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Pittsburgh/Western PA Fall 2023 Discussion


Ahoff
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Special Weather Statement
National Weather Service Pittsburgh PA
728 AM EST Wed Nov 15 2023

PAZ007>009-013>016-020>022-029-031-073>078-152300-
Mercer-Venango-Forest-Lawrence-Butler-Clarion-Jefferson PA-Beaver-
Allegheny-Armstrong-Washington-Greene-Westmoreland-
Higher Elevations of Westmoreland-Fayette-
Higher Elevations of Fayette-Indiana-Higher Elevations of Indiana-
Including the cities of Sharon, Hermitage, Grove City, Oil City,
Franklin, Tionesta, New Castle, Ellwood City, Butler, Clarion,
Punxsutawney, Brookville, Aliquippa, Beaver Falls, Ambridge,
Monaca, Pittsburgh Metro Area, Kittanning, Ford City, Washington,
Canonsburg, Waynesburg, Murrysville, Greensburg, New Kensington,
Lower Burrell, Latrobe, Monessen, Ligonier, Donegal, Uniontown,
Champion, Ohiopyle, Indiana, and Armagh
728 AM EST Wed Nov 15 2023

...ELEVATED RISK OF WILDFIRE SPREAD THIS AFTERNOON...

A combination of dry and windy conditions this afternoon will
create an elevated risk of wildfire spread across western
Pennsylvania, including Allegheny National Forest. Minimum
relative humidity values will range from 20 to 30 percent
accompanied by wind gusts between 15 and 20 mph.

Residents are urged to exercise caution if handling any potential
ignition sources, such as machinery, cigarettes, or matches. If
dry grasses and tree litter begin to burn, the fire will have the
potential to spread rapidly.

For more information about wildfire danger and wildfire
prevention and education, please visit the Pennsylvania Department
of Conservation and Natural Resources website at
http://dcnr.pa.gov/Communities/Wildfire.

$$

TC
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The US Department of Agriculture released an update to its plant hardiness zone map this morning. Shows portions of southwest Pennsylvania, along the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers, including downtown Pittsburgh, as Zone 7A for the first time. This corresponds to an average annual minimum temperature of 0 to 5F. The rest of southwest Pennsylvania was bumped to Zone 6B, corresponding to an average annual minimum temperature of -5 to 0F.

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map | USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

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Just out of curiosity, why would our region be removed from the abnormally dry category on the US Drought monitor?  Over the last week we've had nearly no rain and really the last three weeks we've had nearly none.  How could we fall out of abnormally dry, especially with fire weather conditions today?

I mean we're nearly 8" below average for rain this year, and almost 3" below for the Fall.

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23 hours ago, Ahoff said:

Just out of curiosity, why would our region be removed from the abnormally dry category on the US Drought monitor?  Over the last week we've had nearly no rain and really the last three weeks we've had nearly none.  How could we fall out of abnormally dry, especially with fire weather conditions today?

I mean we're nearly 8" below average for rain this year, and almost 3" below for the Fall.

Absolutely astounding. "Abnormally dry" supposedly correlates to conditions that are expected to occur about 1 every 3 or 4 years. I don't know how they are determining it isn't abnormally dry.

If we exclude downtown data, and look at all data from the two airport sites, this is the sixth warmest year on record to date [of 88 years].

image.png.01081dc62a568a86a517759d40f7948a.png

And the ninth driest of those 88 years, and only about an inch from 5th place on this list:

image.png.1457d2f1eb7bc7f25cde961e140ba6c8.png

 

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11 minutes ago, TheClimateChanger said:

PIT's low of 34F was a whopping 7 degrees below the low temperature observed at AGC, and even 1F lower than BTP (that's pretty rare). Yet no complaints about the accuracy of those readings. Go figure.

AGC did briefly get to 39 or 40 just before the 8:00 hour. But yeah, there were some hourly obs last night where that difference was 10 or 11 degrees.

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1 hour ago, TheClimateChanger said:

PIT's low of 34F was a whopping 7 degrees below the low temperature observed at AGC, and even 1F lower than BTP (that's pretty rare). Yet no complaints about the accuracy of those readings. Go figure.

No it's weird for sure, but showing the temps around the area this morning, showed many different pockets of warm and cool air.  Must have been cloudy in certain areas.  It made much more sense than seeing a few weeks ago, everywhere around 32 except KPIT at 37.

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9 minutes ago, Ahoff said:

Still time to trend colder, these things fluctuate.

But 2020 was a good winter, I’d take a repeat.

2020-21 was a good winter mostly because December was good and started with a big storm on the very first day of meteorological winter, which is looking highly unlikely for a repeat given the El Niño base state and current modeling. Not saying we can’t have a good January/February, but this winter likely isn’t going to look like a carbon copy of 2020-21.

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15 minutes ago, TimB said:

2020-21 was a good winter mostly because December was good and started with a big storm on the very first day of meteorological winter, which is looking highly unlikely for a repeat given the El Niño base state and current modeling. Not saying we can’t have a good January/February, but this winter likely isn’t going to look like a carbon copy of 2020-21.

It’s unlikely to look like last year either, so that’s a win.

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11.6 inches of snow so far in the 2023 calendar year. The least snowiest calendar year on record is 1998, with 10.9 inches. The current second least snowiest calendar year is 1889, with 15.8 inches. However, that value is probably not really comparable to recent snowfall records due to changes in location and station exposure, as well as changes in snowfall measurement procedures.

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