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Jack Frost will bring cold, but little snow

POSTED: January 13, 2009 11:36 p.m.

It’s getting cold, really cold, but don’t break out the snow shovel just yet.

Gainesville will feel the chill of the lowest temperatures of the winter when the mercury dips into the low teens and brings a chance of snow on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures in Gainesville may drop to 13 degrees Thursday night and may not rise above 33 degrees Friday.

The cold weather could bring flurries with it, but meteorologists say a thick blanket of snow is not likely.

Gainesville could see snow flurries early Thursday morning. The weather service says there is a 20 percent chance of snow showers after 1 a.m. Thursday.

"It will be light flurries; nothing that’s going to bother anybody," said Mike Leary, a meteorologist with the weather service

If the snow comes Thursday, the ground will be cold enough for the snow to stick, since temperatures have been dropping to the mid-20s this week, said Laura Griffith, also a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

But there may not be enough of it to cover the ground, Griffith said. The cold front passing through the region is not carrying much moisture with it.

"We’re looking at very little ... accumulation," she said.

Teri Pope, communications officer for the state Department of Transportation, said the cold temperatures had yet to limit the number of usable roadways in the county by Tuesday afternoon.

However, the lower temperatures already have forced the transportation department to close 180 Spur, the road leading to Brasstown Bald, she said.

The road has been closed since Friday and likely will stay that way until temperatures are on the rise again, Pope said.

Since there is little chance for precipitation this week, the biggest threat for Hall County roads is the possibility of black ice and frozen bridges, especially in the mornings, Pope said.

However, if snow does cause a problem with state routes, Pope said the DOT is prepared to respond as quickly as possible.

"Our plan allows our folks to be on the road battling winter weather within an hour of the call," she said.

The best way to stay safe on the icy roads is to drive slowly, Pope said.

"Slow down and pay attention — those are the two best things you can do," she said.



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