People Enjoy Sunshine As Warm Winter Day Sets Temperature Record

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It has been a day that will go down in the weather record books. Today, the record was shattered for the warmest Feb. 24 ever in Pittsburgh.

The old record, set in 1906, was 70 degrees.

The temperature got so warm; we were on the cusp of also taking down the record for the warmest February day ever in Pittsburgh. That record, set in 1900, was 77 degrees. By the late afternoon hours today, we got very close, at 76 degrees.

“Yes, it’s been a day of record warmth,” said KDKA meteorologist Dennis Bowman. “We did break a record for the date, normal high – of course – 41, we did 76 today.”

And a lot of people were out and about this Friday enjoying the break from winter. It was an odd sight in the middle of winter, people on skateboards, riding bicycles, dining outdoors and wearing tank tops and shorts.

“One minute it’s cold, then the next minute, it’s hot. This weather is awesome. I wish it would stay like this,” said Tasha Scott, of the South Side.

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It’s been a sun worshipper’s day. For the restaurants in Market Square, the outdoor seating has come out early and it’s all about green that has nothing to do with blooms.

“It’s exciting for us to do this in February, especially for this restaurant. We have a 100-seat patio, so it doubles the capacity of our restaurant. It really invigorates the space,” said Nick Rizzo, the general manager of Poros.

While the human body might love drinking in the sun, the sun is sending a different message to plants on the farm.

“They are kind of in hibernating mode, and this warm weather kind of wakes them up,” said Adam Voll, the farm manager of Soergel Orchards.

Voll says the apple trees are reacting.

“A couple of days ago they were small like this, but and now these are starting to open up, which will be your bloom,” said Voll.

If that bloom comes out and we get a cold snap, Voll says, “If it kills that flower, then you won’t have an apple for the season. Your season’s done.”

“You’re at the mercy of Mother Nature, but that’s farming,” he added.

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The warm weather is also causing problems for local ice staking rinks. People were out on their skates drinking in the sun Friday afternoon at PPG Plaza, but Allegheny County Parks system was forced to shut down the North Park and South Park skating rinks. They hope to reopen over the weekend once the cold temperatures return.

That is expected to happen Saturday. Bowman says temperatures will be tumbling through the day, with storms and gusty winds coming in during the overnight hours and some snow flurries possible for the Stadium Series hockey game over at Heinz Field in the evening.

“Some gusty thunderstorms, some pretty gusty winds in the morning and then of course temperatures will just be doing a nose dive behind that front all day [Saturday],” said Bowman.

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