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Unseasonably Warm Weather Explained

(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

John Shumway John Shumway
John Shumway joined NewsRadio 1020 KDKA in 2004 as co-host of The KDKA...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s the kind of day that just makes you feel a little more alive.

“It’s crazy,” Ingrid Caicedo said. “I mean it was freezing cold like two days ago and now it’s sunny and bright.”

While it’s nice, it certainly seems unusual.

“Because our perception is that it’s supposed to be a high of 36 on the 31st day of January,” KDKA Meteorologist Dennis Bowman said.

There’s no question we’ve seen quite a few of these kinds of days since the year began, but we’ve also seen it’s polar opposite.

Bowman says we’ve had more than 15 inches snow.

“Eleven-point-eight is normal for the month so we’re actually above normal for snowfall for the month,” KDKA Chief Meteorologist Jeff Verszyla said. “The problem is once the snow falls two days later it’s gone.”

The most dramatic swing came January 20th to the 23rd.

“So within three days, we went from a low of 3 to a high of 61, so it’s really been a month of extremes,” Verszyla said.

So why is it happening?

“The cold air that builds around the North Pole eventually spills south for a period of time – it locks in across the northern U.S.,” Verszyla explained.

“So far it just really hasn’t happened – we haven’t gotten that much of that,” Bowman added.

“So we get these transient cold air masses that come for two or three days – boom – and then they’re gone,” Verszyla continued.

“Then all of a sudden here comes five, six days in a row where the temperatures are way above average – much warmer than they’re supposed to be,” Bowman said.

It’s not quite spring yet.

“Spring is still seven weeks away – don’t lose track of that,” Verszyla said. “So there’s still plenty of time for us to lock into at least some semblance of a winter for at least a few weeks.”

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