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Georgia sees first freeze; records blown away with tropical storm force wind gusts

A Macon-Bibb County work crew removed a hanging Macon Tech Drive street sign at Eisenhower Parkway as wind gusts hit 35 mph just after noon Sunday.
A Macon-Bibb County work crew removed a hanging Macon Tech Drive street sign at Eisenhower Parkway as wind gusts hit 35 mph just after noon Sunday. lfabian@macon.com

Georgia’s got its first freeze early Monday after winds gusted to tropical storm force in some communities Sunday.

A freeze warning was issued for the northwestern third of Georgia as temperatures dropped to the low 30s and dipped to 28 degrees in Rome.

First freezes were reported across the state as Augusta, Cartersville and northeast Atlanta dropped to 30 degrees. Peachtree City and west Atlanta had a low of 31, and Athens, Atlanta and Macon hit 32 degrees.

Blustery conditions set record low maximum temperatures Sunday as Atlanta reached only 45 degrees, the coldest it’s been on Oct. 29 since 1992. That’s the fifth coldest high for the month of October in Georgia’s capital city, according to the National Weather Service.

Records also were broken Sunday in Athens with 48 degrees and Columbus with 54. Macon tied its record low maximum with 50 degrees.

A wind advisory was in effect Sunday with sustained winds of 15-25 mph and gusts to 30-35 mph.

Wind reports showed gusts of 41 mph near Gainesville at 12:20 p.m. and north of Conasauga Lake at 4:05 p.m. in Murray County on the Tennessee border.

By comparison, the threshold for a tropical storm is 39 mph.

Columbus had a gust of 37 mph just after 2 p.m., and Macon saw 35 mph at Middle Georgia Regional Airport at 12:30 p.m.

As high pressure over the northern Gulf Coast moves to the east, winds will shift to the southwest, temperatures will begin to rise and the air will become more moist.

Tuesday’s lows will be 5 to 10 degrees below normal, but they will rebound in time for trick or treating Tuesday evening.

Macon’s forecast calls for clear and 42 Tuesday morning before peaking at 73 degrees in the afternoon.

Liz Fabian: 478-744-4303, @liz_lines

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