Metro Atlanta braces for winter weather


As of Thursday afternoon, most of metro Atlanta appeared to be taking a “wait and see” approach to reports of plunging temperatures and possible snow going into Friday. 

Several counties and cities around the region have already started pre-treating bridges and some roads with brine, a salt water mix that helps prevent ice from forming.

Others are preparing brine, sand, salt and plows to have on standby in case of snow. 

"Once they started using the s-word, it put us on alert," said Sandy Springs spokesperson Sharon Kraun. 

Ever since the infamous Snowpocalypse of 2014, which stranded thousands across the city, local officials have been wary of waiting too long to send home students and workers. On the other hand, they have been pilloried for shutting down ahead of storms that never arrive.

Kraun said black ice is the biggest threat, and transportation department crews were ready to hit known trouble spots “if the need arises.”

"Most of it is waiting and waiting," she said. "It's being prepared so if you have a problem, you can take care of it quickly."

Channel 2 Action News’ Glenn Burns said residents can expect rain after midnight. Precipitation could turn to a wintry mix of snow and rain by 4 a.m. Friday and stretch for 30-40 miles on either side of I-85.  

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for metro Atlanta and North Georgia beginning at 5 a.m. Friday.

“I expect the rain/snow to continue until mid afternoon (Friday) before changing to all rain and ending,” Burns wrote. 

He said snow or rain could accumulate up to an inch, but would likely melt on impact with temperatures expected to remain above freezing until early Saturday morning. 

The city of Lawrenceville cancelled its Hometown Christmas Parade, originally scheduled for Friday night, citing the threat of inclement weather.

None of the school systems or local governments contacted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution had cancellations to announce as of Thursday afternoon.

An official from the Atlanta public school system told Channel 2 schools would remain open Friday.

School districts generally consult with emergency management services and transportation departments when weighing the decision to delay or cancel, with superintendents making the final call.

Delta Air Lines announced it would waive certain change fees for travelers scheduled to fly to, from or through Atlanta on Friday.

The airline is also advising travelers to check their flight status frequently and sign up for mobile or e-mail flight notifications.

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport spokesman Reese McCranie said the airport doesn't anticipate mass flight cancellations, since the ground temperature will be above freezing, but deicing pads will be open because of anticipated precipitation.

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

The AJC's Meris Lutz keeps you updated on the latest happenings in Cobb County government and politics. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories: 

Never miss a minute of what's happening in Cobb politics. Subscribe to myAJC.com.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Disappointed tourists visit (mostly) closed King historic site
Disappointed tourists visit (mostly) closed King historic site

A smattering of people wandered the grounds of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Park, trying to figure out what to do since most of the grounds were closed due to the government shutdown.  Freedom Hall, which is privately owned, remained open Saturday for visitors to take in exhibits about Rosa Parks, Ghandi and Kng and his wife, Coretta...
Armed robbery suspect dies after being shot by officer
Armed robbery suspect dies after being shot by officer

A man who robbed a Kroger store at gunpoint was later shot by a Dunwoody officer and died at a hospital, according to a police statement Saturday. The man was shot in a parking lot of a shopping center in the 5000 block of Winters Chapel Road, Dunwoody police said in a news release.  About 7:45 a.m., the man forced his way into a register at a...
Police: Maine man punches himself in face to avoid sobriety test 
Police: Maine man punches himself in face to avoid sobriety test 

Police have accused a Maine man of punching himself several times in the face to avoid a Breathalyzer test, The Bangor Daily News reported. Police suspected Brian Fogg, 27, of Belfast, to be intoxicated when they were called to a residence on Jan. 13 and found Fogg’s vehicle stuck in a ditch, police said. Belfast police said Fogg and...
Temp reaches 60; ‘we have earned it’
Temp reaches 60; ‘we have earned it’

Today:  Sunshine, clouds. High: 58 Tonight: Clear. Low: 35 Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. High: 63 One day after some metro Atlanta school systems remained closed due to effects of the snow and ice storm, the temperature hit 60. And it’s supposed to stay in that range for a while. “It is going to be an outstanding...
A winter for Atlanta’s record books — and it’s only January
A winter for Atlanta’s record books — and it’s only January

When metro Atlanta was blanketed with snow in early December, it made for a fun three-day weekend. A month later, when Savannah received more snow than it had in three decades, it was treated as a novelty. But novelty gave way to nuisance this week when the region was paralyzed by a little more than two inches of snow. Atlantans have had enough of...
More Stories