Shelburne Falls,braved the slopes of Berkshire East in a T-shirt and vest Saturday, while his wife, Julie, and sons Cody, 3, and Jesse, 8, bundled up a bit more on the 50-degree day. Their son Tyler, 10, was squeezing in another run on the spring-like afternoon.<br/>Recorder/David Rainville

CHARLEMONT — If the warm weekend was a preview of things to come, short sleeves and snow pants are the new spring fashion trend.

At least it looked that way at Berkshire East Ski Area, where people flocked to enjoy the snow and sunshine as temperatures hovered around 50 Saturday.

“It’s really nice; the snow’s a little heavy, but the skiing is still good, even after yesterday’s rain,” said Todd Dubreuil of Shelburne Falls, who wore a T-shirt and fleece vest as he skied with his family.

Todd and Julie Dubreuil and sons Cody, 3, Jesse, 8, and Tyler, 10, didn’t wait for the warm weather to head for the hills. All five have season passes, so they’ve been up and down Berkshire East a lot this winter.

“We’ve been coming right through the season, and it’s been a pretty good one,” Todd Dubreuil said. “We’ve taken advantage of the snow days, too, and come up when they’ve cancelled school.”

He said he’s been coming to the Charlemont ski area since he was Jesse’s age, and loves to share the sport with his sons.

While they’ve enjoyed the winter, they’re looking forward to the spring, too.

“Once the snow’s gone, we go right into baseball and then soccer seasons,” Julie Dubreuil said.

As warm as the weekend may have been, it’s still winter in the northern hemisphere, and it will remain so until the March 20 vernal equinox.

We will be reminded of that fact in the days ahead.

“This week, it’s back to the deep freeze, and it could go below zero again, and again, and again,” said Greenfield meteorologist Tom Bevacqua.

Depending on which forecast you look at, it may stay below freezing until hitting 38 degrees on Sunday or 33 degrees on Monday and dipping down again.

It’s a pattern we’ve seen since late fall.

“Since Thanksgiving, it’s been pretty cold, and when it warms up for three or four days, it entices us into thinking that we’re going to have a longer spell of warm weather, then it gets cold again — real cold,” said Bevacqua.

“I think this has been an anomalous winter,” Bevacqua continued. “Snowfall has been above average, and we’ve had many, many consecutive days of cold, with no significant weather pattern changes since Thanksgiving.”

Bevacqua said meteorologists are tracking a storm that could bring some snow our way Wednesday, though it was still a little early to estimate the amount.

Even gamblers who love a longshot would consider it a sucker’s bet to wager on the weather in New England.

Trying to forecast the weather weeks ahead of time is “a rough call,” Bevacqua said. “All I know is that the first half of March is going to be colder than normal.”

Despite the weather’s tendency to turn at a moment’s notice, there’s one source that’s not afraid to go out on a limb and make long-range predictions.

Since its inception in 1792, the Old Farmer’s Almanac has forecasted the weather an entire year at a time. Published in September, the 2014 edition attempts to predict the weather from November 2013 to October.

It calls for the rest of February to include snow, sunshine, and “very cold” temperatures. According to the Almanac, March will be one degree colder than average for the south end of the Northeast, beginning with snow and rain. It calls for snow, rain, and “seasonable” temperatures from March 6 to 16, with rain, then snow and snow showers and cold temperatures bringing us to the 25th, and a rainy but mild finish to the month.

The only sure bet when it comes to the weather is that it’s bound to change. From day to day or year to year, you can never be 100 percent sure what to expect.

Weather records for recent years prove it.

Highs last March stayed above freezing in Greenfield every day, though nearly 9 inches of snow fell throughout the month. Two years ago, an April Fools Day storm blanketed Greenfield in a little more than an inch of springtime snow. Go back farther still to March 19, 2010, and you’ll find a high of 84, nearly 60 degrees above the day’s low of 29, while March of 2005 saw nearly two feet of snow.

Welcome to New England, folks.

You can reach David Rainville at: drainville@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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