Punxsutawney Phil was right -- winter is on the way out
March 5, 2016 12:00 AM
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press
Groundhog Club co-handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil during the annual celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., in early February. The handlers say the furry rodent has failed to see his shadow, meaning he's "predicted" an early spring.
By Madasyn Czebiniak / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The groundhog seems to have been right.
Last month, Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, meaning in groundhog lore that an early spring was imminent.
It’s looking that way.
Following a dusting of snow that is in the forecast today, next week promises to be absolutely spring-like. Temperatures will be at least in the 60s through Thursday, according to three weather-forecasting services.
Tuesday, five weeks to the day from Phil’s emergence, the high temperature is expected to hit 70, according to weather.com.
With spring not officially arriving until March 20, it seems that a winter that was milder than normal anyway now may have ended.
The Pittsburgh region has had below-average snowfall and above-average temperatures since winter began Dec. 21.
The average snow accumulation through Friday is 33.8 inches, but only 26.3 inches had been recorded, said Brad Rehak, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Moon.
The National Weather Service and AccuWeather in State College both are predicting mild weather next week, but their temperature forecasts vary a little.
The National Weather Service said highs are expected to be 60 on Monday, 64 Tuesday and 67 Wednesday. AccuWeather says it will be 62 Monday, 68 Tuesday and 70 on Wednesday. weather.com says 63, 70 and 68.
Mr. Rehak said the incoming warm front can be attributed to a high-pressure system in the Atlantic Ocean.
“High pressure’s going to sit right off the Atlantic Coast and bring us a good bit of fair weather, especially early in the week,” he said, explaining that the system will draw warmer air from the South into the Northeast.
The warmer temperatures will begin to creep in Sunday, when a high near 50 is forecast, with sunshine.
There will be some clouds on Tuesday and a chance of rain Wednesday and Thursday. AccuWeather’s website shows that the high on Thursday could reach 72 degrees.
The average high for March 7, March 8, and March 9 is 46 degrees, according to AccuWeather.
By Madasyn Czebiniak: email@example.com: 412-63-1269.
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