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Wintry mix in forecast tonight

Wind-chill advisory in effect; bitter cold will remain until midweek

POSTED: January 5, 2014 12:01 a.m.

Winter weather likely is on the way throughout Northeast Georgia tonight with snow, sleet and Arctic temperatures.

National Weather Service meteorologist Alex Gibbs from the Peachtree City office said Saturday that wintry precipitation and frigid temperatures could prompt winter weather advisories, watches and warnings throughout the day.

He said rain is could move in as early as 2 p.m., picking up as the day goes along, with highs in the mid-40s.

Overnight, cold air will move in and a mixture of rain, snow and sleet will take over, turning to snow and sleet from 1 to 4 a.m., and a chance of snow after 4 a.m. Lows will be in the mid-20s.

All precipitation should be done by 7 a.m. Monday. Little accumulation is expected in Hall County, but mountain counties to the north could see a half-inch to 3 inches of snow. Those areas, including Dahlonega, Cleveland and Hiawassee, are under a winter storm watch from 7 p.m. through noon Monday.

Gibbs said it won’t be the precipitation that’s a concern for Gainesville with this system, but the lower temperatures that follow.

“Temperatures are definitely going to be the worst part,” He said. “That’s the biggest concern as far as safety.”

Monday’s high temperature is expected to be 27 degrees. With winds estimated to reach 20 mph and gusts up to 35 mph, Monday night’s low is forecast at a mere 6 degrees.

Gibbs said wind chill warnings could be issued, a rare occurrence in Georgia.

For such warnings to be issued, wind chills have to be forecasted at minus-18. Gibbs said they could be close to that mark in the North Georgia mountains.

Gainesville’s wind chill is expected to be minus-10 Monday night going into Tuesday, he said.

Gibbs said any precipitation is still on the ground will quickly freeze.

“We will be below (32 degrees) until Wednesday,” he said. “Tuesday, we will have sun to help melt the ice, but it will rapidly begin to freeze once the sun goes down.

“If anything accumulates and we get very cold, roads could be treacherous. If you need to go out, give yourself extra time. If not, stay in.”

Tuesday’s high will be in the mid-20s, with the lows dipping back into the mid-to-high teens.

With temperatures this low, Gibbs advised everyone to stay off lakes, ponds and rivers. If you were to fall in, hypothermia and frostbite could set in quickly, he said.

He also said to bring any outdoor pets inside to make sure they “have somewhere warm and dry to stay. Don’t forget about your animals.”

This same weather system has brought minus 40 and 50-degree wind chill factors to the northern part of the U.S.

Most school systems in the area are scheduled to resume classes Monday after the Christmas holiday break, though Hall County students get an extra day before reporting Tuesday.



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