WEATHER-TRAFFIC UPDATE: Atlanta finally above freezing at lunchtime

by Chelsea Prince, AJC

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Wednesday: High: 42

Wednesday night: Low: 24

Thursday: High: 47

» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.

After a bitter start, it’s finally above freezing at lunchtime.

Temperatures are warming into the mid-30s as volume remains light on the interstates for the lunchtime drive, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Authorities are on the scene of a crash on the I-285 Inner Loop in DeKalb County, but it is causing only minor delays. The crash was blocking a right eastbound lane past Bouldercrest Road, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.

Downtown, Super Bowl road closures remain in effect.

Martin Luther King Jr. Drive is closed between Northside Drive and Centennial Olympic Park Drive, and Andrew Young International Boulevard between Marietta Street and Centennial Olympic Park Drive are closed until Feb. 7. Baker Street between Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Luckie Street is closed until Feb. 8.

Mitchell Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Elliot Street, and Mangum Street between Markham and Foundry streets will also be closed until Feb. 7.

One southbound lane of Northside Drive is closed until Saturday while contractors work to build a security fence around Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Additional road closures are expected this weekend.

With some of the coldest air in years in place to the north, metro Atlanta is feeling the chill Wednesday and is not expected to warm up much for the afternoon. The low in Atlanta this morning was 24 degrees, the second-coldest morning of the year behind a 22-degree start last Tuesday, according to Channel 2.

“We’re looking for those temperatures to gradually work their way through the 30s,” Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said. “We’ll get into the 40s in many places … I’m putting us at about 42 in Atlanta this afternoon.”

Benjamin Reyes is bundled up on his way to work at the Cobb Community Transit Center on South Marietta Parkway. Temperatures were in the mid-20s Wednesday morning across metro Atlanta. JOHN SPINK / [email protected]

It felt more like the teens earlier Wednesday with the wind chill, she said. For some mountain counties, wind chills dipped into the single digits. A wind advisory for that region was allowed to expire at 11 a.m.

At noon, the wind chill in Atlanta is 26 degrees.

It’s cold, but it is nothing compared to the subzero temperatures some are facing Wednesday morning in the Midwest. The wind chill dropped below minus-50 in Minneapolis, according to Channel 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan. A wind chill of minus-25 can freeze skin within 15 minutes, according to the National Weather Service.

A thin layer of ice coats the ground outside Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Wednesday morning, where Super Bowl preparations are underway. JOHN SPINK / [email protected]

Monahan said the last time Atlanta dropped below zero was in 1985, when it hit minus-8 at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Just a few high clouds are expected in North Georgia on Wednesday for a mostly sunny day. With all the sunshine, those 40-degree temps could be short-lived, Monahan said. Metro Atlanta will be back to the mid- to upper 30s at 5 p.m. for the start of the evening commute.

“We have one more night where temperatures are going to dip down to the 20s across North Georgia,” he said.

Thursday is expected to be slightly warmer with a projected high of 47 degrees. Then it is a little milder for Friday and the weekend. Saturday and Sunday have a 30 percent chance of rain, according to the latest forecast.

“There are going to be some showers around, but I don’t think it’s going to cause any major problems for Super Bowl weekend,” Monahan said. “Some showers Saturday, showers on Super Bowl Sunday. We’re in the upper 50s for highs.”

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