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Below-freezing temps could bring snow to North Georgia on Friday
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The National Weather Service holds a briefing at the Hall County Emergency Management Agency Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, on upcoming cold weather moving through the area overnight. - photo by Scott Rogers

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Below-freezing temperatures are expected at night and through the weekend, as snow began falling Friday morning across North Georgia .

The potential for black ice on roads and freezing conditions will remain in the area through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service in Atlanta. 

“We’ve got moisture that’s in place, but there’s a cold air mass that’s entering primarily starting after about midnight (Thursday),” said meteorologist Adam Baker. “We could start to see … a rain-to-snow transition.” Snow was falling hard in downtown Gainesville shortly before 11 a.m. Friday.

The good news is that temperatures are likely to stay above freezing Friday, meaning that any snow that falls won’t stick except for in elevated, grassy areas, Baker said. Lower temperatures and heavier bands of snow are possible in North Georgia, so keep an eye on weather forecasts on Friday.

Some schools in northern counties have closed. Hall County Schools are in session, with administrators expecting to attend an 11 a.m. briefing to determine whether to hold after-school and Saturday activities. Gainesville City School System Superintendent Jeremy Williams also said Thursday he’s monitoring the weather but had made no changes for Friday.

However, temperatures will drop going into the weekend, and lows will stay below freezing through Monday. Temperatures will begin rising above freezing after 8 a.m. each day but dip below freezing in the evenings.

“The really cold air is going to come (Friday) evening and overnight,” Baker said. “Even if the snow is not sticking much, if there’s any residual moisture on the roadways we’re going to go below freezing overnight.”

Effects on roadways could hit any time during the day on Friday, Baker said. Black ice is a possibility in the evening and overnight, and the National Weather Service and the Hall County Emergency Management Agency are warning residents to be careful when driving.

Casey Ramsey, interim director for the Hall EMA, said Thursday the county isn’t expecting many road issues through the weekend but noted that patches of ice might form on small neighborhood streets and bridges.

“Temperatures are going to drop significantly in the late afternoon and dark, so whatever may be on roads or may have melted — they’re a little concerned with the black ice,” Ramsey said.

Larger county roads and state roads should be free from issues, but Ramsey said drivers should pay attention to forecasts and look for more information on road conditions before setting out through the weekend.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is monitoring the weather as well but hasn’t taken any action ahead of the cold weather, according to spokeswoman Katie Strickland.

Sunday morning temperatures will be in the mid-20s. Cold air will remain in the area through next week but not at the strength expected at the end of this week. Temperatures will move to the 50s after Sunday.

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