Published Thursday, January 24, 2013
By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
UPDATED at 6:45 p.m.: The National Weather Service in Peachtree City says a Freezing Rain Advisory will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday for portions of North and Central Georgia, including Coweta County.
The advisory area is generally west and south of a line from Ellijay to Cumming to Gainesville and north of a line from Franklin to Griffin to Eatonton to Crawfordville.
Expected accumulations will be less than a tenth of an inch of ice before the freezing rain turns to all rain and melts.
The ice accumulation will cause roadways and sidewalks to become slippery and will make travel dangerous, especially on bridges and overpasses.
A freezing rain advisory means that periods of freezing rain or drizzle will cause travel difficulties.
The National Weather Service forecast for tonight is mostly cloudy with a low around 29 degrees. Calm winds becoming East at 5 mph after midnight.
On Friday, a slight chance of rain or freezing rain before 11 a.m., then a chance of rain. Mostly cloudy skies with a high near 49. Chance of rain is 40 percent. Southeast winds will be around 5 mph, then gusting to 15 mph.
ORIGINAL STORY: Winter weather is back in the forecast for Coweta County and surrounding areas.
Freezing rain and sleet may move into the area late tonight or early Friday, according to the National Weather Service, which forecast a 60 percent chance of precipitation for Friday.
“In general, it’s about a 30 percent chance for Thursday night,” said Jessica Fieux, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City. “It increases as you get towards sunrise.”
Freezing rain is rain that freezes when it hits a surface and sleet is rain that freezes in the air, forming ice pellets. Both can form at temperatures above freezing, and both have the potential to create hazardous driving conditions on Coweta roadways Thursday night and Friday morning.
Whether rain freezes on the surface depends on many factors, including how cold the ground has been, according to Fieux.
As of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, the overnight forecast called for a slight chance of rain or freezing rain between 3-4 a.m., then a chance of freezing rain and sleet after 4 a.m. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph with a predicted low temperature 30 degrees.
Freezing rain and sleet is possible before 10 a.m. Friday with rain or freezing rain between 10-11 a.m. and partly cloudy skies with a 30 percent chance of rain after 11 a.m. Highs will in be in the upper 40s with winds at 5-10 mph.
Fieux said it’s too early to predict any impact of freezing rain on Coweta County.
“There is still uncertainly in the forecast,” she said, adding that a greater potential for problems exists further north. “People definitely need to keep an eye on the forecast Thursday night into Friday.”
Atlanta commuters are at higher risk for problems with icy roads.
“People are really going to have to watch to see if the roads are slippery,” Fieux said.
Once the rain moves out Friday, the forecast calls for a sunny weekend.
Saturday’s forecast is for mostly sunny skies and a high of 50 with an overnight low of 29. Sunday’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 51.
Things will be warming up steadily, according to the National Weather Service, which predicts a high near 58 on Monday and partly sunny skies with a high near 64 on Tuesday.