Weather Alert: Special Weather Statement warns of potential winter weather

The National Weather Service at Peachtree City has issued a Special Weather Statement for several counties in north Georgia, including Walton, Gwinnett and surrounding counties. The statement warns of “potentially hazardous winter weather scenario late Thursday night through Saturday morning.” Some areas along and north of Interstate 20 are already reporting some light sleet mixing in with rain. The potential for this early season winter weather is expected to begin late Thursday night with the impacts lasting into Saturday morning.

According to the NWS, “The rain shield will expand northward through Thursday afternoon with 80 percent rain chances across Central Georgia decreasing to 30 to 40 percent over the Atlanta metro. While this is occurring, colder temperatures will begin moving in from the north with mid to upper 30s for most areas late Thursday evening. Somewhere in the zone where the precipitation meets the coldest air, the possibility exists to see a transition to a mix of light rain and snow and then possibly to all snow Late Thursday night into Friday AM.”

This zone will only be about 20 to 40 miles wide and exactly where it will fall has a high amount of uncertainty.

“We are therefore asking all residents to be prepared for the possibility of a wintry mix late Thursday night into Friday and stay tuned to forecast updates through Thursday from this office and local
media outlets. The narrow zone that experiences wintry weather could see from one half to one inch of snow accumulations by late Friday. In addition, much colder temperatures will plunge into the area
Friday night into Saturday morning. Although most all of the precipitation will be gone by then, residual wet roadways will freeze very quickly prior to any drying that takes place. This black ice scenario would create hazardous travel conditions areawide Friday night into Saturday morning, especially for
elevated surfaces such as bridges and overpasses,” the NWS noted.

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