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Another big whiff by TV weather forecasters

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

 

snowTime for another check of how well those long-range winter weather forecasts issued in the fall by Pittsburgh TV meteorologists are holding up.

KDKA’s Jeff Verszyla might want to crawl into the hole with Punxsutawney Phil, having predicted 7.9 inches of snow for January and “slightly above normal” temperatures. The actual total was 17.9 inches, ninth-snowiest January in recorded history per the National Weather Service, and the monthly average temperature was 6.2 degrees below normal, making it the 16th-coldest January on record.

Mr. Verszyla said we’d get 32 inches of snow during the entire season. With February and March still to go, we’ve had 42.3 inches.

WPXI’s Stephen Cropper said we’d get 12 inches of snow for the month with “mild spells” before mid-month when Arctic temps would lock in. Not bad on the temperature forecast. Bad on the snow forecast, nearly 50 percent off the mark. Mike Harvey of WTAE came closest on the snow forecast, predicting 15 inches, but said temperatures would average 0.5 degrees below normal. Swing and a miss.

Our forecast: These guys will continue to shamelessly offer long-range forecasts in an effort to hype their ratings. We should assign those forecasts a zero percent chance of credibility. (Photo by Larry Roberts of the Post-Gazette)

Our review of the weathercasters' performance for the month of December can be found here. (Scroll down.) And our first report card, for November, is here.

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The right lane on northbound Route 51 will be closed between Stewart Avenue and Ivyglen Street in Overbrook starting tonight and continuing weeknights through Feb. 28. The closure will be in effect from 7 p.m. daily until 6 a.m. the following morning for utility work related to the Route 51-Route 88 intersection project.

Inspection of overhead signs could cause lane closures on the Parkway West/Interstate 376 between Pittsburgh International Airport and Hopewell from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. between Exits 13 and 15 in Butler and Lawrence counties.

Rodi Road in Wilkins will have alternating one-way traffic on the ramp over Chalfant Run south of William Penn Highway from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays through Feb. 10. Crews are doing research for a future project.

Banksville Avenue has reopened from McMonagle Avenue to Potomac Avenue. The road was closed Oct. 17 for landslide removal and construction of a wall. More work is planned in the spring.

Work to convert the intersection of Streets Run and Prospect roads in Baldwin Borough to an all-way stop requirement is scheduled Tuesday starting at 10 a.m. An engineering and safety study concluded that traffic from all directions should have to stop.

The Wabash Tunnel will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through Friday for replacement of a ventilation fan.

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