cloudy
Monday May 25th, 2015 7:28AM

Bracing for frigid weather, 'dangerous' wind chills

By Ken Stanford Reporter
ATLANTA (AP) -- The coldest weather in a decade is knocking on North Georgia's door - bringing with it "dangerous" wind chills and possibly some snow.

The National Weather Service expects a combination of rain that changes to sleet or snow on Sunday night and into Monday morning. Temperatures are expected to drop into the single digits by Tuesday.

Parts of north Georgia could receive up to three inches of snow. A half-inch in expected around Atlanta and in central Georgia. Forecasters have warned of black ice and wind gusts strong enough to topple trees in some areas.

In Gainesville, the low Tuesday morning is expected to be four degrees above zero, enough to break the record low for Jan. 7 by several degrees. That was set in 1969 when a 12-degree reading was recorded.

Wind chills Tuesday morning are forecast to be around -16, "dangerously cold," according to the weather service. In the mountains, zero and sub-zero readings with even colder wind chills are expected. That has prompted the weather service to issue a rare (for Georgia) wind chill advisory. The last one was five years ago. It will be in effect for most of North Georgia and parts of Central Georgia from late Monday morning until early Tuesday afternoon.

Forecasters say a wind chill advisory means it will be cold enough to result in frost bite and hypothermia if precautions are not taken. They say if you must venture out to be sure you wear a hat and gloves and layers of clothing.

Lows in the low 20s Monday morning in Gainesville and most of North Georgia will usher in a period of below freezing weather which will continue around-the-clock until Wednesday when the afternoon high is forecast to reach the mid-40s.

City of Atlanta officials say the area is well prepared for inclement weather and Department of Public Works crews will report at midnight to begin pre-treating bridges, overpasses and main arterial roads.

City officials said in a statement that they have 30 spreaders, 40 snow plows and 700 tons of a sand and gravel mix at their disposal that can be used to treat roads where ice accumulations could appear. The city will open certain recreation centers as temporary shelters if needed on Monday, city officials said.

Officials at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport say that although some inbound flights from the Northeast have been delayed, outbound flights are still departing on schedule.

Crews are monitoring the surface temperatures of the airport's runways and will put an anti-icing solution on them if the runway temperatures drop below freezing, airport spokeswoman Monica Fuentes said in an email.

Passengers should check with their airlines for delays or cancellations, Fuentes said.

(Please click on the link below for the latest on all the weather alerts that are in effect in Georgia.)

(AccessNorthGa.com's Ken Stanford contributed to this story.)

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