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Expect cold temperatures at football playoff games Friday

POSTED: November 25, 2008 5:00 a.m.

If you're cold, you can blame Canada.

The cold snaps that riddle Georgia's winters are the result of wind patterns that force Canada's bone-chilling air down the East Coast and into much of the Southeast, said Stephen Konarik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

"For whatever reason this winter, our first bout of this cold has come earlier," he said.

And though temperatures have been around 30 degrees Fahrenheit, Konarik said blustery winds are making it feel much colder.

"It's 33 right now, it was as low as 30 earlier this morning. And with the winds as gusty as they are, wind chills have been around 20 degrees so far today," Konarik said.

But into the afternoon it should warm up, with high temperatures in the low 40s. Winds should slow down as well.

"Winds are going to be lessening up into the afternoon," Konarik said.

But for those planning to attend high school football playoff games, it looks like temperatures will drop again after the sun sets.

"Tonight as well as Saturday night it will clear out and low temperatures will be dropping to around 20 degrees," Konarik said.

On the upside, Konarik said, skies will remain clear during the weekend.

In Northeast Georgia, where Gainesville, Buford and Jefferson all have games, temperatures will be in the mid-30s by the 7:30 p.m. kickoff and probably will drop below freezing by the time the game ends, Konarik said.

In Chamblee, where North Hall is playing, and Rossville, where Flowery Branch is playing, temperatures will be about the same.

In some areas, Konarik said, temperatures could drop into the high 20s by game end.

And while many likely will celebrate Thanksgiving with their jackets on, long-range projections show winter temperatures a little higher than normal this year.

"Through the heart of winter (January and February) we usually have highs in the mid-50s and lows in the low 30s," Konarik said. "This year we are expecting above normal temperatures and below normal rainfall."



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