Severe Weather Expected Overnight

Via the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office:

Severe Weather Expected Late Thurs – Early Fri
The National Weather Service is forecasting the potential for severe weather to occur overnight and into the early morning hours Friday.

There is an area of storms that have developed to our west in association with a cold front that is approaching the state.

We expect a squall line to develop and track east into NorthWest Georgia from Alabama during the overnight hours. It is forecast that the storm system will affect Paulding County between the hours of 2 AM and 5 AM with an emphasis of the squall line passing through Paulding around 3 AM.

Note that timing may change due to dynamics of the storm, all persons should remain weather aware at all times tonight and Friday morning.

Due to the recent winter storms a lot of trees have become weakened and will be prone to being brought down by strong gusty winds highlighting the possibility of road hazards and power outages.

Damaging winds appear to be the greatest hazard with the storm and there is a slight risk of an isolated tornado.

All persons in North and Central Georgia should monitor local media and/or NOAA Weather Radio for later statements on this potentially dangerous weather situation.

Instructions:

Have a safety plan in place, monitor local media and/or NOAA Weather for later statements and warnings.

Winter Storm Warning

… Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 1 PM EST
Thursday…

* locations… along a line from Cedartown to the northern half
of the Atlanta Metro to Jefferson.

* Hazard types… a wintry mix of snow… sleet and freezing rain.

* Accumulations… 3 to 5 inches of snow along in addition to a
quarter inch or more of ice.

* Timing… snow… sleet and freezing rain will develop tonight
and become more pronounced through Wednesday and Wednesday
night.

* Impacts… snow… sleet and freezing rain will accumulate on
roads making for hazardous driving conditions through
Thursday. As the more significant snow and ice occurs
Wednesday and Wednesday night… travel will be nearly
impossible. Widespread and extended power outages are likely
as ice accumulates on trees and powerlines and brings them
down. Please prepare to be without power in some locations for
days and perhaps as long as a week. Once the ice begins to
melt on Thursday and Friday… falling ice from bridges and
overpasses will create an additional hazard.

* Winds… northeast 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph. These
wind speeds in conjunction with the ice will exacerbate the
potential for falling trees.

* Temperatures… in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

Precautionary/preparedness actions…

A Winter Storm Warning for snow and ice means severe winter
weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts
snow and ice are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only
travel in an emergency. If you must travel… keep an extra
flashlight… food… and water in your vehicle in case of an
emergency. With the forecast snow and ice amounts… widespread
power outages are possible.

Winter Storm Update

Via the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office:

Here’s what we know and expect at this time:

Governor Deal has issued a State of Emergency declaration for much of North Georgia including Paulding County in anticipation of this winter storm.
Georgia Power and local EMC’s have personnel monitoring and staffing the State Operations Center.
Paulding County has been upgraded to a Winter Weather Advisory for 7PM tonight thru Tues 7PM.
Polk, Floyd and Bartow County has been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning effective 7PM tonight thru Tues 7PM.
Note that the Advisory and Warning will likely be extended until Thursday morning.
A Winter Storm Watch remains in effect currently through 7AM Thursday.

Forecast Summary:

  • Tonight Rain and sleet likely before 4am, then sleet, possibly mixed with snow. Low around 31. Northwest wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow and sleet accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
  • Tuesday Snow and sleet before 7am, then snow between 7am and noon, then rain and snow after noon. High near 37. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming northeast in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow and sleet accumulation of around an inch possible.
  • Tuesday Night Rain, snow, and sleet likely before 11pm, then rain and sleet. Low around 32. Light northeast wind becoming east 5 to 10 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
  • Wednesday Freezing rain. High near 34. East wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
  • Wednesday Night Snow and sleet, becoming all snow after 11pm. Low around 29. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
  • Thursday A 10 percent chance of snow before 7am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 44.
  • Thursday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 27.

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS:
#1 There are still differences between forecast models and changes are likely
#2 DO NOT focus on predicted snowfall amounts as these are expected to change
#3 ABOVE ALL ELSE — if you do not receive significant impacts or snowfall from this event tonight and in the morning, DO NOT let your guard down for later in the day Tuesday through Thursday morning. NWS confidence is high for this winter weather event. This is forecasted as a significant storm.

Potential Impacts include – extremely hazardous driving conditions due to ice and snow covered roadways and the potential for power outages to occur due to ice accumulations and gusty winds bringing down trees and power lines.

Pay close attention to later statements, monitor local media outlets and/or NOAA Weather Radio.

Instructions:

Monitor local media and/or NOAA Weather Radio for further statements and warnings regarding this winter weather event.

Winter Storm Preparedness

After last month’s winter storm, it became painfully obvious that we Georgians are woefully unprepared for a weather disaster. That doesn’t have to be the case though, if you are willing to spend just a few minutes and a few dollars to prepare for such an event.

