ATLANTA — With memories of thousands of vehicles gridlocked for hours on icy metro Atlanta highways fresh in their minds, officials in north Georgia prepared Monday for another round of winter weather, with the governor declaring a state of emergency for 45 counties.
Gov. Nathan Deal, who was criticized for his response to the Jan. 28 storm that paralyzed the metro area and left motorists stranded in vehicles overnight, tweeted Monday morning about the weather-related emergency declaration and said it would be expanded as necessary.
Snow, sleet and freezing rain are also heading for South Carolina and precautions are underway there.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather watch from 7 p.m. Monday through 7 p.m. Tuesday and a winter storm watch from Tuesday evening through Thursday morning for the metro Atlanta area.
The weather service forecasts that rain Monday night in north Georgia — including the metro area — will change to snow by Tuesday morning and will likely mix with sleet during the day Tuesday, and snow can be expected from Tuesday night through Thursday morning. Snow will likely accumulate on roads making driving conditions hazardous.
In the area around Atlanta, up to an inch of snow can be expected during the advisory period Tuesday, with an additional inch or two of snow and a tenth to a quarter inch of ice possible between Tuesday night and Thursday morning, the weather service says. Farther north, in the mountains, between 1 and 3 inches of snow can be expected during the warning period Tuesday with an additional 2 to 4 inches by Thursday morning.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for most of the state Tuesday through Thursday.
In South Carolina bad weather is expected to begin Tuesday.
Up to 6 inches of snow are possible along the Interstate 85 corridor. Up to 4 inches of snow are possible elsewhere in the northwestern part of the state. About 2 inches of snow are expected in the central part of the state. About an inch of snow is expected in the Pee Dee.
Up to a third of an inch of ice is possible in the mountains. Up to three-quarters of an inch of ice is possible in the Midlands. Up to a half inch of ice is possible in the inland areas of the coast.
Emergency officials throughout the area have been urging residents to prepare their homes and vehicles.