Winter arrived in Lawrence County with a spring storm.
A few hours into the season, which began shortly after noon Saturday, the county experienced temperatures in the 60s, high winds, drenching rain and a severe thunderstorm warning.
The unusual December storm warning was issued about 2 a.m. Sunday for Lawrence and surrounding counties, with the most damage expected from high winds that the weather service warned could reach 60 mph.
However, Rihaan Gangat, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh, said that 38 mph winds clocked at 2:32 a.m. Sunday were the highest recorded at the New Castle Airport as the storm passed through the area. He said there was no lightning associated with the storm, only high winds and rain.
Rainfall totals at 6:56 a.m. Sunday were 1.20 inches for the previous 24 hours. It was not enough to cause major flooding, but small streams were high, and there was some ponding on roads, Gangat said.
In North Beaver Township, Fire Chief Paul Henry said power company crews were called out about 3 a.m. Sunday because downed lines and trees had made the road to Covert’s Crossing bridge impassable. The bridge, which spans the Mahoning River, was reopened by noon but reports of flooding later Sunday afternoon made it possible the bridge would be closed again.
Otherwise in the township, Henry said, there were only scattered small power outages.
The New Castle Fire Department reported no major problems. One weather-related call came in for wires arcing on Pennsylvania Avenue.
There were also reports of power outages on Chapin Road in Neshannock Township.
By Sunday afternoon, a flood watch for Lawrence County was cancelled because only minimal additional amounts of precipitation were expected.
Gangat said the weather would turn more seasonable Moday with highs in the mid-30s during the day and lows in the 20s tonight.