Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Winter Reprieve Towns Took Advantage of Mild December to Tackle Other Tasks

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Winter Reprieve Towns Took Advantage of Mild December to Tackle Other Tasks

Article excerpt

All good things must come to an end. And so it was last week when the region's temperatures tumbled, marking the finish to near record-breaking warmth in December.

Municipalities around the region used Mother Nature's year-end blessing of unseasonably warmer weather to make hay while the sun shone.

Public works crew members accustomed to spreading salt and removing snow from municipal streets in December were put to work on tasks that, otherwise, wouldn't have made the to-do list until spring.

For Tim Little, manager of Monroeville, it was a chance to rid himself of a particularly irksome broken window in the municipal building.

"For six months, I walked past that double-paned window in the stairwell. It was a spider web kind of thing. We had to get a cherry picker to reach it. That was one of the things we wouldn't have gotten to if the public works department hadn't been freed up by the warm weather," Mr. Little said of the array of tasks his 36-person department tackled in December.

Based on historical odds, the lingering of fall-like weather through year's end isn't bound to happen again anytime soon.

In fact, Brad Rehak, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, based in Moon, said December 2015 was the second-warmest December on record, with an average daily temperature of 44.5 degrees. The normal high temperature for the period is 32.4 degrees.

When it comes to snow, he said, as of Jan. 5, only 1 inch had fallen in the region, which also is unusual. In fact, only the winter seasons of 2006-07 and 1889-90 had less snow by the same point in the season: 0.7 inches and 0.3 inches, respectively.

Cranberry manager Jerry Andree said the relative heat wave saved the township both money and time.

"I've said for years we should put dollar bills in salt spreaders so people could see where their money is going," Mr. …

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