A major winter storm is approaching that could produce a highly damaging ice storm, as well as more than a foot of snow across the southern Appalachians. In northern Georgia, tonight’s storm could be a winter storm of a lifetime.
Timeline for Atlanta:
- Overnight Saturday: Periods of plain rain with gusty winds up to 30-40 mph. Temperatures generally stay near, but above freezing.
- Sunday morning: Periods of rain and sleet before 1 PM with strong wind gusts of up to 50 mph.
- Sunday afternoon: A mix of rain and snow with gusty winds through 8 PM. Up to 2 inches of snow and sleet accumulations are possible. High temperatures will top out in the mid-to-upper 30s.
- Sunday night: Partly cloudy skies and temperatures fall into the upper 20s. Some refreezing of surfaces is possible.
As of 8 PM ET Saturday, there is a broad surface low pressure area centered across the northern Gulf Coast. This surface low will interact with winds from an upper level trough and continue to organize as it traverses the east coast. The low will move through central Georgia overnight with enough cold air in place to bring high wind gusts up to 50 mph, as well as a frozen mix of precipitation into northern Georgia.
The combination of snow, ice, and strong winds will make travel extremely hazardous if not impossible. Snow and ice accumulation will increase the risk of major power outages, and cause damage to trees.
Winter Storm Warnings are in effect across Northeast Georgia, including Gainesville, Blairsville and areas north of I-85 and east of I-75. This is where the bulk of the frozen precipitation will fall as the cold air damming from the Carolinas continues to seep into the region. Expect 2 to 4 inches of snow and up to a half-inch of ice accumulations across most of the Winter Storm Warning area. The northeasternmost tip of Georgia, including Blairsville, could see in excess of 4 to 8 inches of snow and a quarter inch of ice.
Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for most areas along and north of I-20, including much of the Atlanta Metro area. Up to 2 inches of snow is possible across these areas with up to a quarter inch of ice. High Wind Warnings, as well as Wind Advisories are in effect for most of Georgia. The High Wind Warning does include Metro Atlanta, Carrollton, Rome, Canton, Gainesville, Athens, and Blairsville. Cities under a Wind Advisory, where winds should peak around 35 mph, include Trenton, La Grange, Columbus, Americus, Macon, Griffin, and Eatonton.
For direct assistance, text ‘JOIN’ to (833) 861-1130 and a Currently meteorologist will be with you to answer your questions and help you prepare.
— Anthony Torres and Eric Holthaus