UPDATED 9:15 P.M. SATURDAY:
A strong cold front will bring the potential for winter weather and icy roads for Tuesday, said Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Katie Walls.
And the bitterly cold temperatures are expected to linger into Wednesday and Thursday mornings.
Some accumulating snow is looking more likely across the higher elevations of North Georgia, along with some light accumulation, generally a half-inch or less in metro Atlanta, Walls said.
"Regardless of what snowfall occurs, or if it stays only rain in an area, what is more certain is the temperatures quickly falling Tuesday afternoon," she said. "This creates the potential of black ice to any areas receiving rain or snow across both North and central Georgia."
In addition, increased winds will accompany the low temperatures, resulting in wind chills dropping into the low to mid-teens for most areas with single digits in the mountains, Walls said.
As Super Bowl week creeps into view, there’s another big event meteorologists are keeping their eyes on: the possibility of snow on Tuesday.
You read that right — 19 years after an ice storm riddled the city days before Atlanta’s last Super Bowl, snow and ice could be hitting us again.
Key word: “could.” Channel 2 Action News meteorologists cautioned that forecast models are still uncertain and could change before Tuesday.
So, what do those forecasts say?
It looks like a cold front will move into Georgia on Monday night into Tuesday, bringing a blast of cold air, said Channel 2 meteorologist Eboni Deon.
“That’s when things will start to go downhill,” Deon said.
The fast-moving system is expected to bring a wintry mix to metro Atlanta that will “quickly transition over to some light snow.”
While the forecast high for Tuesday is 43 degrees, the air will still be cold enough for some winter precipitation.
The exact timing and possible accumulation levels are still up in the air, Deon said.
The European forecast model shows 1 to 2 inches of snow in metro Atlanta, and 3 inches in other parts of the state.
The American model predicts less snow, and the Canadian model suggests even less.
So don’t rush out to buy all the bread and milk just yet.
Whatever the system brings, “it's not going to last all that long, but it will bring that blast of cold air behind it.”
Wednesday is expected to start with temperatures in the teens, Deon said.
What does this all mean for Super Bowl prep?
Host committee officials repeatedly said last year that they would be prepared for inclement weather and included that possibility in contingency plans.
“We know it can be 65 degrees or it can be 19 degrees,” Brett Daniels, the committee’s chief operating officer, said last May. “That is one of the things our board has talked about — that we’ve got to be ready regardless of the weather.”
MARTA said it has held exercises that anticipated possible severe weather.
Earlier this month, though, Atlanta police Chief Erika Shields acknowledged that her “greatest heartburn” is weather and traffic.
“We tend to struggle when we get inclement weather,” she said.
While preparation for next Sunday gets underway this week, the Super Bowl Experience in the Georgia World Congress Center is scheduled to be open throughout the week.
» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.
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