According to the NWS, a Winter Storm Watch signals that there the potential for snow, sleet or ice accumulations that could impact travel. The affected area extends north of a line from Carrollton to Atlanta to Jefferson, according to NWS officials.
Drivers should be aware of the potential for black ice on the road on Thursday night into Friday morning. According to the NWS, black ice is transparent ice in which the color of the asphalt is seen through it, giving it the appearance of a black color. It can be difficult to spot, so authorities urge that drivers reduce their speeds.
The NWS says that the northeast and northwest Georgia mountains could see 2 to 4 inches of accumulations of snow, while the rest of the area under watch could see 1 inch, although FOX 5 Storm Team meteorologist Steve Milone said that there will likely be no snow accumulation for the metro area.
Several counties, including Forsyth, Fulton, Floyd and Chattooga, remain under a flood warning after several days of rain. FOX 5 Storm Team meteorologist Joanne Feldman said that most areas under the flood watch can expect up to another inch of rain, while isolated areas could see up to two more inches.
The Georgia Department of Transportation said in a press release that it will monitor forecasts and road conditions. The Georgia DOT said crews will specifically watch target areas vulnerable to freezing, such as hills, ramps, bridges and interchanges. Roadway condition updates will be posted here.
The Georgia DOT urged motorists to take the following precautions:
* Slow down and stay behind the snowplows. The road behind the plow will be the safest place to drive. Allow at least ten car lengths between your vehicle and snowplows or hopper spreaders.
* Do not pass. The plows are wide, and sometimes a group of trucks will work in tandem to clear snow quickly, especially on major highways.
* Be particularly aware of black ice conditions on surfaces such as bridge decks and entrance and exit ramps late Thursday night and the early hours of Friday morning.
* Remember that technology helps, but only to a point. Four-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes and traction control are beneficial advancements in today's cars, trucks and SUVs, but they can't take the place of good driving habits and the need to reduce speed on snowy or icy roads.