The National Weather Service says temperatures in the metro-Atlanta area are expected to plunge into the single digits Monday evening and overnight into Tuesday, the coldest weather in more than two decades.
NWS meteorologist Alex Gibbs said the Monday afternoon commute will be chilly, but ice issues on the road are unlikely.
“We’ve just gotten some reports of some icy slick spots in north metro – and just a few, and that was it,” Gibbs said. “So I don’t expect any ice conditions to expand out of that area or expand much more than they are right now.”
Smith said clear skies Monday kept temperatures hovering in the low 20s through the afternoon, though he expects them to drop rapidly after sunset. NWS predicts overnight temperatures as low as 5 degrees in Atlanta, temperatures not seen since 1985.
The NWS Monday also issued a wind chill warning for 18 northern counties. The warning, in place through Tuesday afternoon, includes predictions of northwest winds of 10 to 20 mph and gusts of up to 35 mph, which the NWS says could result in wind chill temperatures between -10 and -25 degrees.
Gibbs said Monday marks the first time the service has issued a wind chill warning in the state since the product was developed in the mid-1990s.
The Georgia Department of Transportation reported some isolated ice issues Monday morning, mostly in the northwest portion of the state. GDOT said it will remain active through the overnight hours into Tuesday treating any icing that may occur on the roadways, though advises motorists to travel only if necessary.
Due to the inclement weather, Atlanta Public Schools announced Monday it will close schools Tuesday.
“We have been consistently over the last 24 to 48 hours in touch with national, state as well as local authorities and have been pretty meticulous with regard to reaching this decision,” APS Associate Superintendent Steve Smith said.
Carroll, Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Fulton, Henry and Newton County Schools will also close Tuesday.
Decatur and Marietta city schools and Clayton County schools have not announced plans to close.
Update, 4:47 p.m.
City of Marietta schools will be closed Tuesday.
Update, 5:53 p.m.
Clayton County says schools and offices will be closed Jan. 7 due to “anticipated weather conditions.”
Update, 5:58 p.m.
City of Decatur schools will be closed Tuesday “due to extreme cold.”
Update 6:20 p.m.
The University of Georgia in Athens has announced that they will be open Tuesday morning. They suggest people dress accordingly.