Blame for more snow -- 5 inches could be on way for Pittsburgh region -- placed on the groundhog
By Michael Hasch
Published: Saturday, March 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
The National Weather Service refuses to take the blame for its prediction that the Pittsburgh region could get several inches of snow Sunday night through Monday afternoon.
“Blame it on the groundhog. Everybody wants to blame the groundhog,” National Weather Service meteorologist Rihaan Gangat said with a laugh, referring to Punxsutawney Phil's prediction of an early spring.
“Right now, we are calling for four or five inches in the Pittsburgh area, with higher amounts in the mountains,” Gangat said on Friday. “That could very well change if the track of the storm changes. We'll have a better understanding (on Saturday).”
Gangat said it's not unusual to get a significant snowfall in March.
The largest single-day snowfall on record in Pittsburgh is 23.6 inches on March 13, 1993, the so-called St. Patrick's Day parade blizzard. Actually, the third biggest snowstorm on record in Pittsburgh was March 12-14, 1993, when 25.3 inches fell.
Gangat said it's possible for the region to get significant snowfall even later in the spring.
National Weather Service records show 12.7 inches of snow fell on April 3, 1901, and 11.2 inches were on the ground on April 8, 1902. There was a trace of snow recorded on May 31, 1893, and 3.1 inches on May 9, 1966.
Gangat concedes the upcoming storm could break a couple of single-day snowfall records. The biggest snowfall on record for March 24 in Pittsburgh is 3.8 inches in 1966. The most snow ever recorded in Pittsburgh on March 25 was one inch in 1947.
“We got spoiled last year with one of the warmest Marches on record. Last year at this time it was 80 degrees,” Gangat said. “Winter does have a way of payback.”
He said 50.6 inches of snow has fallen at the National Weather Service station in Moon since Oct. 1, leading him to believe it could reach 60 inches by the time the current snow season ends. That is still far below the record of 82 inches that fell in Pittsburgh during the 1951-52 snow season. The least snowfall ever recorded in Pittsburgh was 8.8 inches in 1918-19.
No matter how much snow falls, it should melt pretty fast.
“It's cold enough to snow but not cold enough to stick around a week or two,” Gangat said.
Area hardware stores say they still have plenty of supplies on hand.
“We actually have a lot of salt, a lot of shovels and snow blowers,” said Bob Jay at the Ace Hardware on Perry Highway in Wexford, where an outside electrical promotional sign reads simply: “We have salt.”
Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Job cuts at AGH part of ‘strategic’ process
- Redistricting provides faceoff for Democratic state Reps. Molchany, Readshaw
- Assessment appeals draw Mt. Lebanon residents’ ire
- Ex-Sandusky lawyer investigated in divorce case
- Fox Chapel Area superintendent seeks rapport with students
- Newsmaker: Dr. Kyle Soltys
- Allegheny County Democrats endorse several incumbents in primary
- Parking tickets in Downtown Pittsburgh spark outrage
- Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to hold annual public meeting March 26
- Western Pennsylvania organizations team to find housing for vets
- Donor name to be stripped from Penn Hills library