Weather

Coca-Cola's marketing efforts during the weekend's heatwave in Pittsburgh backfired when the company mistakenly used a map of Philadelphia in a post on Twitter.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Utility companies were working to restore power to hundreds of people still without electricity a day after severe storms swept through Pennsylvania, downing trees, power lines and possibly spawning several small tornadoes.

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh says investigators will be heading to Butler, Clarion and Forest counties to determine whether tornadoes touched down Monday afternoon.

Brian Siewiorek / 90.5 WESA

A big blast of winter weather is expected to blanket much of the Northeast in heavy snow just days before the official start of spring.

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh has issued a winter weather advisory for Pittsburgh, with 3 to 6 inches of snow expected after 8 p.m. Monday. Areas outside of Pittsburgh, including the surrounding counties and parts of West Virginia, could see 4 to 8 inches. The advisory is expected to remain in effect until 11 p.m. Tuesday night.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

March is coming in like a lion for most of Pennsylvania, with severe weather moving across the state and bringing everything from tornado warnings and hail to flash-flood watches and thunderstorms.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

Snow advisories could spell trouble for commuters on both ends of Pennsylvania.

National Weather Service advisories for Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania predict 1 to 2 inches in and around Pittsburgh, with 3 to 5 inches forecast for counties east and south of the city. A similar advisory is projecting 1 to 3 inches in and around Philadelphia.

But it's the timing of the advisories that could cause trouble.

The western advisory runs from noon Thursday until 7 a.m. Friday with snow possibly snarling the Thursday evening rush hour.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

Pennsylvania's most northwestern county could be hit with 14 inches of lake-effect snow by Friday.

The National Weather Service expects 10 to 14 inches of snow to fall in Erie County between 5 p.m. Wednesday and 4 p.m. Friday. The county borders Lake Erie and southwestern New York.

The lake-effect snow advisory says the storm will also carry winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.

Snow Makes For Frowns On Northeast Roads

Dec 12, 2016
Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

 

Snow and freezing rain made for messy commutes and closed hundreds of schools Monday as a snowstorm pushed into the Northeast.

The storm left nearly a foot of snow on the ground in some spots in the Great Lakes and upper Midwest before dumping up to about a half-foot across New York and northern New England. Boston, New York City and Philadelphia were spared.

Speeds were reduced on snow-packed roads and there were many school delays and closures from Michigan to Maine.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

With a possibility of the region’s first snowfall this weekend, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials said they’re prepared for winter weather.

The Science Of Making Rain

Oct 1, 2016
Charlie Riedel / AP

  For as long as humans have been around, we’ve been at the mercy of the weather. And as long as that’s been the case, we’ve wanted a way out—a way to control the weather to suit our needs. In the distant past, we used sacrifices and rain dances. Today, we turn to science.

This is where cloud seeding comes in. It’s humanity’s attempt to do what has always seemed impossible: To harness the clouds and make them rain.

Let’s begin in Fargo, North Dakota, at the headquarters of Weather Modification Incorporated, WMI. It’s the largest cloud seeding company in the world.

John Antczak / AP

Technically we’re not in a heat wave, yet.  

National Weather Service officials in Pittsburgh said that’s because, in Moon Township where their office is located, the temperature has not hit 90 degrees for at least three days in a row.

It's really hot in most of the mainland United States right now. The National Weather Service predicts temperatures in the triple digits through the weekend in much of the South, Midwest and along the East Coast.

The culprit: a "heat dome."

It's a real meteorological event — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration even took the time to define it in the agency's warning this week:

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

As parts of the East Coast brace for the weekend snowstorm and possibly feet of snow, Pittsburgh is only expected to see about 4 inches in the next 24 hours. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

The last time Pittsburgh had this little snow this far into the season were the winters of 1890 and 2007, according to meteorologists with the National Weather Service.

Flooding a Concern Along Icy Pittsburgh-Area Rivers

Mar 3, 2015
Chris Squire / 90.5 WESA

The Allegheny River remains frozen, and there is still ice on the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers, though barge traffic is getting through. Now, with rain forecast for the next couple of days the concern turns to flooding.

“There’s always a threat of flooding, particularly when you have ice and when it starts to move it can jam up in narrow valleys or behind bridges and cause water to rise behind the jam very quickly,” said Lewis Kwett, hydraulic engineer with the Pittsburgh division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

From Pets to Pipes, Cold Weather Takes a Toll

Jan 6, 2015

The National Weather Service is forecasting an overnight low of two degrees Wednesday night, well below the average temperature for this time of year.  The all-time record low for January 6th is one degree, and for January 7th is two. This current icy weather might be problematic for Pittsburgh’s home owners and pets.

