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Rain, Rain and Then ... Snow? Wet Weekend Ahead

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This weekend is starting off with icy rain that will switch to drenching, and then the beginning of the week could start with a foot of snow depending on which path a cross-country storm takes over the next couple days
 
The National Weather Service has a winter weather advisory in effect from Friday afternoon until 10 p.m. as light, freezing rain enters the region. The Albany, N.Y., office is warning there could be very slippery roads, sidewalks and bridges but the sleet should turn to just plain rain as the temperatures rise later in the day. 
 
That means Saturday will see warmer air and heavier rain, although there could be some dry spots in the afternoon. Max temps could reach into upper 40s and 50s, and it will continue to be cloudy and dreary through the day, according to NWS. Sunday's looking a bit better although colder.
 
Of more concern is a major storm system moving through the western states and heading into New England late Monday on the heels of the rainstorm. 
 
Colder air is expected to push into the region beginning Saturday night with snow falling across the Adirondacks by Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon could see snow showers and gusty winds with temperatures hovering in the 30s. Then a second storm system will move into the region late Monday or Tuesday along a 3,000-mile path from the central Plains.
 
"One scenario takes a weak to moderate storm on a quick pace from the central Plains on Sunday to the Tennessee Valley and the southern Appalachians on Monday and then the mid-Atlantic coast by Tuesday," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said. That may mean snow across for most of the Northeast and a wintry mix across southern New York and New England
 
A second scenario could push the snow mostly into Canada and New England's far north but dumping a mix of rain, sleet and snow across New England. 
 
"Even with a surge of warm air, there might still be a wedge of cold air that gets trapped over parts of the central Appalachians and central New England. A significant ice storm might come about in that case," Anderson said.
 
The first scenario could mean upwards of 15 inches of snow for the Berkshires and Southern Vermont; the second, an icy mess across the region. Either way looks like a no-win scenario. 
 
Greylock Snow Day isn't predicting any snow days for Tuesday yet, but it is keeping an eye on a big storm being predicted for Dec. 23. 
 
"We do not think we'll get two feet of snow 10 days from now, but the chance for major winter storm is very much in the conversation. Should we get another foot of snow, this will go down as one of the snowiest Decembers ever. And few people will mind having a white Christmas this year," the blog writes.

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Guest Column: Statement on Sentencing in Steele-Knudslien Murder

Guest Column
As the region's longest-serving LGBTQ organization, Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition has closely followed the case of the murder of Christa Steele-Knudslien, the North Adams resident and founder of the Miss Trans New England Pageant. 
 
Today [Thursday], her murderer has been sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole after serving 25 years. In the two years since we lost Christa, the community has rallied around her memory and inspiration. In North Adams, a grassroots task force was founded in reaction to her death and those of other residents killed by their partners. This led to the Berkshire County Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force, a coalition of community agencies such as Elizabeth Freeman Center, law enforcement, and the court system, currently working to end domestic violence in Berkshire County for good. 
 
On the brighter side, over the past two years the Berkshire Pride Festival has grown to be a major event, celebrating and uplifting the trans community that Christa cared about so much. An annual award for local LGBTQ leaders has been established in her name and with her spirit. Clothing swaps have happened where Berkshire residents shared the joy and beauty of being trans, the same goal Christa had in mind when founding her pageant. Rainbow Seniors and the Berkshire Trans Group expanded their meetings, providing support and connection from Williamstown to Great Barrington.
 
Politically, a local contingent spent hours organizing and fighting to pass the state ballot measure last year that made Massachusetts the first state to successfully defend an attack on a trans rights bill, setting a strong precedent for human rights across the nation. And we mourned, as a community, at each Trans Day of Remembrance, a national event that struck home when we read Christa's name amongst those murdered.
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