Temperatures plunge to minus 6 near Ga. mountain


AP Photo/John Amis

Georgia Tech students Nicholas Branch, left, and Rob Ashcom cross a street while bundled for cold weather on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Atlanta. The National Weather Service had much of north Georgia under a wind-chill warning Monday. Temperatures could reach single digits in some areas on Tuesday.

ATLANTA (AP) — Temperatures plunged to 6 degrees above zero in Atlanta and 6 degrees below zero at a remote weather station in the north Georgia mountains as the coldest air in years settled over the state.

Several metro Atlanta school systems closed Tuesday. Downtown, Centennial Olympic Park officials said the cold led them to close the ice skating rink Monday evening.

One of the coldest temperatures in Georgia was minus 6, recorded shortly after 5 a.m. Tuesday at the U.S. Forest Service's automated weather station near Brasstown Bald, the state's highest peak.

The National Weather Service reported lows of 6 degrees in Cartersville, Chamblee, Gainesville and Marietta around 5 a.m.

The weather service reported that the temperature also dropped to 6 degrees at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport around 6:52 a.m. Tuesday.

Many of Georgia's temperatures early Tuesday were significantly colder than Kodiak, Alaska (39 degrees); Juneau, Alaska (39) and Anchorage (27).

"This is severely cold for these parts," said Brian Lynn, a Weather Service meteorologist in Peachtree City. "Single digits are a rare event."

Even parts of southern Georgia often immune to winter weather were expecting bone-chilling temperatures. Savannah hit a low of 20 degrees Tuesday morning, with Albany reaching 17 degrees.

Much of north Georgia was under a wind chill warning early Tuesday, meaning wind gusts could make temperatures feel as low as 15 degrees below zero or colder. Those conditions would mostly be felt only in the mountains, Lynn said.

A wind chill advisory, which could make temperatures feel up to 10 degrees below zero, was in effect as far south as Americus and the Savannah area.

In metro Atlanta, rail service was expected to move slower than usual. Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority spokesman Lyle Harris said in a statement that trains would run slower until temperatures rise above 10 degrees late Tuesday morning. Some bus routes may also be delayed, Harris said.

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