Valdosta Daily Times

January 27, 2014

Forecasters: Cold front may bring ‘wintry mix’ to Lowndes County

Terry Richards
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Another wave of cold is heading toward South Georgia, and may be bringing snow with it, according to forecasters.

A cold front moving through South Georgia late tonight and Tuesday will likely generate rain in the area through Tuesday night, said Ron Block, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Tallahassee regional office. Temperatures will begin dropping from the high 60s today to around 30 degrees Tuesday night, according to the weather service’s Sunday forecast.

A combination of factors mean there is a chance the rain will turn into a “wintry mix” — freezing rain, sleet and light snow — late Tuesday and early Wednesday. The forecast calls for a 50 percent “wintry mix” chance Wednesday morning.

“I do think you are going to see some wintry precipitation — sleet, wet snow,” said Brian Edwards, a meteorologist with AccuWeather. Block said those living further north, such as Tifton or Fitzgerald, would have a better chance of seeing the “wintry mix.”

The weather service put much of Georgia as far south as Tifton under a winter weather watch late Sunday.

A low pressure system anchored over the region, together with the cold front bringing in cold northern air to clash with warmer air from the Gulf of Mexico, could cause the “non-liquid precipitation” if the timing of all the elements is right, Block said.

This is the latest of a series of cold fronts to move through the region in the last few weeks, causing temperatures to see-saw from pleasant warm days to pipe-bursting cold nights, he said. Ahead of the fronts, the temperatures are moderate, but as the fronts move through, winds shift and bring the colder northern air down, Block said.

“The whole system shifts east Wednesday, bringing in cold air catching up with the precipitation Wednesday morning through midday,” Edwards said.

The last snow sighted in Valdosta was on Feb. 12, 2010, when just enough of a flurry to be seen fell. The last significant accumulation, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration records, was 3.0 inches on Dec. 23, 1989, which caused a large number of automobile accidents in Lowndes County.

“I don’t think that record will be broken,” Edwards said.