February precipitation kept Alle-Kiski Valley damp
Finding a patch of dry ground in the Alle-Kiski Valley during February was a challenging proposition.
According to the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh, there were just three days when neither rain, nor sleet nor hail fell in the region.
Those days were Feb. 7, 18 and 25, according to data recorded by the weather service.
“We're definitely above (average) in terms of snow for (February),” said John Darnley, a meterologist for the weather service. The weather service recorded 15.4 inches of snow; the average is 10.65 inches.
Oddly, however, precipitation in the form of rain was below its normal level for February.
There was just a drip over 2 inches of rain, which is slightly less than the average of 2.3 inches, he said.
The story for precipitation this year is different than last year, when there were concerns about the region's water table being replenished, he said.
Total precipitation for February 2012 amounted to just 14.54 inches while last March came in at 9.29 inches. Darnley said a 6-inch snowfall early last March alleviated some of that concern but the remainder of the month showed only trace amounts of snow on two other days while rainfall didn't surpass one inch at any time.
For this season, through Wednesday, there has been 30.81 inches of precipitation and normal is 28.09, so the region is about 2.7 inches over normal, Darnley said. Last year at the same time, it was 27.31 — a bit under normal.
He pointed out that March can be something of a wild card in regard to precipitation.
“In 1993, on March 13, we had the record,” Darnley said. “We got 23.6 inches of snow, and that is our highest 24-hour snowfall on record.'
“All it needs is a very nicely stacked low just off the coast the Carolinas and then riding up the Jersey shore,” he said. “We do get those occasionally.”
Overall, Darnley said it has been an active season for precipitation, and the key has been movement of low pressure systems through the area. “We haven't had any blocking patterns from high pressure systems this year,” he said.
Such blocking patterns can keep low pressure fronts stationary for days, or even weeks, which results in greater rainfall and snowfalls with lower temperatures, Darnley said.
The good thing about the constant movement of weather patterns is that it doesn't result in a deep snow pack in the mountains that can cause flooding if there's a rapid spring thaw.
“This has been a warmer winter,” Darnley said. “March is going to be pretty normal. There are no strong indicators right now.”
He said if things stay as they are, there will be normal highs in March in the mid- to upper-40s, rising to highs in the mid-50s with lows in the mid-20s by month's end.
Tom Yerace is a staff writer with Trib Total Media.
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.
- Harrison officer known for sense of duty, humor
- Springdale Jubilee canceled tonight; hours extended Thursday through Saturday
- West Deer Girl Scout troop starts farm-to-food bank program
- Substitute teacher charged in Lower Burrell sexting case
- Brackenridge contractor charged with home improvement fraud
- Alle-Kiski Valley seniors get free lift to doctor’s office
- New Kensington cobbler considers retirement after being held at gunpoint
- Leechburg home invasion charges dismissed
- Brackenridge girl opens her heart to child with cancer
- Deer Lakes identifies fired employee after newspaper’s Right to Know request
- Gilpin man to stand trial for child luring