Heavy storm leaves a blanket of white across the Allegheny Highlands
While we’ve had our share of snowstorms this winter, they’ve been relatively mild when compared to the storms hitting the northeastern part of the US. That changed somewhat on Saturday February the 21st, when the Allegheny Highlands got pummeled with a heavy snowstorm that left many areas with more than a foot of snow. Bartow weatherman Jason Bauserman said this storm will go down in his records as one of the big ones.
“When I had 20 inches of snow over Friday and Saturday, I hit my 24 years of records,” said Bauserman. “The blizzard of ’96 on January 6-8 produced 21 inches; the Presidents Day storm on February 15-18 2003 also had 21 inches, [and] the New Years Eve storm on December 30 and 31 1997 produced 20 inches. So we can add February 21 and 22 2015 with 20 inches to the record books.”
“When I reported my weather totals to Charleston National weather service on Saturday, they told me Bartow was in the sweet spot of the continuing storm. I was also told that the weather channel on Sunday morning had Bartow listed with 19 inches of snow. Bartow now has 40 inches of snow for February. Two and a half more inches will tie my all time monthly record.”
“I was also surprised when my snow melted down to 1.69 inches. We need this snow to melt gradually.”
Bauserman confirmed what most people already suspect – that it’s been darn cold this month.
“We’re really on track, maybe, to be the coldest month in my 24 years, which we just broke last year in January,” he said. “We’ve had six mornings of below zero temperatures; tomorrow morning should be another one, and then another one later this week. I’ve never had that many before.”
To put that into perspective, Bauserman said in his previous 23 years, he only had 18 below zero temperatures recorded as compared to a potential of having 8 below zero readings in just one month. He said 6 of the last 7 winters have been colder than normal.
Some scientists speculate that colder temperatures and stronger storms may be related to changes in the Arctic sea ice. According to the Weather Underground website, under normal climate conditions, cold air is confined to the Arctic by the polar vortex winds, which circle counter-clockwise around the North Pole. As sea ice coverage decreases, the Arctic warms, high pressure builds, and the polar vortex weakens, sending cold air is spilling southward into the mid-latitudes, bringing record cold and fierce snowstorms.
Here is the link to the weather underground website.