January 7, 2014

Pittsburgh’s 1/7/2014 Cold Snap is Vostok’s Heat Wave

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONSMovicons2-hugsandkisses(3)

Hugs for Sandy, Jordan and Alexis




NOTE: Perhaps I should have titled this post as LAUGHLINTOWN’S 1/7/2014 Cold Snap. From the Tribune-Review 1/8/2014 front page:

  • …before Tuesday morning was over, Laughlintown would realize its 15 minutes of fame when the National Weather Service proclaimed it the coldest spot in Southwestern Pennsylvania during a blast of frigid weather that sent temperatures across the nation plunging to levels not seen in two decades.
  • 39 degrees with the wind chill, according to the weather service,…Other places in Southwestern Pennsylvania were cold…but none were as frosty as Laughlintown, the sleepy, unincorporated village in Ligonier Township about 20 miles southeast of Greensburg and perched at the base of Laurel Mountain.

And, it must be noted, the sleepier borough of Laurel Mountain, our home site, is but a mile from the iconic Original Pie Shoppe, where the Trib reported a pre-dawn…ice, snow and minus-17 temperatures.

  • “It was so cold you felt like your eyeballs were going to freeze,” said (Sherry) Davis, a cashier at the shop (where) About 3:30 a.m., the temperature inside was just 46 degrees and, though the heat was on overnight, some pipes froze.

Although Some hardy souls just made the trip to stop at the post office for their mail my husband, Monte, who looks forward to doing that  each day, decided it was too cold (although he did take a short walk through the Borough). But going to the Laughlintown Post Office wasn’t easy. It was so cold the post office door was frozen solid. (Read more and view photos in the Trib report )


The media warned us for days about record-breaking chilly weather—Be prepared: Brief yet brutal cold arrives in Western PennsylvaniaThe National Weather Service in Moon issued a wind chill warning from 1 p.m. Monday through 10 a.m. Wednesday. Temperatures could drop as low as 8 to 15 degrees below zero Monday night, the coldest Pittsburgh has experienced in at least five years. Combined with wind gusts of up to 20 mph, the air could feel as cold as 25 to 40 degrees below zero. *

Perhaps any person living at Russia’s Vostok research base or in one of the many pockets within the heart of Antarctica would consider the coming weather a heat wave. At Vostok the official planetary record low temperature, minus 128.6o Fahrenheit (F) occurred on July 21, 1983. That record was broken on August 10, 2010, when, In the pockets of Antarctica, the temperature plunged to minus 135.8o F.

I watched the weather yesterday, Monday January 6, 2014.  My husband Monte noted that at 1:00 a. m. the temperature was 47o F. At 9:00 a. m it reached 28o F, and pretty much remained there until early evening when it slowly slid lower. Still, it remained in the 20s when I last looked at 11:00 p. m.

The wind didn’t seem two bad here except for two gusts around midnight. A cat curled up on my lap arose and looked out the window when it heard the gusts throoshing along our driveway.

  • It was so cold the dogs were wearing cats and the rats were bribing the alley cats for a snuggle.**

My friend Fred and my sister Lee called before I went to bed. It was 20o F. in Huntsville, Alabama. “The heat pump doesn’t work well in this cold,” he said. Later I wondered: But was it snowing? I hadn’t thought to ask Fred. Below is an undated picture he sent me:

Yes, it does indeed snow in Huntsville, Al. (Pix sent to me from Fred)

Yes, it does indeed snow in Huntsville, Al. (Pix sent to me from Fred)

My sister said two feet of snow had fallen in a very few hours. She planned on staying inside during the cold blast.

She called again this morning.

“There’s a (more…)

October 7, 2010

Drought, Drought, Drought…Through Time in Southwestern Pennsylvania




It’s raining, it’s pouring…from the Midwest to the Atlantic Coast, as I type this post. Will this rain improve conditions at Yough Lake, where dry, cracked veins are visible in the lake basin because the water level is down fifteen feet?*

     The following headlines were pulled from local newspapers.


Dry conditions continue    

Rain hasn’t helped much at Yough Dam.

For many in state, drought means dry wells


Drought emergency declared


Area water supply running dry…

Drought sends flood of business to well drillers

     Perhaps an upcoming newspaper headlines will proclaim that Despite recent rainfall, the Yough River Dam is still in a “fairly dry situation.” Will private wells go dry? Will there be a flood of business for well drillers?


     Gov. Tom Ridge declared a drought emergency in 55 of 67  Pennsylvania counties…including Fayette, Greene and Washington counties. “Pennsylvania’s water supply is at a dangerously low level throughout the entire state. If we don’t begin to conserve water today, there won’t be any to conserve tomorrow.” Ridge declared a drought warning, which calls for a voluntary 10 percent reduction in water use, in four counties, and a drought watch (a voluntary 5 percent reduction in water use) in eight counties. It is spurred on by weeks of triple-digit temperatures and a well-below-normal rainfall. Groundwater levels across the state have plummeted in recent weeks, emptying streams and rivers and drying out residential and commercial wells.*

     The Yough River is eleven feet lower than average, and dropping six inches a (more…)

February 6, 2010

The snow came softly and gently: Feb. 5, 2010



February 5, 2010

       Today will be a great day to sit at my laptop on my porch, looking out at a winter wonderland, working on a short story and my novel.

     Thursday, February 4, wasn’t like this. It was a beautiful day that invited me to be outdoors. The snows of the earlier series of precipitation had virtually disappeared in the Ligonier valley area of Pennsylvania, but in my little corner of the world remnants remained. The sun that sparkled off these remnants cast s (more…)

June 29, 2008

BRAMBLES (Brief RAMBLES) 1-4 JUNE 1, 2008


   In mid-June the temperature was just under forty degrees. As I prepared a hot cup of tea, wrapped up in a cozy robe, and hunted for the book I am reading, I thought back to the time not long ago when forty degrees seemed such (more…)

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