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Winter coming back with a bite

Cold weekend temperatures could bring snow to mountains

POSTED: February 10, 2012 11:30 p.m.

Freezing temperatures this weekend will replace the recent warm, springlike weather of the past few weeks.

Forecasters expect an arctic cold front to sweep across the state early today, dropping overnight temperatures into the teens.

State Climatologist Bill Murphey said parts of the North Georgia mountains could receive snow flurries or snow showers tonight and early Sunday.

According to the National Weather Service, as much as a half inch of snow is possible in the higher elevations of North Georgia.

The chilling cold front would be only the second major one this winter, the first coming in early January.

The system means temperatures will drop throughout the day today, Murphey said.

"Some of the coldest temperatures of the season so far will be around, with highs only into the 40s Saturday," he said.

Those arctic conditions are not expected to stay for an extended period, but have come abruptly.

Beginning Monday, temperatures are expected to climb back up near the 50s and lows are not expected to dip below freezing heading into the work week.

"Expect temperatures to start rebounding early next week as the next system approaches from the west," Murphey said.

Though the cold temperatures are not unusual for this time of year, the mild temperatures thus far could mean "the wind and cold will be more noticeable than usual," Murphey said.

The sudden cold outbreak could hurt plants that have already begun budding, he added.

Although dry conditions are expected to continue this weekend, the area could see rain early next week, Murphey said.

High winds of 15 to 25 mph could also plague some outdoor activities, with gusts from the northwest at 20 to 30 mph.

Murphey said it's possible a wind advisory will be issued for parts of North Georgia this afternoon or evening. A winter weather advisory could also be issued depending on the amount of snowfall.

"Wind chills into the teens will be a factor as well," Murphey said.

 



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