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UPDATE: Chance of Freezing Rain on Friday for Cumming and Forsyth

The National Weather Service calls for a chance of rain or freezing rain before 3 p.m. Friday.

UPDATE: 1-24-13, 5 p.m.

A winter storm warning for freezing rain is in effect for Forsyth and nearby counties through 6 p.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

This includes portions of North Georgia, generally north and east of a line from Ellijay to Cumming to Gainesville. Freezing rain, possibly mixed with sleet is expected with accumulations of up to 1/4 inch of ice, especially on trees and power lines. Little to no sleet accumulation. Most of the precipitation will fall during the day on Friday, NWS says.

Be aware that ice and possible sleet will cause roadways and sidewalks to become slippery making travel dangerous especially on bridges and overpasses. Ice may also accumulate on power lines and trees that could possibly lead to power outages.

Temperatures in Cumming and Forsyth County will be in the mid to upper 20's Friday morning warming to the lower 30's by afternoon.

The NWS reports that a winter storm warning for freezing rain means winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Moderate amounts of 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.

No word yet on school closings or delays.

According to Forsyth County Schools,

The safety of all Forsyth County children is the primary concern. Even if it looks clear on your street, dangerous conditions may exist in some other part of the district. In deciding whether the children will be safe, the following factors are considered:

  • Information on road conditions from the director of transportation and law enforcement agencies, including whether roads are iced or icing;
  • Time snow or ice starts and the amount;
  • Weather predictions;
  • Building conditions (e.g., whether we have power and heat);
  • Parking lot and sidewalk conditions; and
  • Temperature and wind-chill factor.

Dr. L.C. (Buster) Evans, FCS superintendent, is responsible for making the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from the district staff. Dr. Evans tries to make the decision by 5:30 a.m. so that media can be notified.

Georgia Department of Transportation

Traffic during the traditional morning commute hours could be affected by the predicted inclement weather.

If such conditions materialize, GA DOT crews will be out in force to pre-treat and treat roadways with brine and a salt and gravel mixture. Motorists are urged to call 511 or consult www.georgia-navigator.com before traveling. 

“Please check conditions in your area and the area to which you are traveling before you leave tomorrow morning,” said Georgia DOT Commissioner Keith Golden. “Icing is often difficult to detect and can refreeze within minutes after it is treated. The Department will do all within its power to clear roadways as quickly as possible. If you can, postpone leaving until after daybreak. That will give the Sun an opportunity to assist in melting the ice and will provide you much better visibility of any possible trouble spots.”

Motorists are urged to:

Slow down and stay behind the spreading equipment. The road behind the truck will be the safest place to drive. Allow at least ten car lengths between your vehicle and hopper spreaders.

Be particularly aware of black ice conditions on surfaces such as bridge decks and entrance and exit ramps.

Remember that technology helps, but only to a point. Four-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes and traction control are beneficial advancements in today's vehicles, but do not take the place of good driving habits and the need to reduce speed on icy roads.

Original Story:

The threat of severe weather for Cumming and Forsyth County is looming again.

According to the National Weather Service, there is a "chance" of freezing rain overnight Thursday (January 24) and "likely" for Friday (January 25) before 4 p.m. Also, winds could reach 15 mph.

The low Thursday night is forecast to be about 28 degrees. An Arctic air mass and moisture moving into the area is blamed.

The NWS hazardous weather outlook reads in part:

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR NORTH AND CENTRAL GEORGIA. ... THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY... AN ARCTIC AIRMASS WILL BE MOVING INTO THE EASTERN HALF OF THE UNITED STATES ON THURSDAY SETTING UP A COLD AIR WEDGE ACROSS NORTH AND CENTRAL GEORGIA. AT THE SAME TIME MOISTURE FROM THE WEST AND SOUTHWEST IS EXPECTED TO RISE UP AND OVER THE COLD AIR AT THE SURFACE. THE COMBINATION OF THESE INGREDIENTS WILL SET THE STAGE FOR POSSIBLE FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET OVERNIGHT THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING.

The wintry threat should end by the weekend. Forecasts call for sunny weather and a high near 46 on Saturday.

Still, the threat would present problems for commuters as well as school buses carrying students to Forsyth County schools. The policy for the school system is to wait as late as 5:30 a.m. on the day of classes before deciding whether to cancel.

-- Cumming Patch will have continued updates on the weather situation.

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