FRIDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Freezing cold with a slight chance of wintry mix

Temperatures are 20 degrees lower in Atlanta on Friday morning than just 24 hours ago.

The big swing is coming on the other side of a cold front that brought rain and drizzle to the metro area Thursday. That front is now situated along the Gulf Coast, but it continues to send moisture north and is responsible for rain Friday morning in South Georgia.

There is a possibility some of that rain could extend into the northern half of the state by the afternoon, according to Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Jennifer Lopez.

“How far north will it get? Well, there is a slight chance we could see a few stray showers mainly east of Atlanta,” Lopez said. “And yes, with these cold temperatures it could be mixing in with some freezing rain or some snow.”

The chance of that happening is slight, she said, only about 20%. There is also a slight chance of wintry mix in the northeast Georgia mountains, according to Channel 2.

Atlanta has been freezing for several hours after bottoming out at 31 degrees just after midnight at Hartsfield Jackson-International Airport. That’s a far cry from Thursday’s morning temperatures in the low 50s.

Some light areas of drizzle have been reported in metro Atlanta on Friday morning, and it has the potential to freeze. This could produce a very light coating of ice on elevated surfaces like bridges and overpasses, according to the National Weather Service.

“Use caution if traveling in these areas during the early morning hours, and slow down where freezing drizzle is observed,” the Weather Service said in a special weather statement.

Lopez said temperatures won’t move much throughout the day, eventually reaching a projected high of 38 degrees in the city.

“Typically we should be in the 50s,” she said. “Don’t even think about that. We’re not going to see temperatures like that for the next several days.”

Atlanta's projected high Friday is only 38 degrees, according to Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Jennifer Lopez.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

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Credit: Channel 2 Action News

If North Georgia gets any winter precipitation, it would be in the afternoon to evening hours, she said. Areas near Athens and along I-20 have the best chance of seeing light snow mixing in with some freezing rain, but Lopez said she does not expect any major impacts.

“As we go into late tonight, it may be stretching down into Putnam County and into Lake Oconee,” she said. “Otherwise, the bigger story is going to be the sun. It comes back, finally.”

Clouds will stick around through the day Friday before clearing for a sunny weekend, she said. Once they clear, taking any chance of wintry mix with them, North Georgia is in store for beautiful but cold weather.

Temperatures are expected to dip into the 20s overnight for a hard freeze Saturday morning, according to Channel 2. Sunday morning could be even colder with a projected low of just 26 degrees.

Lows in the 20s and highs in the 40s are forecast for this weekend, according to Channel 2.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

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Credit: Channel 2 Action News

There are major delays on the Southside after a crash involving multiple tractor-trailers shut down I-85 South, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.

All lanes are blocked just past I-285 while authorities work to untangle the wrecked vehicles, the Traffic Center reported shortly before 9 a.m. It was not clear if any injuries were reported.

While authorities are on scene, drivers can take Old National or Roosevelt Highways as alternates.

» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.

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