It’s the two words drivers don’t want to hear: Black ice.
But be prepared, because Tuesday morning could be a slippery mess in metro Atlanta, even after the rain tapers off, according to forecasters. Many school systems and government offices prepared ahead of time to deal with hazardous conditions and will open later than normal.
“The roads are going to have very little opportunity to dry out, so black ice is a concern,” Brad Nitz, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist, said late Monday.
Although the primary concern is for the northern suburbs and North Georgia, slippery roads could happen elsewhere, Nitz said.
“That doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods in south metro,” he said.
Light snow was falling late Monday in the northeast Georgia mountains, which was still thawing out from weekend snowfall that dumped as much as 8 inches. But snow isn’t expected in the Atlanta area, Nitz said.
Monday afternoon, Gov. Nathan Deal announced that state offices will open at 10 a.m. Other government offices and schools quickly followed. Fulton County and City of Atlanta offices will open at 10 a.m. and Cobb government employees should plan to start at 9 a.m. DeKalb County, Chamblee and Dunwoody city offices will delay opening until 10 a.m.
State Department of Transportation crews planned to begin treating major roadways with brine late Monday in anticipation of the Tuesday morning commute. But the secondary roads and side streets — along with bridges and overpasses — could be dangerous for school buses, forcing metro systems to delay the first bell.
Most of the metro area county school systems announced a two-hour delay, including Atlanta, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett. Cherokee, Forsyth, Hall and Paulding counties will also report two hours later.
Georgia Tech, Georgia State and Kennesaw State announced that they will all delay opening until 10 a.m. Georgia Gwinnett College will be on a two-hour delay.
By afternoon, any ice left on the roads should melt, thanks to a high temperature of 50 degrees and plenty of sunshine, according to forecasters. And finally, metro Atlanta will get a break from the rain — at least for three days.
Widespread rain returns Friday, when storms are also possible, Nitz said.