North Georgia and metro Atlanta are preparing for anticipated accumulating snowfall Tuesday morning as an arctic cold front moves through overnight.
In preparation, multiple schools and businesses will be closed Tuesday as up to 4 inches of snow is expected in far North Georgia and up to 1.5 inches are possible in metro Atlanta, according to the latest forecasts.
The brute impacts are expected between 6 and 9 a.m.
The precipitation is expected to move into northwest Georgia by about 6 or 7 a.m., Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz said. By 9 a.m., the heart of metro Atlanta is expected to see a wintry mix turning to snow, leading to the possibility of slick roads as temperatures decrease throughout the day.
As a result, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for 17 northwestern and mountain counties, which is scheduled to go into effect at 3 a.m. Those areas could see 1 to 3 inches of accumulation.
Portions of North and Middle Georgia — including Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Gwinnett and Fulton counties — will be under a winter weather advisory from 3 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday, according to the NWS.
“Total snow accumulations of up to one-and-a-half inches are expected, mainly along and north of line from Carrollton to Marietta to Canton,” the Weather Service said in an advisory. “Lesser amounts of snow are likely right along the I-85 corridor.”
Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said Tuesday will be “brutal with the temperatures and the wind,” even though the wintry mix is supposed to end by lunchtime.
Maybe even more concerning than accumulating snow are subfreezing temps and hazardous driving conditions behind the front, according to Channel 2. Temperatures shouldn’t escape the 30s Tuesday.
Nitz warned drivers that “there absolutely will be slick spots on the roads,” mostly in northwest Georgia and the northern metro counties.
Atlanta Public Works crews started treating some roads and bridges Sunday, and Georgia Department of Transportation brine trucks are hitting the roads Monday night, according to the agency.
With gusty winds of 20 to 25 mph expected, Minton said it could feel more like the teens outside Tuesday evening.
Monahan does not expect much melting through the day Wednesday, and secondary and untreated roads will be tough.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the city is paying special attention to sidewalks in heavily trafficked areas, including at Centennial Olympic Park and the Georgia World Congress Center where Super Bowl pregame events are underway. Zoo Atlanta will be closed Tuesday.
To help battle the chilly temperatures, the city of Atlanta opened emergency warming centers at the Old Adamsville Recreation Center at 3404 Delmar Lane and the Central Park Recreation Center at 400 Merrits Avenue and will keep them open until Thursday morning.
Delta Air Lines is warning that the wintry weather could disrupt flights at its Atlanta hub, the airline’s largest, Tuesday and Wednesday. Delta is allowing travelers with flights booked to, from or through Atlanta for Jan. 29 or 30 to make a change to their travel plans without paying a change fee.
Bottoms said Monday there have been no other decisions made regarding the airport.
This storm could be reminiscent of a minor snowstorm that shut down Atlanta five years ago, but Channel 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan said Atlanta is not quite “looking at a situation like that.” The anniversary of Snow Jam 2014 was Monday.
Gov. Brian Kemp announced during a news conference Monday that state offices will be closed Tuesday for non-essential personnel in 35 Georgia counties.
His office will continue to monitor road conditions and could close offices Wednesday.
City of Atlanta, Cobb County, DeKalb County and Fulton County government offices will be closed Tuesday.
The other city government offices that will be closed Tuesday include Acworth, Chamblee, Clarkston, Doraville, Dunwoody, East Point, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Kennesaw, Marietta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, South Fulton, Smyrna and Union City. Villa Rica delayed opening until 10 a.m.
“We certainly understand that businesses and families affected by these closures will have to make accommodations on short notice,” Kemp said. “I can assure you that we will continue to issue regular updates through all official channels.”
Kemp encouraged drivers to remain off the roads Tuesday and Wednesday if conditions remain icy or dangerous.
Schools will be closed Tuesday in Atlanta, Clayton County, Cobb County, Decatur, DeKalb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County and Marietta.
Other North Georgia school district closures include Bartow County, Calhoun, Carroll County, Carrollton, Cartersville, Chattooga County, Cherokee County, Coweta County, Dade County, Dalton, Dawson County, Douglas County, Fannin County, Fayette County, Floyd County, Forsyth County, Gilmer County, Gordon County, Habersham County, Hall County, Haralson County, Heard County, Lumpkin County, Paulding County, Polk County, Rabun County, Rome, Towns County, Union County, Walker County, White County and Whitfield County.
Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Emory, Morehouse, Clayton State and North Georgia also canceled classes Tuesday. Others include Georgia Northwestern Tech, Georgia Highlands, Chattahoochee Tech, Gwinnett Tech, Reinhardt, Dalton State, West Georgia Tech, Spelman College and Georgia Piedmont Tech.
The State Road and Tollway Authority said it will close the I-75 express lanes in Clayton and Henry counties in both directions beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday. The agency will close express lanes on I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties at 11:30 a.m. They will be closed until further notice. In addition, SRTA has canceled the state’s Xpress bus service Tuesday.
CobbLinc will not operate bus service Tuesday “due to the potential for wintry weather causing hazardous driving conditions,” Cobb County government officials said in a tweet.
Things are looking up by Super Bowl weekend, Monahan said.
Atlanta is expected to reach a high of 57 degrees Sunday afternoon with a 40 percent chance of light rain.
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