Temperatures could drop to as low as 7 degrees late Monday night and into Tuesday morning. That beats the record low for metro Atlanta of 10 degrees set in 1970, said State Climatologist Bill Murphey.
Monday's high will stay below freezing in the upper 20s.
The National Weather Service in Peachtree City issued a winter weather advisory for north Georgia, including Cobb, lasting until noon Monday. The advisories said wind chills in some areas could be as cold as 11 below zero with winds between 10 and 20 miles per hour and gusts up to 35.
Though forecasts call for north Georgia to see up to an inch of snow, in Cobb it will be a possible ice, snow and rain mixture that could cause problems on the road.
Tonight’s forecasted rain was expected to turn into freezing precipitation after midnight, likely causing some black ice across Cobb Monday morning.
“Whatever falls at the tail end, whether it’s freezing rain, sleet or snow, it will probably freeze pretty quickly,” Murphey said.
Conditions will worsen early Tuesday morning, though, as temperatures fall into single digits. Tuesday’s high is expected to remain below freezing, in the mid 20s.
Murphey said it will be difficult to melt any ice that has formed Tuesday because temperatures will actually be falling throughout the day, not warming.
Sun and wind may lend some help in melting ice, Murphey said, but it likely won’t be much.
The cold snap is caused by an “Arctic intrusion,” Murphey said, combined with a Canadian high pressure system making its way across the Southeast.
Warmer temperatures are anticipated to return by Wednesday when the high is forecast to be in the low 40s.
Police: Preparation necessary, but not panic
Marietta Police Officer David Baldwin asked residents to be wary of black ice, leave plenty of space between vehicles and slow down when getting behind the wheel.
“If you don’t have to go out on the road, don’t,” Baldwin said.
Cobb Sgt. Dana Pierce agrees. He noted it’s possible to drive in snow but nearly impossible to safely drive on ice.
Still, Baldwin said the weather forecast isn’t that of the blizzards that hit the Midwest last week and while residents should be cautious, there’s no need for panic.
“To us, with the weather that’s forecasted, there’s no need to stockpile anything more than what you would for a normal week,” Baldwin said. “Unlike the north, there’s not the weather forecasted for us where people won’t be able to get out of their houses.”
Freezing temperatures can cause pipes to burst and residents should leave pipes dripping to prevent ruptured pipes.
Power outages are also possible.
Baldwin said having dry wood for the fireplace, charging cellphones and locating flashlights and candles are a good idea in case parts of Cobb are left in the dark.
“If the power does out, avoid using any propane heaters indoors because of the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning.”
Cobb EMC has two crews on standby in case ice or falling trees bring down power lines and cause lights to go out, said Mark Justice, spokesman for the utility.
That can expanded, if needed, he said.
“There’s nothing that they can anticipate as far as outages are concerned, obviously,” Justice said. “That’s why we have the crews on standby.”
No school closures for Marietta City Schools were anticipated Sunday afternoon. If the inclement weather worsens forcing closures, Chairman Randy Weiner said media outlets would be notified and the information would be posted on the system’s website.
Cobb schools do not return from winter break until Tuesday.
Because of the threat of severe weather, the MDJ imposed early print deadlines. Some lottery numbers and sports scores were not available by press time Sunday.
No school closures were anticipated on Sunday afternoon. If schools are closed, information will be posted at www.cobbk12.org for Cobb schools and www.marietta-city.org for Marietta City Schools.
High 26, Low 7
• Tuesday: High 22, Low 14
High 40, Low 27
*Source: The National Weather Service
Prepare for freezing temperatures
• Drive slowly, leaving plenty of space between vehicles
• Bring pets indoors
• Be wary of black ice
• Leave pipes dripping
• Avoid using propane-powered space heaters inside