A winter storm watch for nearly half the state has been upgraded to a warning for Friday and Saturday.
The warning area dips as far south as Monroe and Upson counties and is set to run from 4 p.m. Friday until 1 p.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. One to 3 inches of snow is expected, with 4 inches possible in the state’s higher elevations.
The Georgia Department of Transportation already had crews out treating all major interstates in north and parts of Middle Georgia with brine, a salty mixture that helps melt ice and stop it from forming, according to a statement from the department.
Monroe County’s Emergency Management Agency director, Matthew Perry, has been warning residents near Forsyth about what he refers to as the “devil’s dandruff.”
In a Facebook posting, the EMA noted the absence of ice or freezing rain in the forecast and watch area.
“In true Monroe County fashion, the National Weather Service has found it necessary to draw the line between snow and rain directly through us,” the post said in part. “This makes planning more of a roll of the dice vs. an easy decision. What we do know is that we'll be prepared for either.”
The forecast models show the greatest threat for wintry weather will be north of a line from Hamilton to Forsyth to Lexington, which is about 20 miles to the east, southeast of Athens.
A dusting is possible south of that line, which includes Macon.
Snow that falls might not linger long, though.
Even so, Mount de Sales Academy in Macon will dismiss all students at 2:45 p.m. Friday to allow young drivers to make it home before any potentially bad driving conditions. After-school care will still be available until 6 p.m.
A high pressure system out of Canada is bringing colder air to the state. As a cold front approaches, a rain and snow mix will begin Friday afternoon and turn to all snow by midnight.
Temperatures will drop from the mid-30s to the mid-20s to low-30s by midnight.
A developing low pressure system is expected to pump moisture from the Gulf of Mexico into Georgia by Friday evening.
Freezing air is expected to arrive about the same time.
The cold lingers through the weekend, and low temperatures are projected to drop to the teens and 20s through Tuesday morning.
Monday’s forecast low in Macon is 21 degrees.
Although forecast models are coming into agreement, changes are possible as the system approaches.