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Snow in Gainesville? More likely rain and sleet Wednesday, Thursday

POSTED: January 26, 2008 5:02 a.m.

According to National Weather Service forecasters, the Gainesville area could see a trace of snow late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

Wednesday holds a 70 percent chance of precipitation, and a high of 49 degrees that will fall to a low of 30 degrees in the evening hours.

But Robert Beasley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, said the Gainesville area is likely to receive more freezing rain and sleet than snow.

Beasley said any accumulation of snow will be confined to the mountains north of Gainesville, such as in Hiawassee and Blairsville, where a couple of inches could fall by Thursday morning.

He added that Cleveland also could get a minor accumulation of snow, but is more likely to receive freezing rain or sleet.

As a result of expected freezing rain on Wednesday night, he added there is potential for some glazed ice on Gainesville area roads Thursday morning.

The storm system carrying threats of snow is fast-moving, Beasley said, and Hall County is slated to receive less than one-quarter inch of sleet.

"I think the main concern will be with trees and power lines," Beasley said. "Bridges and overpasses could become treacherous."

Randy Bly, director of community relations for AAA Auto Club South, said it’s important to prepare vehicles for inclement winter weather.

"The first step should be to have a certified auto technician check your car over for winter weather," he said, pointing out that an energized battery is particularly crucial during wintertime.

"That’s the No. 1 call AAA gets during the winter months — the call for help because a battery has died since cold weather takes more energy for a car to get started," Bly said.

Bly also said it’s a good idea to try to keep your fuel tank full to prevent frozen tanks. Also, he said to make sure antifreeze windshield washing fluid is installed in cars, and he advises drivers to not use high beam headlights while snow is falling, because like fog, the water droplets reflect bright light, making it more difficult to see the road.

Bly reminds drivers to use common sense in particularly drastic winter conditions: Don’t drive while fatigued and stay off roads during the brunt of any winter storm.



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