Mountains could see up to half-foot of snow overnight

Four to six inches of snow  and 1/2-3/4 inches of ice predicted for the mountains, with as much as a foot possible along the North Carolina border.

School officials in Union and Rabun counties decided to send students home at 1 p.m. Friday. Towns County schools closed at 1:30 p.m., 30 minutes before Gilmer County's schools, as officials braced for the onslaught of ice and snow.

Areas of the state along and north of a line from Chatsworth through Dawsonville and Gainesville to Danielsville remain under a winter storm warning from 4 p.m. Friday through 1 p.m. Saturday. The Weather Service warns that icing "may result in downed tree branches and power lines. Prepare for power outages."

"Indications are that ice accumulations early Saturday morning could reach up to a quarter inch over much of northeast Georgia with amounts of up to a half inch in Towns, Union, Lumpkin and White counties," the Weather Service said.

Terri Statham, a spokeswoman for Georgia Electric Membership Corp., said line crews would be on call and dispatched to outages as they occur.

"In addition, initial discussions have taken place with Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina who have indicated they may need help with power restoration over the weekend," Statham said. She said EMC crews from Georgia "would head to these states after it was determined their assistance was not required here in Georgia."

Georgia Power officials were shifting repair crews toward the northeast Georgia area late Friday morning, a company spokeswoman said.

South and west of the warning area, the Weather Service has posted a winter weather advisory for areas along and north of a line from Rome to Canton to Cumming, from 6 p.m. Friday through 1 p.m. Saturday.

Bartow, Cherokee and Forsyth counties are included in the advisory, which calls for "light sleet and snow accumulations of a dusting to a half inch."

For the remainder of metro Atlanta, forecasters are predicting rain and sleet overnight into Saturday morning, with no sleet accumulation. Lows  will dip into the mid-30s.

The rain should cease by Saturday morning, with temperatures remaining stagnant. After highs in the upper 30s Saturday afternoon, the mercury will plummet into the mid-20s overnight, the Weather Service said.

Sunday should be sunny and warmer, with highs in the upper 40s.

Though no snow or ice is predicted for Atlanta, the Fulton County Technology Competition and the World Language Fulton Forum, originally scheduled for Saturday, were postponed due to concerns about bad weather.

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