BRRR! Low temperatures, wintry precipitation possible for New Year’s

Published 7:15 pm Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Monday was not a white Christmas, but the low temperature hit the freezing point in LaGrange. Temperatures will remain near freezing the rest of the week and there’s a chance for wintry precipitation in the forecast for New Year’s Day.

“We’re starting to see that we have a chance of rain and maybe a mix of snow, but the details beyond that as far as accumulation are still pretty unclear,” said Lauren Merritt, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

While the weather was rainy and in the 70s Saturday, the drop in temperature the next day was caused by an arctic blast, Merritt said.

“I’m sure that really was a shock to people, it really was warm that day and then two days later (the weather) is freezing,” she said. “We had cold air basically from the Midwest originating from Canada move in to our area. Since then we’ve still had a few cold blasts and we’re actually not done yet.”

Merritt said residents should keep an eye on the weather for the next week as it gets colder outside.

“We are expecting to get around the New Year’s timeframe  temperatures down into the low 20s, so as always you wouldn’t want to keep your pets outside. We could have pipes burst because of the temperatures below freezing,” she said. “So, we will have that risk as we get toward the New Year’s and then even into January as well.”

Those going out to celebrate on New Year’s should take precautions, Merritt said.

“I’ll just let everyone know to stay tuned to the forecast because these temperatures are a lot colder than people are used to and people being outside for New Year’s and such, you would want to bundle up, take the right precautions and if we did have chances for snow, we’d have to watch out for roads and slick spots and black ice,” she said.

The first cold snap happened before the winter solstice on Dec. 21, and it isn’t unlikely to have this kind of weather right now, according to Merritt.

“But some of the [cold snaps] we’ll see coming up, they’re a bit chilly, but especially further north of Georgia or so, they’re very very chilly. But for our area, they’re not the lowest we’ve ever seen or anything like that,” she said. “There definitely is the potential there to see some rain snow or a rain snow mix for many areas across the area that we watch, which is most of north and central Georgia.”

The Troup County Warming Center, which opens when temperatures drop below 37 degrees, will be open at least through Monday night, according to director of sales and marketing Mike Wilson. The center is open 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. and is located at 150 E. Lukken Industrial Drive.