If southern Vermont residents think they've entered a tropical rain forest, they're close to the mark.
An extremely sultry air mass has engulfed the region, with frequent downpours and thunderstorms expected for the next four or five days, according to the National Weather Service.
Temperatures are expected to approach 90 on Thursday, while intense storms could drop three to four inches of total rainfall by next Monday, when a drier, cooler air mass is slated to arrive to eject the tropical plume of hot air from the region.
Channel 13 and WAMC meteorologist Paul Caiano likens the deep dive into a soggy, steamy cauldron of heat, humidity and rain to a steam bath.
The only silver lining is that the area could emerge from the near-drought conditions that have persisted for the past seven months.
Over the next four days, AccuWeather.com is predicting at least 3 inches of rain in Southern Vermont.
The dividing line between the sultry air and a drier air mass moved north of the Berkshires and southern Vermont on Wednesday morning, then stalled and shows no sign of moving back south as a cold front until late Sunday or Monday morning, when gradual relief should arrive.
On Saturday and Sunday, clouds and the expected thundershowers should hold down temperatures a bit. By Tuesday and Wednesday, look for clear skies with comfortable temperatures and humidity.
Here's the National Weather Service outlook for the next seven days:
Thursday: Mostly sunny, high near 90, possible thunderstorms at night could produce heavy rain.
Friday: Mostly cloudy, showers and possible thunderstorms after 2 p.m., some with heavy rain. High around 87. More thundershowers at night.
Saturday: Showers likely, mainly after 2 p.m., high near 86, more showers in the evening.
Sunday: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 2 p.m., with potentially heavy rain. High near 80.
Monday: 50-50 chance of showers, thunderstorms, high near 75.
Tuesday: Partly sunny, high in mid-70s, scattered showers, thunderstorms, 30 percent chance.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny, low humidity high in the upper 70s.