Thursday will be warm and mild before a weekend of cold temperatures and possibly a big snow.By Ron Smiley

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Good morning!

Sunshine sticks around for another day today as we see a quick surge of warmth rolling in from the south. Highs today should be in the mid-40s with partly sunny conditions for the day.

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Temperatures are already on the rise as of 4:00 a.m. with temperatures up 8 degrees from midnight temperatures. I had some concerns about temperatures due to the snow still on the ground but those concerns are way down with the warm-up already occurring.

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Why the concern?

Snow has high reflectivity and doesn’t allow heat from the sun to be absorbed into the ground. It is a mathematical principle known as albedo. Fresh snow reflects a high percentage of light back out to the atmosphere. Melting snow reflects less radiation back out with dirty snow being pretty close to absorbing about the same amount of heat radiation as no snow on the ground at all. It’s the reason why days after a fresh snow are some of the brightest and perfect to grab the shades.

I would have liked to see how model data was handling the heavy snow cover on the ground to have more confidence in my forecast.

That being said, we know that yesterday’s high hit 34 degrees so we will be several degrees warmer than that. I have seen a decent layer of pretty fresh looking snow on the ground over the past 24 hours with roads and some patches of bare ground. Breezy wind conditions will also aid in melting snow and pushing in warmer temperatures.

Temperatures will start to plummet again heading into the weekend.

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While it doesn’t look like we will see a lot of snow, cold air will begin rolling in on Friday.

Right now data is showing just a dusting for Pittsburgh, but places along and north of I-80 will likely see accumulating snow. Also, places in the Laurels will have a solid chance for some snow as well.

Highs on Friday will likely just barely top the freezing mark with Saturday highs likely just in the upper 20s.

Looking ahead I am watching what could be a potential big snow on Monday.

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At this time there are a lot of variables and the snow could start late Sunday to late Monday.

Totals could be less than an inch but some data is showing 3”-5” widespread.

Obviously, as things get closer we will have a better picture of what to expect but for now, just know I am watching things there.

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