Atlanta winter weather | WABE 90.1 FM

Atlanta winter weather

David Goldman / associated press file

It's December and temperatures are dropping, but state and local officials say they are ready for whatever Mother Nature and Jack Frost have in store this winter.

No snow is expected in north Georgia this weekend, but the Georgia Department of Transportation is fully stocked in case some of the white stuff – or even worse, ice – appears sometime over the next few months.

“[We have] just over 50,000 tons of salt, just over 65,000 tons of gravel, 385 snow removal equipment units, throughout the state and we are at capacity on brine,” said GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale.

Oliver Rich / flickr.com/casualcapture

To many, the winter months are a dead zone in the realms of entertainment and activity. People prefer to hide out and stay warm in their homes.

Instead of letting you shut yourself in to binge-watch Netflix over a bowl of cookie dough, WABE has compiled a list of fun things to do during the winter months.

Courtesy Spelman College

Friday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Rain and sleet droplets frame a yellow D.O.T. truck entering Interstate 85 to spread sand, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, in Atlanta.
David Tulis / Associated Press

Parts of Georgia will see some of the white stuff.

"It looks like we'll start to see a mix of rain and snow in the Atlanta metro area after 3 or 4 o'clock (Friday). We'll probably see that full change over to snow probably after midnight," said Kent McMullen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.   

Atlanta and surrounding counties will likely see about an inch-and-a-half of snow, but more will be seen in the northern part of the state.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is out, taking care of the roads affected by this week's blast of winter weather.

GDOT crews first started spreading brine in north Georgia Tuesday night.

"No pun intended, it's certainly a great warm-up for all of the winter weather partners in working through this first event," said GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale.

Brine is a salt-water solution that works by leaving a film on road surfaces.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Residents of north Georgia, including metro Atlanta, will be bundling up this week as a burst of very cold weather hits the region.

"We're looking at temperatures dropping anywhere from the mid-teens in the extreme northern suburbs, up around Canton, to near 20 degrees in the downtown [Atlanta] area," meteorologist Kent McMullen with the National Weather Service explained. “So [Monday] will be the coldest night we've had so far this season.”

McMullen said this blast of cold winter air came to Georgia from Canada and the Midwest.

A look at some Georgia peaches. Will McGehee with Genuine Georgia Group, whose family has been in peaches for 5 generations, joins A Closer Look on Friday, September 25, 2015 to give an update on the peach industry in Georgia.
Courtesy of The Georgia Peach Council

Georgia's No. 1 agricultural crop is cotton, followed by timber, peanuts and blueberries.

The official state fruit, the peach, is also a big money-maker.

But an unusually warm winter is not ideal for many crops like peaches.

Georgia peach growers say they're concerned about whether they'll have enough this spring.

Duke Lane Jr., a former president of the Georgia Peach Council, said if the peaches are not exposed to at least 31 more days of temperatures below 45 degrees before February 2015, farmers could lose some of their crop.

James Emery / flickr.com/emeryjl

Wintry attractions in the metro Atlanta area are affected by the warmer-than-usual weather this month.

Snow Mountain, Stone Mountain's annual simulation of a winter resort is shut down at least through New Year's Eve.

The park says it is monitoring weather conditions just like a ski resort would.

Centennial Olympic Park's skating rink has also been affected.

The South is likely in for a cold and wet winter, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It released its winter outlook Thursday morning.

The big influence on the weather this year is El Niño, said NOAA’s Mike Halpert.

“El Niño is often a positive for the U.S.,” said Halpert, “contributing to beneficial rains across the south, and a milder than average winter in the north.”

In this aerial photo, traffic is snarled along the I-285 perimeter north of the metro area after a winter snow storm, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Atlanta.
David Tulis / AP Photo

The National Weather Service recently predicted this winter would blow in with a strong push from El Niño, a weather event that typically means warmer weather and more precipitation.

