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When Will the Ice Melt Off Metro Atlanta Roads?

This view of Lenox Road at GA 400 shows most people are staying off roads – unless they are still stuck on I-285 from last night. Credit: ga511.org
This view of Lenox Road at GA 400 shows most people are staying off roads – unless they are still stuck on I-285 from last night. Credit: ga511.org

By Bob Pepalis 

Very little snow was needed to create havoc and gridlock on metro Atlanta roads. Once the melting snow turned to ice, roads were mostly impassable.

Now local residents want to know when the ice will melt so roads can be cleared. The National Weather Service extended the winter storm warning until 1 p.m. today, Jan. 29, not because of any additional snowfall, but because ice covered roads remain treacherous.

With the temperature forecast to only reach 30 degrees today, plenty of ice will remain on local roads. The temperature doesn't have to be above freezing for ice to melt with an assist from traffic and the wind. But motorists are being asked to stay off those roads so they can be treated.

The interstates and freeways in metro Atlanta continue to be extremely hazardous due to the ice and snow, the Ga. Department of Transportation reported on its 511ga.org traffic website.

"Travel on Wednesday is not recommended. If you must travel, be prepared with warm clothing, food and water, a full tank of gas, and a cell phone (fully charged)," the website post said.

Don't expect conditions to improve until mid-day Wednesday at the earliest. And it won't be until Thursday that the temperature is forecast to stay above freezing for any length of time, approaching 41 in the afternoon. It's hard to believe now with the temperature at 11 at 8:30 a.m. today, but on Friday the high will be 51 and on Saturday and Sunday it will reach the high 50s.

What snow and ice doesn't melt by Thursday should all be gone on Friday.

Today's forecast predicts a mostly sunny sky with a high near 30. A northwest wind of 10 mph will be accompanied by gusts as high as 15 mph.

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