Don’t Complain When Our Weather Turns Ugly
Next time you feel like griping about what at times can be some just plain awful weather here in the Endless Mountains of Northeast, PA, consider yourself lucky that you don’t live in Oklahoma, where Mother Nature has been playing all sorts of nasty tricks on the folks out there this year.
For starters, there was last week’s record-setting 5.6 magnitude earthquake, which was pretty much an unheard of phenomenon in Oklahoma. And it wasn’t just one quake; the state suffered a total of over 20, including one on Monday that topped 4.7 on the Richter scale.
I know, we were hit by a rare quake here earlier this year, too, and I surely have not forgotten about the recent record flooding that devastated our region, but Oklahoma leads the nation when it comes to record-setting weather events over the past year.
It all started back on Feb. 10 when the state recorded its coldest-ever temperature, minus 31 degrees. And that was the same day that Oklahoma was hit by its largest one-day snowfall in its history, 27 inches.
When Spring came to the Sooner State, it brought with it another record, the highest wind gust, 151 mph that swept across the state on May 24 during a tornado.
The record-setting weather trend continued as summer arrived when the average temperature during the month of July was 88.9 degrees, the highest for any month on record.
And as if to add insult to injury, Mother Nature hurled down the largest hailstone on record in Oklahoma this year. It measured 6 inches in diameter and caved in the roof of the vehicle it hit.
This year has also been the second driest year on record for the state since 1921, and they’ve been hit by 104 twisters, not a record, but they still have to make it through November, which is one of the most tornado-prone months of the year.
I know by now you must be wondering how Pennsylvania stacks up when it comes to record-setting weather so here are a few of the highlights.
— The hottest temperature on record in Pennsylvania is 111 degrees recorded on July 9-10, 1936 in Harrisburg.
— The Keystone State’s coldest temperature on record is minus 42, recorded on Jan. 5, 1904 in McKean County’s Smethport.
— While this year is the wettest on record in some parts of the state, the record for the most rainfall in a 24-hour period came with the Hurricane Agnes Flood of 1972 when 13.5 inches of rain was recorded in 24 hours. The total rainfall associated with this storm was 19 inches, which also was a state record.
— As for snowfall, the state record for a 24-hour period is 40 inches, which was recorded on March 13-14, 1993, in Seven Springs. Seven Springs also holds the distinction of being located in two counties, one part of the borough is in Somerset County, the other in Fayette County. At 2,500 feet, it’s also the highest borough in the state.
— The greatest snow depth from a single storm came on March 22 and 23, 1958 when 60 inches was recorded in Wayne County’s Gouldsboro.
Here’s something that doesn’t make the record books, but I think it’s about time it did. When was the record set for the most beautiful sunny day with soft breezes and balmy temperatures ever experienced in Pennsylvania?
I think we should keep track of those lovely days along with those we’d really rather forget.