The snow is finally tapering off from the northwest across metro Atlanta, and while sunshine is forecast later in the day, authorities still advise against venturing out onto snow-covered roads.
Meanwhile, 364,000 Georgians are waking up with no electricity as ice-laden trees and power lines continue to fall.
Here’s what you need to know on Day 2 of the ice and snow storm that brought much of north and central Georgia to a standstill:
We will see the sun again
As predicted by Channel 2 meteorologist David Chandley. Thursday morning’s lingering flurries were tapering off at 9 a.m., and had already ended in the northwest suburbs.
By noon, the sun should be out, Chandley said.
Temperatures are finally beginning to inch their way above the freezing mark in some areas, and will top out in the mid- to upper 40s Thursday afternoon, Chandley said. Winds gusting up to 35 mph will help melt some of the snow as temperatures rise, Chandley said.
Lows Thursday night will be back below freezing, bottoming out in the upper 20s.
Friday will be mostly cloudy, with a 30 percent chance of evening showers. Highs in the upper 40s will be followed by lows Friday night in the low 40s.
The weekend should be sunny, with highs in the upper 40s Saturday and mid-50s Sunday, and lows in the 30s.
Temperatures at 9 a.m. included 31 degrees in Dunwoody, 32 in Chamblee, Alpharett and Cartersville and 33 in Marietta and Peachtree City and at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Roads and traffic
Despite the snow tapering off and the promises of some afternoon thawing, Mark Arum in the AM750 and 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB Traffic Center advised motorists to refrain from getting on the roads.
“If you can, hold off,” Arum said.“We’re not in the clear yet as far as the roads are concerned.”
Georgia Department of Transportation traffic cameras showed metro interstates nearly deserted during what would normally be the height of the morning rush hour.
Chandley said that with late-morning sunshine and temperatures above freezing, main highways that have been treated and scraped by road crews should be fairly clear. “Less-treated roads, no so much,” Chandley said, adding that some refreezing is possible Thursday night.
A spokeswoman for GDOT had no prediction early Thursday on when roads would be clear enough for routine travel.
“Now is not the time to get out on the road,” spokeswoman Natalie Dale told Channel 2 Action News.
“We’re not suggesting that anyone get out on the road today,” she said. “We do understand that people want to return to work, people are asking about when the opportunity might be. It’s not now.”
MARTA bus service was suspended for Thursday, as were Cobb Community Transit buses.
MARTA planned to begin limited rail service at 8 a.m.
Virtually all schools and colleges across metro Atlanta remained closed Thursday.
Georgia Power officials reported just over 240,000 customers without electricty at 9:30 a.m., while another 124,000 customers of the state’s electric membership cooperatives were also without power.
Power had already been restored to 159,000 Georgia Power customers and 51,000 EMC customers by Wednesday night, bringing the total number of utility customers affected by the ice and snow storm to more than a half-million.