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Schools Closing, Winter Storm Warning Issued Ahead Of Super Bowl
UPDATED: 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28
Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday state offices in 35 counties in North Georgia will be closed Tuesday ahead of a potential winter storm.
Kemp said he doesn't anticipate having to declare a state of emergency, but his office will issue updates regularly.
People living the northern part of the state could get about 1 to 2 inches of snow on Tuesday. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning Monday afternoon. The warning takes effect 3 a.m. Tuesday in the northern part of the state.
Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry said Monday they're more concerned about black ice.
Calcium chloride is a new mixing agent that will get added to our brine mixture when temperatures drop below the freezing mark. We’re #WinterReady! pic.twitter.com/XukH4wF5x9— Georgia DOT (@GADeptofTrans) January 28, 2019
"In this situation, the accumulation is not the critical thing," McMurry said. "It's the potential melt and refreeze that can happen with these really cold temperatures dropping into the 20s overnight into Wednesday morning."
Starting Tuesday morning, GDOT crews will begin pre-treating the 6,600 miles of roads and highways in areas that could be impacted.
The winter weather event rolls into town less than a week before Super Bowl 53 kicks off in Atlanta. Though it should have minimal impact on the game itself and the weekend before it, people traveling to the city for the game should proceed with caution.
Atlanta city officials expect about 150,000 out of town visitors to be in town for the game, with most arriving later in the week.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Hartsfiled-Jackson International Airport is expected to operate per usual and no flight cancellations have been issued.
Due to the anticipated inclement weather including snow and ice and in alignment with the @CityofAtlanta and @GovKemp @apsupdate schools and offices closed on Tuesday, Jan.29. pic.twitter.com/4eoLNHOGPP— ATL Public Schools (@apsupdate) January 28, 2019
Atlanta Public Schools was the first system to cancel classes Tuesday ahead of a winter storm watch that takes effect 4 a.m. Tuesday, according to NWS. Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb and Cherokee counties have also decided to close Tuesday.
Accumulation up to 2 inches is most likely in the North Georgia mountains, NWS forecast.
2 PM 1/28: A Winter Storm Warning over far north Georgia and a Winter Weather Advisory over much of north-central Georgia are in effect from 3 AM until 7 PM Tuesday. Travel could be difficult in these areas due to snow accumulation and the possibility of black ice. pic.twitter.com/8KMfnHHVue— NWS Atlanta (@NWSAtlanta) January 28, 2019
Even if the metro area doesn't see snow, black ice and freezing temperatures are coming with a "strong cold front," NWS said.
Patchy black ice will be possible even in areas that receive little or no snow. Wednesday morning commuters may have to contend with dangerous conditions as temperatures drop into the teens. The high on Wednesday is only 35 degrees, NWS forecast.
Because the city of Atlanta is expecting about 150,000 out-of-town visitors, mass transit is the preferred method of getting around. Officials began closing roads last week for events leading up to the big game.
Continue to monitor conditions and pack for the cold with layers and a heavy coat if you'll be walking or riding MARTA to events this week.