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Snowfall predictions fizzle

| Monday, March 3, 2014, 12:51 a.m.

Having dodged the bulk of the doomsday snow forecasts, the Mid-Mon Valley is basking in the calm after the predicted storm.

And the weather horizon is looking nearly spring-like.

After hearing projections of as much as a foot of snow, the Valley received 4 inches by sunset Sunday with the prospect of maybe an inch or more by dawn Monday.

“The heavier band of snow developed and stayed well south so we did not experience any of the heavier snow,” meteorologist Rihaan Gangat said.

The heaviest precipitation was well to the south of the region, over southern Ohio and central West Virginia.

“We got spared here in Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania,” Gangat said.

The storm, which meteorologists and area residents had been following for several days, also moved faster than expected, moving out by Sunday evening instead of lingering into Monday.

The forecast is only expected to improve throughout the next week. While the thermometer isn't expected to rise above the freezing point until Wednesday, highs will reach into the 40s through Sunday.

The next week includes no measurable precipitation, Gangat said.

“The good news is that spring is right around the corner,” Gangat said.

The long-range forecast includes no major storms, he said.

But the uncertainty of past Marches precludes weather forecasters from putting winter to bed before the season officially ends.

“In the past, we've had snow storms in March, sometimes some big storms occur, like the storm in 1993,” Gangat said. “Hopefully, nothing like that will happen this year.”

Gangat said it is too early to tell when spring temperatures will arrive for good.

But on average, that usually occurs toward the end of the month.

“It depends on how much solar energy we have, but we'll see more sunlight and heating during the day as the month goes on,” Gangat said.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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