Atlanta has finally warmed above freezing Tuesday, but that’s more of a consolation than an achievement.
The city is sitting in the mid-30s at midday, and temperatures do not have much further to climb, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Eboni Deon said. With a light breeze, it feels more like freezing outside.
“Even now that the sun is up, don’t let it fool you, because we are just not expecting much of a warmup,” she said.
Temperatures should only make it to about 40 degrees in the afternoon, a good 13 degrees below average for this time of year, she said.
Atlanta bottomed out at 23 degrees Tuesday morning. A breeze sent wind chills down into the teens, according to Channel 2. Under those conditions, frostbite can set in within 30 minutes.
It was the coldest morning since Atlanta dropped to 22 degrees exactly one year ago today.
The bitter chill prompted Channel 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan to encourage dressing in lots of layers.
“It will get a little better later this week, but it’s also going to come with some rain,” he said.
While 20s in the city and teens in the mountains were not to be discounted, Monahan said Atlanta would have a long way to fall before getting anywhere close to the record low for this date.
Temperatures on Jan. 21, 1985, were recorded at minus 8, the second-lowest ever recorded in Atlanta since reliable record keeping began. The bitter cold came in the middle of what was known as the cold wave of 1985, Monahan said.
“It spread all across the country,” he said. “Temperatures in the U.S. were as low as minus 70 degrees during that cold wave. We are a long way from that (Tuesday).”
It may be cold, but at least it’s dry. Rain chances do not increase again until late Thursday night ahead of a wet Friday morning, according to Channel 2.
Rain is 80% likely Friday, and some of it could be heavy, Monahan said. A couple of spots have a chance of a little freezing rain or drizzle first thing Friday morning, he said.
Before North Georgia has to deal with the rain, another morning of 20-degree lows is in the forecast. Wednesday afternoon should be milder with highs in the upper 40s, according to Channel 2.
Metro Atlanta is not taking any of Tuesday morning’s traffic problems into the afternoon. Volume is light and there are no delays on any major interstates, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.
Tuesday is also seeing a break from controlled blasting on I-285. The Georgia Department of Transportation is blasting in the eastbound lanes between the Perimeter Center Parkway overpass and Ashford Dunwoody Road.
Perimeter Center Parkway will be blocked from Lake Hearn Drive to Hammond Drive during the blasting operation, according to Sandy Springs officials. The next blast is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, and the operation is expected to continue Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through March.
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