Rain turns to snow as December arrives
By Patrick Shuster
Published: Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010
Despite the temperature spike last week of 69 degrees and several days where the mercury rose above 60 during the month of November, the region is facing its first chance of measurable snow today and tonight.
Steady rains falling since early Tuesday morning will give way to snow showers throughout the day and into this evening across most of Western Pennsylvania, according to State College-based AccuWeather.com meteorologist Erik Pindrock.
"A strong cold front began pushing into the area Tuesday, causing heavy rains all along the East Coast," he said. "Once the front moves through and the temperatures drop, the rains will change to snow."
Pindrock said much of the area will see a light coating of snow - less than an inch - while areas in the mountains could see two to three inches of snow before the system moves out of the area on Friday.
According to rain gauges at the locks and dams on the Allegheny River, Kittanningalready had seen a quarter of an inch of rain by 7 a.m. Tuesday and river levels are expected to rise over the next day, causing forecasters to issue flood watches across the area.
The Allegheny River at Lock 7 in Kittanning is expected to crest around 17 feet on Thursday, about four feet below the flood stage of 21 feet.
In Pittsburgh, nearly two inches of rain had fallen by 9 p.m. and another inch of rain was being forecasted before the temperatures drop. At Point State Park in Pittsburgh, the Ohio River is expected to crest during the day Thursday around 26 feet, about 12 inches over flood stage. Minor flooding is expected there.
Even after this storm pushes through the area, Pindrock said there is a higher chance of snow through the remainder of the year because of a La Nina weather pattern.
"During La Nina, temperatures during the first part of winter are usually colder than normal, giving way to a better chance of snowfall during December," he said. "The chances are above average for more precipitation in the first half of winter than in January and February."
Pindrock said that the forecast for the winter, which does not include storms like the ones this past February, calls for a wet winter all the way through to spring, with the precipitation coming in the form of rain, snow and ice mixtures in the latter part of winter.
"We won't see the kind of snowfall we had last winter, but we should have a mixed bag throughout the season," he said. "The way things are shaping up, there is a good chance many of us in Western Pennsylvania could see a white Christmas."
For weather information and forecasts, visit www.accuweather.com .
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Analysis: Steelers could fill needs with free agents while not spending big bucks
- Police charge Westmoreland County priest in $124,000 theft case
- Steelers to release LaMarr Woodley; Taylor restructures contract
- Judge denies Harper’s appeal
- Upper St. Clair woman’s death at Drexel probed as possible meningitis
- State Supreme Court will hear appeal in case of 11-year-old murderer
- Pittsburgh police to tear up parking tickets written ‘erroneously’
- Most missing documents that resulted in Point Park security alert are located
- Crosby lifts Penguins over Capitals in last game of road trip
- Pittsburgh’s Rubber Duck to be redeployed to Norfolk
- FAA investigating ‘experimental’ plane crash at Washington County Airport