Winter weather events like the one expected to impact our area are rare, but they still happen. Three years ago a minor ice event caused some problems for parts of south Georgia, but this a new system could prove much worse.
January 10th, 2011 was the last time a significant ice event affected Southwest Georgia. Frozen limbs, trees, and slick roadways created a rare and dangerous winter weather situation. WALB Meteorologist Chris Zelman recalls the conditions.
"It caused some icing in Lee County and sleet accumulation in Americus and Sumter County," noted Zelman. "Ironically that caused power outages in Albany and that's why I'm a little on edge."
That's because what some parts of the region saw then, could actually be worse this time.
"This is going to be a lot more widespread and those quarter inch ice totals will probably occur all the way down to Albany," said Zelman.
The right mix of arctic air and precipitation is the recipe for layers of potentially dangerous wintry mix that's expected to move in Tuesday night.
"We'll see freezing rain, we'll see sleet which is ice pellets and frozen rain drops, and we'll see snow," said Zelman. "Ice is the worst, because if it accumulates it causes a driving hazard. It weighs down the branches and power lines and that's when we have power outages."
The winter weather watch is expected to turn into a winter weather warning as the temperatures drop and the system moves in.