Winter is going to make its presence felt in North Georgia tonight, right on time.
Temperatures are expected to plummet to the mid-20s tonight, the first day of winter, before warming a bit toward Christmas.
“We have a cold front going through, and it’s going to bring in cold air from Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, right on down into Georgia,” Vaughn Smith, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Peachtree City said. “It’s nothing unusual for this time of year.”
Highs today will reach only the mid-40s before the overnight plunge below freezing. Winds are expected to be 20-25 miles per hour, with gusts to 40, during the day. Overnight, winds of 15-20 mph, with gusts of 30 mph, are predicted. The wind chill index is forecast to be in the low- to mid-teens, dropping to single digits in North Georgia’s higher elevations.
The weather service has issued a wind advisory, which remains in effect until 7 tonight. A wind advisory means sustained winds of at least 20 mph or gusts to 35 mph or stronger are predicted.
As the winds ease, temperatures will begin to climb.
“It’s going to warm up a bit more on Saturday,” Smith said.
Highs then are expected to be in the low 50s, and the overnight low won’t be as cold, either, but still will hover around the freezing mark.
The outlook for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day includes a continued warming trend, with highs in the mid-50s and lows in the mid-40s. A chance of rain returns to the forecast, at 40 percent Christmas Eve and climbing 60 percent by the evening of Christmas.
“Things could become a bit more unstable the day after Christmas,” Smith said, “with a chance of thunderstorms.”
The front pushing through North Georgia is not connected with the storm pelting the Midwest with snow, Smith said.
“It’s two completely separate systems,” he said.