Forecasters today are saying snow showers are likely from Columbus north on Thursday, and residents here more likely will see a mix of snow, sleet and rain.
The weather outlook has the Muscogee County School District reminding staff, students and parents about its protocol for canceling classes when storms cause dangerous driving conditions.
School officials say that decision is up to the superintendent, and they try to get the information out early in the morning:
“When possible, the decision regarding school system closing is made prior to 5:45 a.m. and sent to the news media,” the district said in a statement today. It posts the closing announcement on its Web site by 6:15 a.m.
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Here’s the text of the National Weather Service's special advisory issued today:
“A frontal system will approach Georgia on Thursday ushering another round of Arctic air into Georgia. A wave of low pressure is expected to develop along the front in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico and move across the Gulf Coast states. Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will spread across Georgia along and ahead of the frontal boundary. With cold air remaining in place, precipitation is expected to fall in the form of rain, snow (and) sleet, and is expected to begin by Thursday afternoon across northwest and west central Georgia in the form of light snow.
“Precipitation will spread across the remainder of north and central Georgia Thursday afternoon and continue into Thursday night. The atmosphere should be cold enough to support all snow north of a line from Franklin to Dallas to Gainesville. South of this line a mixture of rain, snow and sleet will be possible.
“Accumulations of snow are possible with preliminary indications that snowfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches will be possible across the north Georgia mountains, with up to an inch possible north of a line from Columbus to Washington with a half inch or less south of this line. The exact path of the surface low that develops in the Gulf of Mexico, the amount of moisture return across Georgia, and how warm temperatures get before the arrival of the surface front will affect the expected snowfall amounts. The majority of the precipitation should come to an end across north and central Georgia by early Friday morning, although flurries or light snow showers may linger in the northeast Georgia mountains through Saturday.
“Residents of north and central Georgia are advised to monitor the developing winter weather situation and be prepared to take necessary precautions if a winter storm watch or winter weather advisory is issued.”
Here’s the forecast for Columbus through the work week:
Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 23.
Thursday: A slight chance of flurries before 1 p.m., then rain and snow showers likely; mostly cloudy with a high near 41; wind becoming south around 5 mph. The chance of precipitation is 60 percent with little or no snow accumulation expected.
Thursday night: A chance of snow before 1 a.m.; mostly cloudy, with a low around 22; west wind between 10-15 mph, with gusts up to 20 mph. The chance of precipitation is 40 percent.
Friday: Partly sunny, with a high near 39; northwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph. Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21.