The lingering effects of a wintry mix of snow, sleet and rain forced the cancellation of dozens of airline flights and closed some schools Thursday morning.
Sleet and snow started falling Wednesday in central Georgia as moisture from the Gulf of Mexico collided with a blast of cold air from the northeast. It moved north gradually, hitting metro Atlanta and northeast Georgia late Wednesday.
The northeast Georgia mountains received up to 3 inches of snow, with the rest of north Georgia getting rain and some sleet Wednesday into early Thursday morning.
Rain was expected to end during the day with temperatures continuing to climb to the upper 30s in the northeast Georgia mountain. The forecast called for highs in the upper 30s to lower 40s in the rest of north Georgia.
With icy surfaces at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Delta Air Lines canceled about 70 flights early Thursday, Delta spokeswoman Susan Elliott said. AirTran canceled 12 flights, said spokesman Tad Hutcheson, who said more cancellations were possible at airports further north as the storm moved up the East Coast.
By midnight Wednesday, the airport recorded 0.4 inches of snow, according to meteorologist Steve Nelson. He said the record for Jan. 16 was set in 1965, when the airport recorded 2.4 inches of snow. He said there was no snow, only rain, after midnight at the airport.
Schools in more than a dozen northeast Georgia counties were closed Thursday because of the weather.
Bitter cold in N.M.
To the west, a bitter cold front was keeping temperatures below zero in parts of New Mexico. Angel Fire was the coldest spot in the state at 26 below zero before daybreak Thursday, the National Weather Service said.
“It’s like walking into a freezer,” said Pablo May, owner of Pablo’s Mechanical Heating & Plumbing Services in Angel Fire. He said he hadn’t received any calls by early morning requesting help for frozen, busted water pipes, but expected many.
“Check with me in an hour, and I’ll probably have a week’s worth of work,” May said.
Taos was also bitterly cold at 17 below zero, and snow flurries were lingering in the southern New Mexico. Temperatures were expected to rebound a bit this weekend, but a winter storm was expected Monday and Tuesday.