FEMA’s Ready.gov website offers a great overview of what you need to prepare for all kinds of disasters. For the type of weather we’re expecting over the next few days, a few things in your trunk and in your house will help you make it whether you’re stuck at home or stuck in your car.

For your home, be sure to have plenty of blankets, bottled water, flashlights, and shelf-stable food in case the power or water supply are out of service. If you are lucky enough to have natural gas or propane service at your house, you’ll fare better than those who are all electric. If you do lose power, keep in mind you can move perishable foods from the refrigerator to the freezer (especially a chest freezer) to prolong their freshness. A battery powered or crank powered radio is great for keeping up with the news without draining your cellphone’s precious battery life — remember, you can’t charge the phone when the power is out.

For your car, it’s good to have a “bug out” bag. In this bag should be any essential day-to-day items. Start with a change of clothes including undergarments, an extra pair of socks, a blanket and small pillow, your usual toiletries including toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, and any other personal needs. Don’t forget a spare cellphone charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, bottled water and snack foods (granola bars are a great, long-lasting source of energy), tissues, and some form of entertainment that isn’t powered by electricity, like a book or deck of cards, to help pass the time if you are stuck at a stranger’s house or at work.

Another good item to keep in your trunk during the winter months is ice melt. This material is used to make sidewalks, roads, and stairs passable when covered with ice. You can use just about any variety, and it doesn’t take much to get your car unstuck. You can get ice melt at just about any hardware store, and for the Dallas and Hiram areas, you can get it at a steep discount at A&M Office Supply in Dallas (full disclosure: My day job is there, but I don’t get any perks from mentioning it; just passing along the savings). If you are stuck on a patch of ice, sprinkle some ice melt around your powered wheels. Most cars are front wheel drive, trucks and large SUVs are usually rear wheel drive. Give the ice melt a few minutes to do its thing, then very carefully drive forward if you have traction.

This is far from an exhaustive list of things you can do to prepare for a bad weather event, but I hope it gives you a good start. Stay safe, and remember: If you don’t have to drive on the icy roads, don’t do it! You could save a life.

Winter Storm Watch

… Winter Storm Watch in effect from Monday evening through
Tuesday afternoon…

The National Weather Service in Peachtree City has issued a
Winter Storm Watch… which is in effect from Monday evening
through Tuesday afternoon.

* Locations… portions of north Georgia… mainly along and north
of a line from Carrollton to Atlanta to Homer.

* Hazard types… snow possibly mixed with freezing rain or sleet.

* Accumulations… 1 to 2 inches of snow with 2 to 3 across the
north Georgia mountains and up to 4 inches in the northeast
Georgia mountains.

* Timing… Monday night into Tuesday.

* Impacts… snow covered roads will make travel difficult Monday
night into Tuesday. Given snowfall amounts and
temperatures… these impacts may last into mid week.

* Winds… north to northeast around 5 to 10 mph with gusts up to
20 mph.

* Temperatures… in the lower 30s Monday night warming into the
mid to upper 30s on Tuesday.

* Uncertainty… there is still considerable uncertainty in this
forecast and snowfall amounts are expected to change leading up
to the event. Folks across north Georgia and even parts of
central Georgia should monitor this situation closely.

Precautionary/preparedness actions…

A Winter Storm Watch means there is a potential for significant
snow… sleet… or ice accumulations that may impact travel.
Continue to monitor the latest forecasts.

Special Weather Statement

… Fast moving system to bring potential winter weather to area
Thursday evening…

Overview…
an upper level disturbance is expected to move across the
Mississippi and Alabama Thursday morning and gradually spread
moisture northward across the local forecast area Thursday
afternoon into Thursday evening. This will lead to light rain
developing from Columbus to Macon initially by 10 am to noon. From
there… it will spread northward to start in the Atlanta Metro
during the early afternoon hours. At the onset of
precipitation… the temperatures will be in the lower 40s which
will result in just a cold rain. However… as the rain
continues… the temperatures will fall with light snow mixing in
with the rain along and north of a La Grange to Athens line and up
to the Atlanta Metro during the evening hours Thursday. North of
the Metro and including the mountains… the precipitation will be
mainly snow but amounts are expected to be very light. All the
precipitation will end by late Thursday night with colder
temperatures moving in its wake.

Impacts…
at this point… this looks to be a far different scenario than
last week with temperatures remaining above freezing while the
precipitation is falling. Also… lighter amounts of precipitation
will further limit any accumulation potential. Based on these
factors… we are going with little to no accumulation for most all
areas with the exception of the higher elevations of the mountains
where a dusting is possible. By far… the biggest potential impact
will be the black ice Thursday night as sub freezing temperatures
rush in and residual wet roadways become slick due to ice. This
threat could persist into Friday morning with temperatures not
expected to rise above freezing until 10 am.

Summary… this is a rapidly evolving winter weather event with the
scope remaining uncertain. We will be vigorously inspecting the
latest data to come in this evening to determine snow amounts if
any across the area as well as potential impacts for Thursday
night and Friday travel.