Winter making its presence felt in Pittsburgh

Snowfall is twice the average; temps are below normal

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If you're a lover of cold, snow and gloom, Pittsburgh is probably looking like Shangri-La right about now.

Eleven days into a winter that doesn't officially expire until March 19, the city has seen temperatures well below average and more than double the average snowfall for this point in the season.

And about that gloom: The number of days rated as "clear" by the National Weather Service in November and December was precisely zero.

If the new year promises redemption in other categories, it's not serving up any break in the climate, at least for the foreseeable future. The coldest weather of the winter is on the way, along with more snow. And more gloom.

But, hey, Happy New Year!

A weather system that is expected to dump a foot or more of snow on New England appears likely to hit Pittsburgh with a glancing blow -- with accumulations of up to 4 inches falling on Thursday, said weather service meteorologist Rich Redmond.

Today's forecast was for snow showers and a high in the low 30s, with small accumulations possible north of the city. The bottom falls out on Thursday and Friday nights, with lows of 6 degrees projected for both days and a high of just 14 on Friday.

"Friday will be the coldest day this season," Mr. Redmond said.

As of Tuesday, 23.7 inches of snow had fallen in Pittsburgh, well above the average of 10.8 inches, the National Weather Service said. Fourteen inches had been recorded in December, compared to the normal of 8.3 inches.

That one glorious day where the temperature hit a record of 72 helped to push the monthly average temperature to 1.7 degrees above normal, following a November that was 3.5 degrees colder than normal.

Lest we forget the silver lining, it could be worse. Our neighbors to the north in Erie had shoveled 58 inches of snow going into Tuesday, nearly 23 inches above normal, and were expecting up to a foot more by week's end.

Staff Writer Robert Zullo contributed. Jon Schmitz: or 412-263-1868.

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