John L. Sullivan, owner of Sullivan Super Service, says his company can handle approximately 20 service calls a day. When temperatures fall below 10 degrees, the company can receive as many as 300 calls in just a few hours. The culprit? Frozen pipes.

The Polar Vortex Returns Later This Week

Nov 10, 2014
Matt Niemi / Flickr

The Polar Vortex is back and it's ready to blast 200 million people with arctic air, lunging into the North Central U.S. this week and expanding southward and eastward.

The outbreak of unusually cold air is expected to linger well past the middle of the month.

We'll talk with John Radzilowicz, Director of Professional Development at ASSET STEM Education.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Harsh winters can be a fact of life here in Pittsburgh. This one was different, though — at least it felt that way.

Plunging temps. Frozen pipes. Endless snow. Don't forget the cavernous potholes and worrisome reports of dwindling road salt supplies.

As spring approaches (it's coming, we promise), we recently gave Pittsburghers the chance share their thoughts on these past months of wintry misery:

The Pitfalls of Predicting Weather a Season in Advance

Jan 31, 2014
CJ Schmit / Flickr

From the earliest years of our nation’s history there have been two books published each year to guide gardeners, cooks, housekeepers and farmer’s on a range of topics, including seasonal weather.

The Farmer’s Almanac and the Old Farmer’s Almanac include long range predictions of weather in the United States. This year, both books predicted a colder than normal winter for our area. But what about the rest of the country? How accurate are the famed Almanacs, which use centuries-old secret formulas for predicting seasonal weather?

Pittsburgh International Airport Ready to Battle Snow

Nov 26, 2013

With a winter storm warning in effect until 1 p.m. Wednesday and one of the year's busiest travel days ahead, Pittsburgh International is getting ready to do battle with the ice and snow.

“They start planning for this back in September,” said Pittsburgh Airport Authority spokesman Jeff Martinelli. “When they snow storm started getting reported that it was a possibility they started going over some plans, our operations staff was moving to 12-hour shifts, our snow removal crew is out their doing the best they can and pre-treating runways.”

Winter weather advisories and storm warnings have been posted for much of Pennsylvania as a storm bearing a wintry mix of precipitation rolls into the commonwealth.

The National Weather Service says snow, sleet and areas of freezing rain and ice are expected later Tuesday in areas from western to northeastern Pennsylvania.

A Season for Bigger, Badder Poison Ivy

Jul 25, 2013
Zen Sutherland / Flickr


Global warming has had some unexpected consequences, some good, some bad, but perhaps none are quite so itchy as the explosion in poison ivy growth.

Because of the abundance of CO2 in the air of late, weed plants such as poison are thriving, and biologist Joylette Portlock claims that poison ivy “could be growing twice as fast” by the middle of the 21st century.

Around the country, people are facing rapidly growing  poison ivy, often with pan-sized leaves. With that increased size comes an increase in urushiol, the toxin that puts the “poison” in poison ivy.

With the heat reaching 90 degrees all this week, the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County have been opening and extending the hours of cooling centers for the elderly — but what about the homeless?

Dr. Jim Withers, medical director and founder of Operation Safety Net, said the homeless, especially those who are elderly, are at risk during the heat.

It’s hot out — really hot — and several organizations in Pittsburgh are taking action to prevent fatalities as temperatures are expected to reach into the 90s this week.

Meals on Wheels workers have been advised to not only deliver the meals, but also to make sure the seniors they serve are holding up well in the heat.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

UPDATE: 9:47 a.m. Thursday

After heavy rain from storms Wednesday brought flash flooding across the Pittsburgh region, officials are advising that some roadways remain closed Thursday. More details here.

All weather warnings and watches for Allegheny County have expired, and the National Weather Service is forecasting a slight chance of showers for the Pittsburgh region before 11 a.m. Otherwise, Thursday is expected to be mostly cloudy with a high near 77.

Saturn Drops 6 Inches of Snow on Pittsburgh Region

Mar 6, 2013
Russ Lyod / 90.5 WESA

By mid morning Wednesday, the snow had moved out of the Pittsburgh region and most of the city’s streets were treated.  Pittsburgh Public Works crews used 62 trucks overnight and into the morning to clear the blanket of heavy wet snow.   

Public Works Director Rob Kaczorowski reminded city residents to be careful when they start to clean their cars, sidewalks and drive ways and asks that home owners not just to drop the snow anywhere.