The National Weather Service and Governor Deal are urging people in Metro Atlanta to start preparing now for the possibility of severe weather this week. Snow and ice could come to the region just two weeks after a snow and ice storm froze Metro Atlanta. Deal also wants drivers to be off the roads by Monday night so the state can prepare the highways. In addition, the Governor wants tractor trailer drivers to seek alternate routes outside of Interstate 285.
The winter storm watch issued by the National Weather Service is in effect from Monday evening through Wednesday morning. National Weather Service meteorologist Trisha Palmer told WABE a mixture of rain and snow could come to Metro Atlanta very late Monday night into early Tuesday morning. She says that mixture could produce an inch of snow in Atlanta.
Palmer said a second round of winter weather could hit Metro Atlanta Tuesday night. With that round, she said a very serious ice storm is possible. Palmer said it could cause a lot of power outages and negatively affect travel. With that second round of weather, Palmer said Atlanta could get a tenth of an inch of ice. She says the most ice, up to a quarter of an inch, could occur east of Atlanta near Athens, Washington, Warrington and possibly Gainesville.
Tonight, Governor Deal said he’s given direction to the Georgia State Patrol, the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Deal said he asked those agencies to start moving assets towards areas where the snow and ice are expected. The Governor said he may call on members of the Georgia National Guard.
Tomorrow morning, Deal plans to bring together the heads of the State Patrol, GDOT, DNR, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Community Health. Others included in the so-called Operations Command are representatives of Georgia Power and the state’s Electric Membership Corporations.
The Governor said Georgia’s Operation Center will open Monday afternoon at three and stay open until the emergency response is over. At noon Monday, Deal will talk with reporters about the state’s winter storm preparations.