Have you taken down your holiday decorations yet?

I unwound the strands of Christmas lights from my front porch the other day and gave them a good shake.

It’s January and it’s still raining.

We’ve had snow showers here and there, but this winter so far has started off on a mild note. Since this is the time of year when everyone takes stock of their lives and looks back at the year that was, I thought it might be fun to look back at 2019’s weather statistics.

2019 was a very wet year and January 2020 is starting off on the same note. So far, Pittsburgh is running 0.87 inches above normal precipitation for January. For the season, we’re 5.1 inches below normal snowfall.

If you’re sick of rain, there’s good reason.

Pittsburgh’s annual precipitation total for 2019 wound up at 57.83 inches, which is 14.27 inches above normal. Most of that high total can be attributed to rain, rain and more rain – as opposed to 2018 when our snowfall total was 10.2 inches above normal.

The snowfall total for last year actually wound up 3.3 inches below normal, as Pittsburgh recorded 38.6 inches of snow. I almost feel like we’re in a scene from the movie “Groundhog Day” when the same day keeps repeating itself over and over and over again.

That’s because the rainy pattern of 2019 was pretty much as soggy as our 2018 in Southwestern Pennsylvania. 2018 went into the record books as the wettest year on record in Pittsburgh. The yearly precipitation total high 57.83 inches which was almost 20 inches higher than normal.

For a while this fall, it looked like we had a very good chance to reach or break that level. In the end, 2019 wound up third on the all-time wettest years list for Pittsburgh, falling only 5.37 inches short of the record. In second place on the list, is 2004 with 57.41 inches of precipitation.

What I find interesting is the top three dates on Pittsburgh’s list of greatest daily precipitation on record fell in 2018 and 2004 because of rain from Tropical Storm Gordon and hurricanes Ivan and Frances. 2019 made it to number three for all-time wettest years without any single days making that list or having any tropical systems move inland and deluge our region.

As for temperature, 2019 in Pittsburgh wound up exactly one degree above normal. The hottest temperature recorded was 90 degrees on Sept. 11 and July 2 and July 20, while the coldest temperature hit a bone-chilling minus 5 degrees Jan. 30 and Jan. 31.

If we never hit negative temperatures again, it would be too soon for me.

I know a lot of folks were disappointed we didn’t have snow for Christmas. But as soon as Dec. 26 rolls around, those same people gripe about having snow.

The long term forecast is trending toward above normal temperatures for the rest of January.

Let’s hope the bottom doesn’t drop out on Groundhog Day.

Kristin Emery can be reached at kristinemery1@yahoo.com.

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