November has gone into the weather record books as a dreary, cold and bleak month. The above normal rainfall experienced for the entire year continued with 4.57 inches in the Uniontown area and 6 inches in the mountains. In Uniontown this was 1.34 inches above average and for the year, much of Southwestern Pennsylvania is averaging about 16 inches above normal.
This is a lot of rain and will probably make one of the wettest years in our weather history. We had 22 days with measurable rainfall in November. Along with the rain and dreary skies, the wind and cold temperatures added to the misery with daytime temperatures averaging just 43 degrees and mornings 31. Normal averages are 51 and 35 degrees. Many days were in the 30s and even a few days in the 20s.
There is a hint of a bit of a pattern change in the upper winds that could bring us a bit more sunshine and even some drier days with temperatures for the rest of December more normal or just a few degrees above. December is a lot cooler than November so we will still see a lot of 30s and 40s.
The important element is the expected increase in the amount of sunshine. If you can recall last Sunday, you will get a hint at what a sunny day can do for our spirits during these dreary wet cool periods. The sun came out around mid-morning and folks rushed out doors to get in a walk, string the holiday lights, take the dog for a walk, wash the car or just feel the warmth of the sun on our face.
I love to bike on the trails in our area and I was able to get a ride in on The Sheepskin Trail in Hopwood. The trail is paved and provides an excellent opportunity for walkers, runners and bikers to enjoy the streams and the covered bridge that is part of the trail. I usually ride in Ohiopyle, but with all the rain and the thaw and freezes the trail was very sloppy and is not of much use in the fall and winter months.
The Herald Standard this past week reported on the large construction project that will improve parking and safety at the Ohiopyle State Park. Many millions are being spent. How nice it would be to include improving the trail for winter use. Millions of people come to our park every year and these folks drive the tourism industry.
On the brighter side, I was pleased to take note of the fact that since I retired and started to ride my bike, I have logged just over 40,000 miles, most of this on the trails in Southwestern Pennsylvania. I reached the 40,000 mile mark during the month of November. Turning 75 in 2016 I was able to ride 4,024 miles and last year my total dropped to 3,464. This year, I will be well below 3,000. Age like the weather is always causing our patterns to change.