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Pittsburgh, Pa Winter 2023-24 Thread.


meatwad
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A few things we should all keep in mind as this season starts:

-We will see plenty of fantasy range storms with 1'-2' for us.  We should enjoy the maps, but know it's unlikely.

-We should be thankful for anything that falls, even if it just nickel and dimes us all season.

-We shouldn't hang on every run, and let it ruin our days.

I'm at least telling myself this already, lol.

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Marginal risk today.

 ...Upper OH Valley...
   Despite early period cloudiness and showers, the airmass across the
   Upper OH Valley is expected to destabilize by the afternoon, with
   temperatures likely reaching the low to mid 50s across western PA.
   Low-level moisture will be modest, with dewpoints likely in the
   upper 40s/low 50s. Even so, steep low-level lapse rates coupled with
   cooling temperatures aloft should result in modest buoyancy ahead of
   the approaching shortwave trough. Strong ascent attendant to this
   shortwave is expected foster thunderstorm development as it
   interacts with this limited buoyancy. Low-level flow will be modest,
   but strong mid and upper-level flow will encourage fast storm
   motions and the potential for a few stronger gusts with any robust
   storms. Given the cold mid-level temperatures and strong deep-layer
   shear, some hail is possible as well.
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It will be interesting to see where 2023 ends up in the rankings. Currently tied for 19th place. A couple of years have a considerable amount of missing data and could be inflated if those missing days are clustered in the cool season [since the values shown below are calculated by averaging all available days]. Obviously, the majority of the years were from the downtown station which averaged around 2 1/2 degrees warmer than the PIT airport until its termination in 1979. Looking at the airport data, only 2016, 1991, 2017, 2012 and 1949 (at AGC) were warmer to date.

image.png.9a4aa0bd023010a1a2ccf3731f1b0f97.png

Here are the current annual records, shown with two different methods of averaging (by month and by day). Averaging by month is preferable when there is missing data, since it ameliorates the effect of the missing days being clustered in the cold or warm months. But with few missing days, averaging by day is more precise. I think we have a fair shot at climbing into the top 10, despite the 19th rank to date.

Averaged by monthly mean

image.png.5c866be9396735b8c53f0179a9661785.png

Averaged by daily mean

image.png.78785b9db9e1514e024167ffcb1dc01a.png

For comparison, here is AGC to date. If the official site was still there, several recent years would be quite a bit higher in the threaded record.

image.png.c8ae6daeb64900b4d879d6ac5f2232f5.png

 

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Very short period (just three days), but this is not the warmest first three days of December on record. In fact, it's not particularly close. 1982 averaged an incredible 59.2F over that stretch. Still, good for fourth place in the threaded record. In more recent decades, 2012 & 1998 saw similar temperatures to this year.

image.png.cfe0f53b46eedc12e42bb06a2dbcdfa9.png

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When I look at years with ONIs equal to or higher than this, I see a lot of disasters in Pittsburgh. Do you guys think this winter will be the second straight disaster?

image.png.a993711c73ca169dadf1682ca7e6d302.png

Here are all cases of a wintertime ONI greater than or equal to 1.8:

1957-58: 37.0"

1965-66: 48.0"

1972-73: 26.3"

1982-83: 30.1"

1997-98: 24.2"

2015-16: 29.6"

Mean: 32.5"

Five of six cases were below the normal seasonal snowfall. The most recent 4 of which were around 30" or less for the season.

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18 minutes ago, Gordo74 said:

Sure as heck would be preferable to last winter when we didn’t even crack 20” if I remember right.

17.6" was the final tally last winter, which was the least since 1990-91. Simple probability would suggest that we probably won't see so little this winter. But it certainly is off to another slow start. I am not even seeing any 384-hour model fantasy snowfalls yet.

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image.thumb.png.51446648c5c48d6f29bc14dca966bf45.png

If this is right, we'd be looking at a top ten least snowy start to winter [through the 21st]. While just one run of one model, it's consistent with earlier runs. This particular run actually has substantially more snowfall elsewhere in the region than earlier runs, but still suggests the Pittsburgh region receives little accumulation.

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3 hours ago, TheClimateChanger said:

When I look at years with ONIs equal to or higher than this, I see a lot of disasters in Pittsburgh. Do you guys think this winter will be the second straight disaster?

image.png.a993711c73ca169dadf1682ca7e6d302.png

Here are all cases of a wintertime ONI greater than or equal to 1.8:

1957-58: 37.0"

1965-66: 48.0"

1972-73: 26.3"

1982-83: 30.1"

1997-98: 24.2"

2015-16: 29.6"

Mean: 32.5"

Five of six cases were below the normal seasonal snowfall. The most recent 4 of which were around 30" or less for the season.

It is getting more difficult to extrapolate based on past data, although last year (considering previous 3-season Ninas) I didn't expect much and that turned out prescient.  We hit our lowest snowfall total since the winter of 1990-91.

This year I'm torn.  Super Ninos can definitely be too much of a good thing, as you've already pointed out.  We also don't get the same ocean influences as the coast, so while they may require certain conditions, what's good for them may wreak havoc on our own snow chances.

The odds of beating last year are quite high, however.  Almost automatic.  We haven't had back-to-back sub 20" snowfall winters since the early 30s.  Doesn't mean we'll be above average, of course.  Maybe that also means we're due.

I will say, almost every time we've hit +2.0 on the Nino scale, we've had <30" that winter ('82-83 was 30.1" so close enough).  Not sure if we'll get to that deviation but it does look close.  If so, your safe bet might be on a sub 30" winter.

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41 minutes ago, Rd9108 said:

Something to watch coming up

DCL1k5W.jpg

 

Both GFS and Euro show a secondary wave popping along the front, certainly worth keeping an eye on. As with anything timing is everything, but if the low deepens at our latitude after the front passes it could be fun. Pretty sure we had a storm do that a few years back on Christmas Eve.

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1 hour ago, RitualOfTheTrout said:

Both GFS and Euro show a secondary wave popping along the front, certainly worth keeping an eye on. As with anything timing is everything, but if the low deepens at our latitude after the front passes it could be fun. Pretty sure we had a storm do that a few years back on Christmas Eve.

You’d be talking about this one (2020). Looks a lot like what the Euro just modeled, but we must remember there was a ton of cold air with that one and temps hovered around 20 on the back end of that storm, something that is severely lacking this time.EFFED8B4-A090-4834-951F-C84EDA416B18.jpeg.9124a3666a6cc65f2e725abf77ee4cbd.jpeg

 

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1 hour ago, TimB said:

You’d be talking about this one (2020). Looks a lot like what the Euro just modeled, but we must remember there was a ton of cold air with that one and temps hovered around 20 on the back end of that storm, something that is severely lacking this time.EFFED8B4-A090-4834-951F-C84EDA416B18.jpeg.9124a3666a6cc65f2e725abf77ee4cbd.jpeg

 

Way to be a downer, lol.

At least something to watch at this point.

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