Yes, it is possible that this Christmas could be (very slightly) white in Hall, according to forecasters, but don’t expect to build a snowman.
With rain expected beginning Thursday morning and temperatures dropping into the 20s Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day, Katie Martin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Peachtree City office, said Hall County could see some snow showers.
But, Martin said, Hall County isn’t likely to see much, if any, accumulation — just a dusting. The “higher peaks” of the North Georgia mountains, meanwhile, could see an inch or so pile up, she said.
Martin said Hall County flurries could begin, mixed in with rain, around 7 p.m. Christmas Eve and the chance of snow continues until about 1 a.m. Christmas.
“It’ll be fairly short-lived that you’ll see some wintry precipitation,” she said, adding that there may be a “brief period of snow covering on the grass, but nothing too impactful.”
Temperatures are expected to remain in the low 30s on Christmas Day, with a wind chill in the teens, Martin said. But warmer weather will return in days after, with temperatures expected into the mid-40s on Saturday and mid-50s on Sunday.
Local emergency and maintenance crews are prepared to roll out to any problem spots on county roads as the cold snap approaches, but widespread issues are not expected, said Casey Ramsey, director of the Hall County Emergency Management Agency.
But, both Ramsey and Martin warned, rainfall coupled with freezing temperatures brings the potential for black ice, especially on well-sheltered roads and bridges.
“Right now, we’re expecting to have about an inch, (or an) inch and a half of rain, and then overnight and by daybreak Friday morning, it’s going to be a wind chill around 12 degrees. The temperatures are going to be at 30 or 32 degrees for the high (on Christmas),” Ramsey said.
But, he said, expected winds around 10 to 15 mph and gusts up to 30 mph could help to dry off the roads.
Ramsey said the county is making sure it has an appropriate number of staff on call to handle any situation that could arise from the colder and slightly windy weather.
He cautioned motorists to drive carefully Thursday and Friday and to report any problem spots or downed trees by calling 911.
“And we’re monitoring the forecast, because of course it’s going to change a little bit,” he said. “Right now, we’re just planning on some flurries, maybe a little bit of black ice in the early morning hours of Christmas, but overall just a really calm morning.”
While widespread power outages or other impacts are not expected in the coming days, Ramsey encouraged Hall residents to be prepared for any inclement weather by keeping an emergency kit in their homes. He said the kit should include three days’ worth of supplies, a flashlight and alternate sources of phone charging.
If you choose to use a generator to provide heat for your home, make sure it’s properly ventilated and is not brought inside or in an enclosed area to prevent carbon monoxide buildup, he said.
Ramsey also suggested Hall residents sign up for weather and other alerts by visiting alerts.hallcounty.org.