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Atlanta winter off to cold, wet start — and it’s not over yet

Does it seem like it’s been exceptionally cold and snowy in Atlanta this year? You’re not exaggerating.

“In short, YES this has been an active start to winter,” Katie Walls, Channel 2 Actions News meteorologist, said. “Typically, La Niña winters are relatively dry and warm. We have not been either.”


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This winter season has already been the “snowiest” in the past four years — and it’s only the third week of January. The average January snowfall in Atlanta is 0.7 inches, Walls said. After a trace of snow on New Year’s Day, metro Atlanta woke up to 2.3 inches on Wednesday.

This week’s snowfall is just a few sprinkles compared to what parts of metro Atlanta saw in early December. On Dec. 8, snow started falling and didn’t stop until some areas recorded a foot of heavy, wet snow. Cobb and Paulding counties claimed the “most snowfall” honors, but the early winter storm wasn’t fun for many. The storm left thousands without power as the snow brought down power lines and trees.

The City of Atlanta recorded 2.3 inches of snow during the December storm, Walls said. That snowfall total was the fifth most in any December since records began, she said. December precipitation accumulated to 4.38 inches of liquid, higher than the average of 3.9 inches.

And then came January.

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Though it was just a trace amount of snow, it was the first for New Year’s Day in Atlanta since 2008, Walls said. So far, the temperatures have swung dramatically, from as cold as 13 degrees on Jan. 2 to 65 degrees Jan. 9 and 10.

The average January temperature in Atlanta this year has been 36.2 degrees, 6.7 degrees below the average.

But there is an end in sight to the frigid temperatures, at least temporarily. The high temperature will reach 42 degrees Thursday and climb steadily through the weekend, reaching over 60 on Sunday, Channel 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan said.

“Put the snow and the cold in the rear-view mirror for now,” he said.

Greer Glover, 3, makes a snow angel at Ansley Golf Club in Atlanta while there with her mother, Melissa. December and January has brought an unusual amount of snow for the metro area. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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