WEATHER UPDATE: Mix of sleet, rain falling in metro Atlanta

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

[UPDATE, 4:40 p.m.]: A mix of rain and sleet is falling across parts of metro Atlanta on Thursday afternoon as temperatures fall.

At 41 degrees in Atlanta, any sleet that falls to the ground is expected to quickly melt, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz said.

Flurries are expected in parts of far North Georgia this evening and Friday morning, according to the latest forecast.

“There’s lighter precipitation into the North Georgia mountains, but as the temperatures fall there tonight, that’s going to change over to snow,” Nitz said.

Parts of northeast Georgia could get as much as 4 inches of snow in higher elevations, Nitz said, but metro Atlanta residents likely won’t see many flurries.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

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Credit: Channel 2 Action News

By 7 a.m. Friday, a mix of rain and snow could reach Hall County, but it will likely be too warm for any accumulation.

“With temperatures in the mid-30s I’m not expecting that to stick,” Nitz said. “Maybe a brief dusting on some grassy areas, but the roads should be fine across metro Atlanta.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Rain is likely and snow is possible for parts of North Georgia on Thursday, according to Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brian Monahan.

“In metro Atlanta, it’s a dry start and a wet finish on the way later today,” he said. “Just rain, no winter weather in metro Atlanta this afternoon. Our winter weather threat is mainly going to be in the North Georgia mountains.”

Still, he said there is the possibility some wet snowflakes could fall in town as the rain picks up and the cold air moves in later Thursday night and early Friday morning. Until about 5 p.m Thursday., sprinkles and showers will be isolated, Monahan said.

“This isn’t going to be widespread heavy rain, just hit-and-miss showers around the area,” he said.

There is no rain falling Thursday morning. Metro Atlanta is off to another cold start with temperatures in the upper 30s, and it will not warm up much. The city is expected to reach a high of only 47 degrees later this afternoon, according to Channel 2.

“We’ll start to see rain showers move in by lunchtime,” Monahan said. “A low impact if you have travel plans around lunchtime, and then impact from the rain and eventually winter weather in the mountains will go up.”

Monahan expects to see the rain switch to snow in the mountains between 10 p.m. and midnight Thursday. While the lower elevations will see more of a wintry mix, he said the higher elevations could record up to 4 inches of snowfall by midmorning Friday.

Accumulating snow is possible in the higher elevations of the northeast Georgia mountains as cold air moves in late Thursday and early Friday morning, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

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Credit: Channel 2 Action News

A winter storm warning goes into effect for several mountain counties at 7 p.m. Thursday and is scheduled to expire at 7 p.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

“Accumulating snow on area roadways, and reduced visibility in snow, could make travel very difficult,” the Weather Service said in an advisory.

Chilly temperatures to end the work week won’t help much.

In metro Atlanta, Monahan said it should stay above freezing Friday with a projected morning low of 38 degrees and a high of 46.

“It dries out, but it’s going to stay chilly for the end of the week,” he said.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

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Credit: Channel 2 Action News

There may not be wet pavement Thursday morning, but the morning rush is already seeing heavy delays after a crash investigation shut down the Downtown Connector.

All northbound lanes remain blocked before I-20 while authorities are on scene at 6:30 a.m., according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. No details about the crash have been released.

For the remainder of the morning drive, the Traffic Center suggests commuters avoid the interstate and take Moreland Avenue, Metropolitan Parkway or Lee Street to get through the city.

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

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