Staff and wire report
January 7, 2014
A record low this morning ushered in a second straight day of subfreezing temperatures in Troup County.
The mercury stood at 9 degrees at 8 a.m. at LaGrange-Callaway Airport, shattering the previous mark of 15 set in 1970.
Monday’s daytime high was below freezing, and the mercury is expected to reach only 29 today. But the winds, which pushed wind chill readings into single digits Monday and to 4 below zero at 7 this morning, should die down by tonight. A low of 17 is forecast for tonight.
The remainder of the week should see milder temperatures, with highs from the mid-40s Wednesday to the mid-60s by Saturday. Clear skies give way to partly cloudy skies Thursday, followed by a 40 percent chance of rain Friday and a higher percentage Saturday.
Normal extremes for this time of year in LaGrange are 55 and 36.
The rest of Georgia also is feeling the effects after the coldest air in years settled over the state.
A temperature of minus 6 was recorded shortly after 5 a.m. today at the U.S. Forest Service’s automated weather station in the north Georgia mountains near Brasstown Bald, the state’s highest peak.
The National Weather Service reported lows of 6 degrees in Cartersville, Chamblee, Gainesville and Marietta around 5 a.m. today. It was 8 in Atlanta, 7 in Newnan and 6 in Roanoke, Ala.
Many of Georgia’s temperatures early today were significantly colder than Kodiak, Alaska (39 degrees); Juneau, Alaska (39), and Anchorage (27).
“This is severely cold for these parts,” said Brian Lynn, a Weather Service meteorologist in Peachtree City. “Single digits are a rare event.”
Even parts of southern Georgia often immune to such cold winter weather were expecting bone-chilling temperatures. Savannah hit a low of 20 this morning, with Albany reaching 17 degrees.
Much of north Georgia was under a wind chill warning early today, meaning wind gusts could make temperatures feel as low as 15 degrees below zero or colder. Those conditions would mostly be felt only in the mountains, Lynn said.
A wind chill advisory, which could make temperatures feel up to 10 degrees below zero, was in effect as far south as Americus and Savannah.
Numerous school systems were closed today in Troup County and across the state. In downtown Atlanta, Centennial Olympic Park officials said the cold led them to close the park’s ice rink Monday evening.
Monday night’s bitter weather claimed the life of one Muscogee County homeless man, according to the Muscogee County Coroner’s Office.
Buddy Bryan said Paul Garner, 51, was found dead in a vacant lot near the intersection of Third Avenue and 15th Street. Another homeless man who frequented the area reported Garner’s death after he found the man’s body.
In metro Atlanta, rail service was expected to move slower than usual as the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority implemented its winter operations plan. Spokesman Lyle Harris said trains would run slower than normal until temperatures rise above 10 degrees late this morning. Some bus routes may also be delayed.