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February snowy but not record-setting

Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
A bright sun is deceiving as temperatures were in the low teens just before lunch as a man is seen walking his dog through the trees in Ford City Memorial park along the Armstrong Trail on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014.

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By R.A. Monti
Saturday, March 1, 2014, 1:16 a.m.
 

If it were a baseball player, February had a phenomenal year, going 21 for 28.

But when it's not America's pastime, and is actually the number of days when it snowed, folks might have a different opinion.

According to the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh, not only did it snow 75 percent of the days in February, on six of the seven days it didn't snow it rained.

That makes Feb. 22 the only day without a flake of snow or a drop of rain.

Mike Kennedy, a meteorologist for the NWS, said the second month of the year had about six more inches of snow in 2014 than normal.

“The normal (for February) is 10.2 inches; we're at 16.1,” he said. “We had 16.3 last year.”

Kennedy said the Pittsburgh region has had nearly twice as much snow this winter than in a normal one. Kennedy said about 58 inches of snow has fallen this winter.

“Normally, we see about 32.5 inches.”

Kennedy said the snowiest February was in 2010, when the area got hit with 48.7 inches. About 21 inches fell during “Snowmagedon,” Feb. 5-6.

The annual average snowfall in the Pittsburgh area is 42.3 inches.

March averages about 7.6 inches.

If that average holds, the winter of 2013-14 will be the ninth snowiest on record.

The snowiest was 1950-51, when the area was slammed with 80.1 inches of the white stuff.

“We're having a snowy season,” he said. “Depending on this next storm, it could add to it.”

Speaking of the weekend, Kennedy said the heaviest stuff shouldn't come until late Sunday evening and early Monday.

“It's a tough one (to predict),” he said. We'll see some snow. But it could be mostly rain, or all snow.

“The forecast is all over the place. Potentially, we could see 4-10 inches.”

Cold enough

In terms of temperature, February 2014 was colder than normal, but not by an extreme margin.

Not counting Friday, the average high was 34.4 degrees, Kennedy said. Normal is 39.

The average low in February was 17.9 degrees. The normal low is about 23.

Kennedy said the month might have set cold temperature records had it not had five days when the high climbed into the 50s.

“We had a couple cold ones,” he said. “But we also had a couple warm days in there that botched that.

Compared to 1977 — when the monthly average temperature was 11 degrees, “it's not even close.”

R.A. Monti is a freelance reporter for Trib Total Media.

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