Heavy rain to return to region later this evening; mild temperatures persist

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Soggy skies in Pittsburgh had mostly dried up by early afternoon but the rain is expected to return after nightfall as temperatures continue their unseasonably warm grip on the region for a little while longer.

"It's been fairly light at this point. We're not looking for the heavier stuff moving in until this evening," National Weather Service meteorologist Lee Hendricks said today.

The weather service issued a flood advisory for the Mon Wharf. The Pittsburgh Parking Authority had already decided Friday to close the parking area as a precaution.

Flood stage at the wharf is 18 feet, and Mr. Hendricks said forecasts have continually predicted the rivers rising to between 18 and 22 feet at the Point.

So far today between 1/4 and 3/4 of an inch of rain have fallen in the region.

Once the rain begins again in earnest tonight, meteorologists are looking for a 12-hour rainfall total in western Pennsylvania of 1 inch to 2 1/2 inches, Mr. Hendricks said. 

Some areas in the north, including northern Butler County, could experience three inches of rain, he added.

Temperatures today have been in the upper 50s and are expected to creep into the low 60s. They will remain fairly steady overnight into Sunday.

But by Sunday night a cold front should move in, chilling temperatures back down into the upper 30s by Monday morning, Mr. Hendricks said.

There is a 50 percent chance of snow Monday night and Tuesday, but no significant snowfall is predicted. That means little accumulation before Christmas if any, Mr. Hendricks said.

Jonathan D. Silver: jsilver@post-gazette, 412-263-1962 or on Twitter @jsilverpg.

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