Experts say winter storm threat should move on out today
by Lindsay Field
January 18, 2013 01:06 AM | 1563 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
While at least one local grocery store reported a busier than usual Thursday afternoon, with shoppers hoping to stock up before a potentially bad winter storm, meteorologists said there isn’t much need to worry because the ugly weather will likely have moved out of the Atlanta area by early this morning.

Snow accumulations were recorded Thursday throughout parts of Mississippi and Alabama, but meteorologist Tom Moore with The Weather Channel said it would weaken by the time it hit Georgia.

Moore predicted temperatures will stay above freezing, “so there should be no worry of ice on the roads,” he said Thursday afternoon, adding that there was a slight chance Cobb residents would see a few snow flurries overnight, but nothing that sticks to the ground.

That didn’t keep customers from rushing to the Kroger store off Cherokee Street in Kennesaw on Thursday.

“We are having a very busy day, compared to a normal Thursday, and it seems to be picking up steam every half hour or so,” said Store Manager Scott King.

He said customers weren’t mentioning snow, but he believed they were just preparing for “nasty weather.”

“However, if temperatures continue to drop tonight and tomorrow, we may start to see customers gearing up for snowy conditions,” Scott added.

Georgia Department of Transportation is also reminding drivers through Friday morning to be cautious on the roads.

“It could become very dangerous,” said spokesman David Spear Thursday. “It usually is difficult to determine exactly how much effect these events will have on the metro area as we are often on the cusp of the really cold temperatures.”

Spear said they don’t expect any “notable” snow accumulations, but black ice, which is a thin coating of ice over a surface, could be a problem.

“(Black ice) is much more dangerous than snow,” he said. “It is difficult to see and even more difficult, if not impossible, to drive on.”

Spear said motorists should monitor weather forecasts and drive slowly and without distractions.

Drivers are also advised to call 511 for general road condition updates or questions about the status of major roads.

Watch for delays

Both Cobb and Marietta school districts will keep parents and guardians abreast of any early-morning delays or cancellations.

Doug Goodwin, Cobb Schools spokesman, said the administration will monitor the road conditions and temperatures, looking for large patches of ice on roads.

“In the past, they’ve had staff test roads that are traditionally problematic and make the determination based on that,” he said.

Marietta Schools spokesman Thomas Algarin said they typically work in conjunction with Cobb to figure out what they will do.

Delays or cancellations will be posted on both school websites, Cobb County at cobbk12.org or Marietta at marietta-city.org. They will also be announced on local television stations, posted on each district’s Facebook page and in Marietta, each parent and staff member receives an automated phone call regarding weather announcements.

A drop of drought relief

The wet weather should be cleared out by early Friday morning.

Matthew Sena, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, said residents should see the temperatures return to normal for this time of year with highs in the 50s and lows in the mid- to upper-20s.

“We should see plenty of sunshine after this rain moves out,” he said Thursday afternoon. “But it’s still going to feel cold.”

Cobb has received more than 2.27 inches of much-needed rain since Monday, which Sena said won’t “erase the drought” but should “recharge the top layer of soil.”
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