UPDATE: Freezing rain, snow likely late Wednesday night

benw@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 10, 2014 

This WRBL graphic shows the winter weather advisory for much of Georgia, as of Tuesday morning.

Update (2:25 p.m.): Columbus was still in the middle of a game of wait and see Wednesday after temperatures hovered around the mid 30s for most of the day.

A possibility of some freezing rain and maybe a brief snow shower is in the forecast for late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. The roads in the area Wednesday afternoon were wet but not bad. Forecasters were saying that could change.

“The ground is wet by not frozen,” WRBL Chief Metereologist Bob Jeswald said Wednesday afternoon. Even though the temperature was expected to drop below freezing, Jeswald said it would take longer for the ground to freeze.

“And the ground freezing is what we’re worried about,” he added.

Update (10:35 a.m.): Rain, rain and more rain is the in forecast. Now those of us in the Chattahoochee Valley must wait to see if it'll get cold enough to turn into freezing rain. The current temperature, according to the National Weather Service, is 34 degrees.

The temperature is suppose to "peak" around 36 degrees this afternoon before falling to around 32 degrees later tonight.

The forecast for the night still includes a possibility of freezing rain and snow early Thursday morning. The NWS says if it does snow, it will probably be less than half an inch.

Update (7:55 a.m.): According to the National Weather Service, our area is in for near continuous rain all day with the possibility of freezing rain sporadically and some snow late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

The NWS's forecasts says the possibility of freezing rain will come between 9 a.m. and noon and again tonight before 3 a.m. The chance for snow could come after 4 a.m. Thursday.

With gusts expected as high as 30 mph, the NWS expects very little ice or snow accumulation.

Original story: Over the next two days, the Columbus area could get 1.5 to 2 inches of rain from a system that has the city under a freezing rain advisory.

Brian Lynn, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Ga., said there is a potential for freezing rain with low temperatures in the mid 30s and highs with little change.

“For the most part, the potential is just a grazing for the Columbus area,” Lynn said late Tuesday. “It’s so close that they didn’t want to leave any of the southern counties out.”

Rainfall is not expected to stop until Thursday morning, while a high pressure system from the Ohio Valley is sweeping across Georgia. The system is shoving a lot of cold air down into the state.

Advisories ranged from freezing rain to an ice storm warning between Pine Mountain and LaGrange. The city of LaGrange in Troup County is expected to receive at least 1.5 inches or more of rainfall while under an ice storm warning. Pine Mountain in Harris County is expected to receive up to 1.75 inches while under a freezing rain advisory.

Roads apparently remained clear in Columbus by 8 p.m., said Pat Biegler, director of Public Works. The city had 12-15 work crews on standby if needed.

“You just got to be prepared and standby,” Biegler said. “If the calls start coming, you get out there and do what you got to do.”

Since the snow storm struck the area on Jan. 28, Biegler said the city has refilled its sand bunkers, but an order of salt hadn’t arrived yet. The Georgia Department of Transportation has stepped in to help with the salt if needed.

“We do not have salt, but we have talked to the DOT and they are going to let us use theirs,” she said. “We are set with that. That is not a problem.”

The high for today is expected in the mid to upper 30s, Lynn said.

“It’s not much different from the morning lows,” he said.

After the rain stops Thursday, the forecast calls for no rain through the weekend and into Tuesday.

“There are no precipitation chances.” he said.

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