Arctic air arrives, temps to drop into single digits overnight

ATLANTA FORECAST

Today: Freezing. High: 33

Tonight: Clear. Low: 19

Tomorrow: Cold. High: 34

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

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Bitter cold that has gripped metro Atlanta and much of the country is expected to last through the weekend, according to Channel 2 Action News.

A blast of arctic air Thursday night could bring wind speeds to 30 mph.

Currently, the temperature is 23 degrees in Atlanta. However, it feels like it’s 10.

The average high for this time of year is 52.

“Although we'll stay very cold through the weekend, the end of below-average temperatures is in sight,” Channel 2 meteorologist Brad Nitz said. “Near or above-average temperatures are expected here from Jan. 9-13.” 


A wind chill advisory was issued early Thursday for Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Haralson, Paulding and Polk counties.

Between 7 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday, those areas could experience wind chills that range from 5 degrees above zero to 10 below zero, Channel 2 reported. 

MORE: What does the advisory mean? 

“With temperatures this cold, exposed skin can get frostbite within 30 minutes,” Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said. “It’s dangerous to be out there in that kind of cold.”

Atlanta officials will open warming stations near Grant Park at 537 Park Ave. SE, at Central Recreation Center at 400 Merrits Ave. NE in the Old Fourth Ward, and at Old Adamsville Recreation Center at 3404 Delmar Lane NW.

Those seeking refuge from the cold in Cherokee County can go to Action Church at 271 Marietta Road. Doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner will be served between 6 and 6:30 p.m.


Douglas County emergency officials and the First United Methodist Church at 6167 Prestley Mill Road in Douglasville will open a warming center at 7 p.m. Thursday until 9 a.m. Friday. The warming center will also be open 7 p.m. Friday until 8:30 a.m. Saturday. 

Gilmer County Public Safety has opened a warming shelter at the Ellijay Civic Center at 1561 South Main Street. Food will not be served, officials said.

The wind chill advisory follows Wedneday’s winter storm — the first significant snowfall in nearly 30 years in Savannah and parts of the Georgia coast. Those areas had not seen that much snow since 1989, Channel 2 reported.

RELATED: Rare winter storm brings more than 3 inches of snow to parts of Georgia

About 10 p.m. Wednesday, an Amtrak train derailed in Savannah with more than 300 passengers on board. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the derailment, Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods said.

ALSO: Amtrak train resumes service after derailing in Georgia

MORE: Amtrak train derails in Savannah with more than 300 passengers on board

The Chatham County Emergency Management Agency in Savannah reported more than 15 roads were closed Thursday.

RELATED: Current road closures

Southeast Georgia is under a hard freeze warning through Friday morning.

“A hard freeze warning means that temperatures 27 degrees or less are expected for at least two hours,” the National Weather Service said in a statement.

Metro Atlanta isn’t included in the hard freeze warning, but there have been reports of ice patches on roads and water main breaks due to the cold. Since midnight, crews have gotten at least 10 calls about water main breaks across Atlanta, according to Channel 2. 

RELATED: Water main repaired near Phipps Plaza

An icy patch caused a crash on the southbound Downtown Connector at North Avenue, the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center reported. 

Two lanes were blocked for more than one hour in Midtown early Thursday before all lanes reopened about 7:20 a.m.

In DeKalb, icy conditions caused an SUV to crash into a preschool.

RELATED: Icy road causes SUV to crash into DeKalb preschool 

Driver Lisa Blaize said her SUV slid all the way down Stone Mountain Street in Lithonia and into the porch of Early Preparatory Academy, according to Channel 2. An entire side of the porch was damaged, but no one was injured.

David Lozano (from left), Brandon Martinez and Kimberlyn Lozano bundled up while waiting for their school bus on Buford Highway early Thursday. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

» For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.

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