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Snow falling in mountains as cold moves in
Just flurries in Hall but roads could ice up in Ga. mountains overnight
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It's been an unusually balmy January so far, but you'll need to pull that heavy coat back out of the closet: Winter is back and a cold, blustery weekend awaits.

Temperatures were expected to drop back below freezing overnight and into Friday morning, with snow falling Thursday night in the Northeast Georgia mountains.

A Georgia Department of Transportation news release said crews already were battling snow accumulating at Neil's Gap on Blood Mountain on U.S. 129 and Ga. 11 near the White-Union county line.

Downed trees were reported blocking Ga. highways 105 and 63 in Banks County, while one was removed earlier from Ga. 51.

The National Weather Service forecast for the Gainesville area calls for rain before 7 p.m. with the precipitation turning over to a rain-snow mix after 10 p.m. and a low around 28. Winds will remain gusty at 15 to 25 mph.

Though little or no snow accumulation is expected in Hall County, areas from Cleveland north could get a half inch or more.

The DOT will monitor road conditions throughout the night in case snow and ice further hamper travel.

"Snow, black ice and fallen trees are possible overnight and tomorrow morning. Before you head out on the roads tomorrow please check the weather and road conditions, especially if you live or travel to mountainous areas," Kent Sager, district engineer at the DOT office in Cartersville, said in a news release.

At greatest risk are the high elevation areas in Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Towns, Union and White counties.

Also, high winds could post a threat to trees with weakened roots because of the drought.

There were reports of scattered power outages in the Hall County area Thursday evening. Jackson EMC spokeswoman Bonnie Jones said one outage affecting 1,100 homes in the Oakwood area has been cleared after a large tree fell on power lines. Other scattered outages were reported in the county.

A Georgia Power Co. spokewoman said the utility reported no wide-scale outages earlier Thursday night.

Friday will remain cold with a high near 42 in Gainesville and colder to the north, then back down to the low 20s by Saturday morning with winds remaining gusty.

Temperatures are expected to warm up to the mid-40s Saturday and back near 50 by Sunday with plenty of sunshine.

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