Pittsburgh sets record for warmest low temp, extending growing season
Wednesday morning’s low temperature of 69 degrees was expected to break a 135-year-old record for the highest low temperature ever recorded on an Oct. 2, according to the National Weather Service.
National Weather Service meteorologist Lee Hendricks said the temperature was unlikely to dip below the 69 degrees recorded around 7 a.m. for the rest of the day. The previous record for highest low temperature, 68 degrees, was recorded in 1884.
The region’s normal low temperature for Oct. 2 is around 48 degrees, according to Hendricks.
Daily high temperatures have been running about 20 degrees warmer than the normal, Hendricks said. Wednesday’s high was forecast to get into the upper 80s, approaching the record of 89 degrees set in 1927. Tuesday’s high of 88 came within 1 degree of breaking the record high for that date set in 1881.
The unseasonably warm temperatures are resulting from a weather pattern that is bringing warm air from the Gulf of Mexico into the region.
“It’s looking like at least through October, we’ll remain above normal,” Hendricks said.
The first killing frost that will end the growing season is expected to be late this year. For that to happen, it has to be 32 degrees or colder for at least four hours, Hendricks said.
The average first day for a killing frost is Oct. 20, but this year’s isn’t expected to come until early November, according to Hendricks.
The record for the latest killing frost, set in 1994, is Nov. 11, according to the weather service.
Organizers at Tarentum’s community garden are going to take advantage of the extended season, according to the Rev. Phil Beck of First United Presbyterian Church.
Some of the herbs and summer vegetables, such as peppers and carrots, are continuing to grow because of the warm weather. Tomatoes are slowing down because of the cool evenings.
Beck said they’ll plant more things that grow quickly such as Swiss chard, lettuce and baby kale this weekend.
“Seed doesn’t cost that much,” he said. “If we can get some stuff out of it, perfect.”
More seasonable weather is forecast to arrive Friday, but it will warm up again next week — although not as much as this week.
Instead of highs in the 80s, highs in the 70s are expected, Hendricks said.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .