West Georgia motorists could face icy roads as winter weather moves into the state Thursday.
While north Georgia may get a bit of snow or sleet, the National Weather Service said the greater concern is the potential for patches of black ice across central and north Georgia. Black ice is a thin coating of ice that is virtually transparent, allowing black asphalt roadways to be seen through it. Forecasters said it could form on rain-soaked bridges and overpasses from late Thursday through midmorning Friday as temperatures fall below freezing.
While winds will help to dry roads as the precipitation ends Thursday night, it likely will not happen fast enough to eliminate the black ice potential. The greatest threat is in portions of north and west-central Georgia as temperatures dip below freezing. The mercury is expected to reach 30 in LaGrange on Thursday night.
The icy conditions come as a strong low-pressure system moves across Georgia on Thursday. Meanwhile, a deep southerly flow will spread moisture northward, bringing rain across much of north and central Georgia. As the cold front pushes into the Carolinas on Thursday afternoon, a cold air mass will move in from the west, with temperatures falling through the day, forecasters said.
Rain is expected to mix with and change over to snow or a snow/sleet mix across portions of north Georgia, where there is the potential for light snow accumulations in the mountains. Accumulations are expected to be less than a half inch and mainly over elevated and grassy surfaces. No widespread travel difficulties are expected with the initial snowfall Thursday, the Weather Service said.
After a low of 50 tonight, temperatures in Troup County are forecast to remain at normal levels through the weekend, with 50s in the daytime and lows of 28 to 36.
Rain moved into the county before dawn today, and there’s a good chance of more tonight and a 100 percent chance Thursday, followed by clear to partly cloudy skies Friday through Sunday.
The wintry weather comes after record-setting highs in LaGrange. Monday’s high of 75 broke the previous mark of 71 set in 1952. The 75 posted Sunday at LaGrange-Callaway Airport eclipsed the former record of 69 set in 1959.
Columbus also saw a record high Monday of 78, three degrees warmer than the previous mark set in 1960.