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North Adams Postpones Tree Lighting as Wind, Rain Forecast

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In the Berkshires, a snowstorm is sure to be followed by -- rain. 
 
There's a forecast of rain and wind for Wednesday that's forced the cancellation of the tree-lighting in North Adams that has been held on Thanksgiving eve for a number of years. 
 
Instead, the ceremony will be held on Friday, Dec. 6, at 6 p.m. at Monument Square (yes, the same time as the Pittsfield tree lighting, so both cities will be lit at once. How will Santa know which one to go to?). 
 
The National Weather Service is predicting rain beginning after 3 p.m. on Wednesday and the possibility of strong winds blowing across the region overnight Wednesday and into Thanksgiving Day. At least it will stay mild, with highs near 50 degrees. It was 59 degrees on Main Street at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. 
 
But the blustery weather entering the region may be enough to ground the balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The large balloons are inflated on Wednesday afternoon in preparation for the parade through Manhattan the next morning. Macy's says it takes nearly seven hours to blow up the enormous inflatables. 
 
Officials are saying they may not decide until Thursday morning whether the Snoopy and his friends will fly. The limit is 23 mph winds; the NWS is predicting winds between 21 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph.
 
Thanksgiving Day in the Berkshires will turn cooler, with some rain in the morning and a chance of rain and snow mix in the afternoon and into the evening and light gusts wind. Then it turns colder over the weekend as temperatures go back into the 30s during the day and teens at night and a chance of light snow. 
 
Greylock Snow Day thinks there could be "plowable" snow over the weekend but that's not likely to translate into a snow day for Monday. Most schools will be closed or closing at noon on Wednesday for the Thanksgiving weekend, so the kids will get a four- or five-day break. 
 
At least our weather looks to be better than the upper Midwest and western portions of the country that are being hit by major storms that have cancelled hundreds of flights during the most traveled holiday of the year. A "bomb cyclone" is expected to slam into northern California and Oregon on Tuesday bringing 4 feet of snow and 100 mph winds! 

Tags: bad weather,   thanksgiving,   tree lighting,   

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Walmart Implementing COVID-19 Restrictions

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Walmart is instituting strict limits on access to its more than 4,700 stores across the nation. 
 
As of Saturday, April 4, the number of customers allowed in store will be limited to five per every 1,000 square feet, or about 20 percent of each store's capacity.
 
Associates will direct customers to a marked queue at a single-entry door  and they will be admitted one-by-one and counted. Associates and signage will remind customers of the importance of social distancing while they're waiting to enter a store – especially before it opens in the morning.
 
"While many of our customers have been following the advice of the medical community regarding social distancing and safety, we have been concerned to still see some behaviors in our stores that put undue risk on our people," Dacona Smith, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Walmart U.S., wrote on the corporate site on Friday.
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