ShareThis Page
Allegheny

Winter warm spell begins in Western Pennsylvania

Tom Fontaine
| Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, 12:39 p.m.

Punxsutawney Phil's prediction of six more weeks of wintry weather is looking pretty bad right now.

Pittsburgh's high temperature is expected to climb into the low 50s on Wednesday afternoon and the 60s on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service and State College-based AccuWeather.

The high will be in the 40s or better on 12 of February's remaining 13 days, the weather forecasting company said.

“I wouldn't give up too much on him yet,” said Punxsutawney Phil apologist Paul Pastelok, a senior meteorologist for AccuWeather. “This is going to be an impressive period of mild weather, but we still have some winter weather ahead of us.”

Pastelok noted that the weather-prognosticating groundhog is forecasting for the entire nation, and in many places his prediction appears to be spot on — average temperatures in areas of the Dakotas and Rockies have been about 14 degrees below normal, he said.

Pastelok said Western Pennsylvania's warm spell for the next two weeks could bring what has been a colder-than-usual winter back in line with normal.

Average temperatures were 2.2 degrees below normal from December through Tuesday, Pastelok said.

“It's been a little colder than expected, but with this warm-up, we'll probably end up being right near normal for the season by the end of February,” Pastelok said.

The National Weather Service is calling for a high of 64 degrees Thursday. That would rank as the fourth-warmest February day on record, according to weather service records stretching back to 1875.

Wet conditions also are in the forecast.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for Thursday for areas along the Monongahela River in Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties, as well as along the Ohio River in Allegheny County and the Youghiogheny River in Fayette County. The watch means flooding is possible but not a certainty. The weather service said a storm is expected to drop 0.75 inches to 2.5 inches of rain on the Ohio River Valley region.

Tom Fontaine is a Tribune-Review assistant news editor.

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.

click me