ATLANTA (AP) -- Temperatures finally began climbing above freezing across much of Georgia Wednesday morning for the first time since Sunday. Parts of the state still dealing with freezing temperatures were expected to climb above 32 degrees later in the day.
A warm spot at mid-morning was Albany, with 43 degrees. At the same time in Atlanta it was 29 and in Gainesville 30.
Lows early Wednesday morning ranged from the single-digits in some mountain regions to 30 degrees in Brunswick. In Northeast Georgia, lows included 9 in Blairsville, 14 in Suwanee and 16 in Gainesville after a 5-degree reading Tuesday, which broke a record of 12 that had stood since 1969. Monday's low in Gainesville was 9 which tied the old record which was also set in 1969.
In early morning hours Wednesday, the cold weather continued posing problems ranging from frozen water pipes to water main breaks.
The National Weather Service called for a high of 41 in Atlanta Wednesday and 40 in Gainesville as part of a warming trend that includes projected highs in the 50s and 60s across North Georgia by Saturday when rain will move back into the picture.
The coldest weather in decades which settled over much of the eastern part of the country this week is blamed on something called the Polar Vortex.
"A polar vortex is a large pocket of very cold air, typically the coldest air in the Northern hemisphere, which sits over the polar region during the winter season," according to AccuWeather.com.
"The polar vortex moves around at times during the course of the winter, but rarely do you see it get pushed this far south," AccuWeather's Brett Anderson said.
(AccessNorthGa.com's Ken Stanford contributed to this story.)