But the Old Farmer's Almanac, which began making its predictions over two centuries ago, is predicting a cold, dry winter this year.

A lineman works to restore power after a winter storm yesterday downed power lines and continue to blow transformers on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Fairburn, Ga.
John Amis / Associated Press

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for North Georgia.

Forecasters say some areas like Rome, Cumming and Danielsville could see up to 3 inches of snow and sleet this weekend.

This will likely not be as blustery in the metro Atlanta area.

“If we do see a mix, it will be an overnight into tomorrow morning issue. And then it looks pretty certain that we’re going to switch to an all-rain event during the day Saturday going into Sunday,” Carly Kovacik, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, says.

Jerome Patton sits next to a frozen waterfall in Woodruff Park, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, in Atlanta. Temperatures fell to 10 degrees before dawn in Marietta, Cartersville and Rome and 12 in Atlanta as an arctic blast of frigid weather brought the coldest t
David Goldman / Associated Press

Ice cold.

That's the kind of weather residents of Metro Atlanta are dealing with.

And although other parts of the country have it much worse – as in major snow accumulation – that's little consolation for people throughout the Peach State.

"This is awful, this is so crazy. Literally, it's warm one day and the next it's cold. I hate it," Atlanta resident Jasmine Downs says.

Some transplants who came from areas known for brutal winters aren't happy to see temperatures stay below freezing.

Pedestrians are bundled up while walking through downtown, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Atlanta. Temperatures plunged into the 20s in many parts of Georgia and dropped to 13 in one spot in the mountains as cold air settled over the state.
David Goldman / Associated Press

 

Gov. Nathan Deal says state agencies will delay opening until 10 a.m. on Tuesday in metro Atlanta to prevent problems with black ice on roadways.

Deal also announced at a Tuesday news conference that state offices in northern counties will delay opening until 11 a.m.

Those offices were closed on Monday.

Deal says he hopes other government agencies including schools will consider a similar action.

Several counties in far northeast Georgia remain under a winter storm warning until noon on Tuesday.

Peggy Ann Schnitzius, 77, looks inside a garbage bin while braving the cold weather in front of a frozen fountain Monday, Dec. 13, 2010, in downtown Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

DeKalb County says all of its libraries and recreational centers are operating as warming centers during this cold snap. It’s also using four fire stations as overnight shelters. They are Fire Station No. 6, 8, 21 and 25.

Captain Sell Caldwell at Fire Station No. 8 on Clairmont Road says no one has come by yet, but he expects visitors on Wednesday night when temperatures will drop to 13 degrees.

Kim Taylor, of Norwood, Mass., right, shovels a path in the snow in front of her home Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, in Norwood. A storm brought a new round of wind-whipped snow to New England on Sunday.
Steven Senne / Associated Press

Metro Atlanta appears poised to bypass the brunt of Monday’s winter event. However, out of an abundance of caution, government and school officials ordered many nonessential workers to stay home. That caution will likely carry an economic impact.

Gov. Nathan Deal ordered all nonessential state workers in the affected areas, including those at the Capitol, to stay home. 

Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, is held by the gloved hands of handler Ron Ploucha during the 129th celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa. Monday Feb. 2, 2015. Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more
Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

Get ready for an early spring!

Gen. Beauregard Lee did not see his shadow this Groundhog Day, and that means winter will be gone soon.

The furry meteorologist tweeted his announcement from the Yellow River Game Ranch. 

People on the other side of the Mason-Dixon line aren’t as lucky.

Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow meaning our northern neighbors will have six more weeks of winter.

Pedestrians are bundled up while walking through downtown, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Atlanta. Temperatures plunged into the 20s in many parts of Georgia and dropped to 13 in one spot in the mountains as cold air settled over the state.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Forecasters say they're expecting a round of frigid winter weather to move into the region later this week.

Daniel Streeter, who lives in Vinings says he's not worried. He's from New Jersey, and he says the weather now is like springtime there.

"We used to walk to school in that, so that's nothing for us," he said.