Atlanta roads decent, but likely to worsen

All of metro Atlanta should be at or below freezing by 9 p.m. tonight, and that means wet roads will likely begin to ice by 2 a.m.

So far the traffic conditions on the interstates and major state routes have been “pretty decent all day,” save for a few wrecks near the I-75/I-575 split, according to Georgia State Patrol officials. No weather-related power outages have been reported.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday,  Georgia Department of Transportation road sensors were showing pavement temperatures in the 34 to 37-degree range south of I-20; and in the 32 to 34 degree range north of I-20 in metro Atlanta and the immediate northern suburbs. In the far northern suburbs and in the mountains, temperatures were already below freezing as of 7 p.m., according to state meteorologist Will Lanxton.

“We are kind of just getting started in the Atlanta area,” Lanxton said. “The northern suburbs have been getting it over the past few hours. But as temperatures drop a degree or two, we will see the snow line dip down into Atlanta and see accumulations.”

Most of the heavy winter precipitation should end by 2 a.m., but another band of light snow could move through between 2 and 5 a.m., Lanxton said.

One to 3 inches of snow is expected in the Atlanta area, and between 4 and 8 inches are possible in north Georgia before the entire weather system moves through tomorrow morning.

Road temperatures are expected to go back above freezing around 9 a.m. Thursday. Air temperatures will rise above that mark at around the same time — about 8 a.m. in metro area or about 10 a.m. in the far northern suburbs.

Highs tomorrow will be in the mid-40s with light winds. Any sheltered or isolated spots where water does not evaporate could refreeze overnight into Friday morning, Lanxton said.

GDOT has already spread a brine solution to prevent icing over all the metro Atlanta and north Georgia interstates. Overpasses and bridges also have been treated with a gravel and sand mixture to provide traction in case pavement becomes slippery. GDOT crews are scattered around the metro Atlanta area on standby, ready to spread a gravel and sand mixture elsewhere as needed, said GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale.


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