Few showers, but rain to return by championship game’s end


Today: Icy in spots. High: 39

Tonight: Rain likely. Low: 29

Tomorrow: Warmer. High: 55

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

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Keep that poncho on. 

You’ll need it after tonight’s national football championship game between Georgia and Alabama at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

Showers that hit the metro area early in the evening ahead of the 8:17 p.m kickoff should subside by the end of the game, but rain chances will remain at 30 percent by midnight as fans crowd Atlanta streets to celebrate or head home, Channel 2 Action News reported. 

For much of the day, Atlanta weather left a lot to be desired. 

A winter weather advisory expired early in the afternoon without the predicted ice that prompted schools and government offices across metro Atlanta to close.

Other than reports of light, freezing rain in Gwinnett County, Monday was largely uneventful by the time the advisory expired at 1 p.m.

It was a different story in northwest Georgia, where “freezing rain caused significant travel problems,” including a 35-car pileup on I-75 North in Catoosa County, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz said.

Georgia and Alabama football fans brave the cold temperatures before the game. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

The wreck occurred at exit No. 345 after northbound lanes iced over, officials said. Six people were injured in the crash about 100 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta.

And in Atlanta, temps are in the high 30s and roads are mostly in good shape

The earlier threat of freezing rain and ice prompted crews at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to treat runways, taxiways and roadways.

MORE: Hartsfield-Jackson treats runways due to icy forecast

And officials in Clayton, Cobb, Atlanta, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Fulton, Paulding, Decatur, Marietta, Forsyth and Douglas closed schools.

RELATED: Metro Atlanta schools to close Monday amid icy road forecast

Gov. Nathan Deal on Sunday ordered non-essential state offices from Columbus to Augusta and northward to close, and city of Atlanta officials announced a similar order for local offices. 

MORE: Georgia governor: State is ‘prepared’ for gameday wintry blitz

Officials decided to close in order to ease traffic burdens, in large part because of the game.

LIVE BLOG: College football championship: Hours until kickoff

MORE: National championship to snarl metro Atlanta traffic Monday

ALSO: MARTA expands service for championship

Central Atlanta Progress were encouraging downtown commuters to use public transportation or work remotely. 

Chilly temperatures won’t last long. 

By Thursday, Atlanta should see highs in the 60s with an increased chance of showers through the week. 

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