Snow is in the forecast for Gainesville today, but it should be over by tonight, according to the National Weather Service.
"You only have a chance of about a half-inch of snow," said Alex Gibbs, a meteorologist at the weather service’s Peachtree City office. "I don’t think you’ll get any sleet, only snow."
The forecast for the Gainesville area calls for a slight chance of sleet or snow before 2 p.m., then changing over to snow. There’s a 60 percent chance of precipitation, and the high is expected to be around 27 degrees.
Snow is considered likely tonight, but mainly before 8 p.m. Accumulation is again expected to be less than half an inch.
The chance of precipitation rises to 70 percent, and the night’s low is predicted to be around 19.
The snow should be gone by Wednesday, with a high of 37 degrees in the forecast, but there is a 20 percent chance of snow, mainly before 8 a.m.
Highs are expected to keep climbing through the weekend, hitting the mid-50s on Saturday and Sunday, with lows on those days in the mid-40s.
Much of Georgia, including parts of South Georgia normally immune to winter accumulations, has been placed on a winter storm watch.
The weather service said cities including Atlanta, Americus, Columbus and Macon could see up to 2 inches of snow, with the first flakes at midmorning. Farther east, 3 inches of snow or more was possible in Vidalia, Dublin, Milledgeville and Sylvania.
There was also a threat of treacherous conditions farther south, where freezing rain and sleet could form up to a «-inch of ice in the Savannah area, and a chance of freezing rain and sleet across southern Georgia from Albany to Alma.
"It’s just the way the system is set up," Gibbs said of the higher accumulations expected in the central and southern parts of the state as the storm comes out of the Gulf of Mexico.
Gibbs said Northeast Georgia can expect light snow.
"Basically what you’re going to get are flurries, but as the snow keeps falling, the flurries will add up," he said.
Gibbs added the probable wintry precipitation is a result of the cold temperatures that have lingered over the state for much of January.
"It’s been cold so much, it was bound to snow," he said.