PEACHTREE CITY - North Georgians are being told by the National Weather Service (NWS) to brace for a "big chill" the middle of the week - an Arctic blast that may bring the region its "first taste of winter."
Forecasters say about a 20-degree swing in high temperatures can be expected between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon - from around 65 on Tuesday to the upper 40s on Wednesday.
Nighttime lows Wednesday could dip into the low 20s in the mountains - and there's a chance of some snow, especially in the higher elevations --- and even as far south as Gainesville.
NWS says an "abnormally strong" Arctic airman "will build into" north Georgia, with the cold front pushing southeast Tuesday afternoon. This will be followed by rain and possibly snow Tuesday night - up to an inch or less in some northeast Georgia counties along the Tennessee and North Carolina borders.
Elsewhere, a "dusting" of snow is possible overnight Tuesday as far south as Cumming, Dawsonville, Dahlonega, Cleveland, Cornelia, Rome and Carrollton. It will be windy, too, with gusts as high as 15 miles-an-hour both overnight Tuesday and on Wednesday.
How cold will it get?
NWS says lows Wednesday night will drop into the 20s in many parts of north Georgia, with some near records for the date possible. Low 20s are forecast for extreme northeast Georgia, with upper 20s expected as far south as Gainesville and Athens. This early blast of cold weather is even expected to penetrate south Georgia, where Wednesday night lows as far south as Waycross are forecast to be around freezing.
The rest of the week in north Georgia is expected to bring a slow warm-up, with overnight lows ranging from 28 Thursday to 45 Saturday. Daytime highs will struggle to reach the 60s, but may finally do so on Saturday - when the next chance of precipitation moves in but none of the freezing variety this time.