Region’s record rainfall pace slowed by dry August |

Region’s record rainfall pace slowed by dry August

Matt Rosenberg | Tribune-Review
An American flag waves in the sunshine over the Allegheny River on Aug. in Tarentum on Aug. 16, 2019.

One of the wettest three-month stretches of weather in Pittsburgh gave way to one of the driest summer months it has seen in years.

The National Weather Service in Moon recorded 2.45 inches of rain in August, more than an inch short of the 30-year August average of 3.48 inches. That number is below average for the area, said meteorologist Rich Redmond of the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh.

The 2.45 inches this August made it the second-driest month in Pittsburgh since December 2017 (1.77 inches). Only March 2019 was drier, with 2.37 inches. It’s the driest meteorological summer month (June to August) since August 2015 (2.29 inches).

Redmond said September is on track to have warmer and drier weather than normal, as well.

But the unpredictability of tropical systems forming could change those predictions, Redmond said.

“Extended forecasts for the month wouldn’t be able to account for any tropical systems that might come through, but it does look like a warm and dry pattern for September,” Redmond said.

He added that the area saw about 8.5 inches of rain last September after tropical system Gordon hit the Gulf Coast, making landfall between Mississippi and Alabama as a tropical storm. Redmond said Western Pennsylvania saw between 4 and 5 inches of rain in just three days.

Going into October, Redmond said predictions show cooler temperatures than normal, “but that’s still pretty far out.”

The dry weather throughout August came after a wet July, when Pittsburgh was on pace to break the annual rainfall record, it set at 57.83 inches in 2018.

The region was drenched with over 19 inches of rain in May, June and July, making it the most saturating three-month stretch recorded at Pittsburgh International Airport since July to September 2004. Pittsburgh already had seen a combined 11.8 inches of rain in July and August of that year, and in September, Hurricane Ivan wreaked havoc on the region, contributing to a total of more than 10 inches of rain that month alone.

At its current monthly average, Pittsburgh is on pace for 51.84 inches of rain in 2019.

While that would put it 6 inches behind last year’s record, it would still be Pittsburgh’s second-wettest year since 2004.

Assistant digital content leader Matt Rosenberg can be reached at [email protected], and staff writer Megan Tomasic can be reached at [email protected]

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