At last, it's going to warm up in Pittsburgh region

When has a forecast high of 29 degrees ever looked so sweet?

That's what the National Weather Service is offering for Thursday, concluding a bout with subzero weather that closed schools and businesses, thickened the ice on Pittsburgh's rivers and caused a bevy of water main breaks.

Several districts were delaying classes this morning after an overnight low of minus 3 that dropped the wind chill index to minus 14 shortly before 7 a.m. A wind chill advisory remained in effect in Western Pennsylvania until noon today.

Pittsburgh parking enforcement officers are off today for the second straight day, giving drivers the gift of free parking at meters.

After reaching a high near 30 on Thursday, the temperature is expected to rise to 35 degrees on Friday with a chance of snow showers, then a positively toasty 42 on Saturday with rain and snow possible.

For today, though, Pittsburghers once again will bundle up against a daytime high of 14 degrees with a breeze that will make it feel like 13 below zero.

Crews this morning were responding to water main breaks on Brookline Boulevard in the city of Pittsburgh and Bower Hill Road in Mt. Lebanon, which was closed between Washington Road to Ralston Place by icing conditions.

The mercury now has dropped below zero on five days in January after doing so only once in the previous four Januarys (and that was a piddling minus 1). For the month, we've been nearly 6 degrees below the average January temperature.

After experiencing a host of problems on Monday, the Light Rail Transit system was operating normally this morning, Port Authority spokeswoman Heather Pharo said.

For a list of school closings and delays, visit the website of KDKA-TV

Jon Schmitz:, 412-263-1868 and on Twitter @pgtraffic.

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