WEATHER-TRAFFIC UPDATE: Temps begin drop toward freezing — and beyond — as roads remain slow

ATLANTA FORECAST

Wednesday: High: 43

Wednesday night: Low: 27

Thursday: High: 48

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

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The Downtown Connector and several areas on the Perimeter remain slow as wrecks and a car fire stifle the evening commute.

A car fire on I-85 North near Ga. 400 has two right lanes blocked as well as the ramp to the Buford Spring Connector, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. The interstate is jammed back to I-20 as a result.

 

Delays continue to linger after previous wrecks blocked all I-85 South lanes near Jimmy Carter Boulevard, and the Downtown Connector ramp to University Avenue, the Traffic Center reported. High volume also has the Northern Perimeter moving slowly.

 

Temperatures warmed considerably since this morning, but it still feels like 34 degrees outside, according to Channel 2 Action News. High winds have contributed to a bitter chill in the air since early Wednesday, making Atlanta feel about 5 to 10 degrees colder than the North Georgia mountains.

Atlanta reached a high of 43 degrees, and it’s already beginning to cool. It’s 40 degrees now. 

“It’s going to be a cold day with winds up to about 15-20 mph, so it is going to make these temperatures feel like it’s in the 30s all day,” Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said.

In preparation for a chilly night, the city opened a warming center at the Old Adamsville Recreation Center at 3404 Delmar Lane at 6 p.m.

Minton said temperatures should start falling back into the 30s by the evening. Thursday morning will be even colder, she said.

Taniesha Alexander warms up on coffee at 15th and Peachtree streets Wednesday morning. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Most of North Georgia is expected to wake up to numbers in the mid-20s Thursday, according to Channel 2. But with no rain in the forecast through Friday, there is no concern for any slick conditions on the roads through the rest of the work week.

The rain returns for the weekend, Minton said, with a 90 percent chance Saturday and a 60 percent chance Sunday.

“We stay above freezing on Saturday and Sunday, but we still have to keep an eye on those northeast counties for the potential of some winter mix this weekend,” she said.

 

Minton said it is still too early to tell if freezing rain, sleet or snow will come to northeast Georgia, maybe even to parts of metro Atlanta. Different weather models show the possibility for wintry mix, while others do not, she said. As of Wednesday morning, it looks a little more likely.

“Right now it’s back to the potential for some winter precipitation,” Minton said.

MORE: Wintry mix back in the forecast as North Georgia looks toward cold, wet weekend

While much of North Georgia will just see cold rain, the areas to the far north are the most likely to see a wintry mix, according to the latest forecast. The potential for freezing temps and winter precipitation begins Saturday with the rain and carries through to Monday morning.

“This could change a lot,” Minton said. “It’s just Wednesday, so there is a lot of time for the main ingredients of the storm to come together.”

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