The winter weather that’s been pounding the Northeast with a series of snowstorms and record low temperatures is about to move south.
The National Weather Service is issuing a winter storm watch for northern Georgia, with the potential for snow and ice accumulations in areas not accustomed to shoveling driveways or plowing roads.
“Wintry precipitation possible” early this week, noted the National Weather Service in Atlanta.
The winter storms expected to hit the south are reminiscent of a series of storms that struck Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama, last year, grinding traffic to a stop. Even though snowfalls only totaled 3 inches in Atlanta, some motorists ended up stuck in their cars for up to 20 hours.
To prepare for the storm, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has already declared a state of emergency for 15 northern Georgia counties and asked state employees not working in emergency response to stay home.
The storms are expected to hit other areas in the south, and in states like Tennessee, officials are preparing for the snow.
“We have a difficult task ahead of us over the next 24 hours. Our crews will be out in force, and our primary focus initially will be on the interstate system. We will begin clearing secondary routes as quickly as we can. We will work until the job is done, but this will likely be a sustained effort through Monday into Tuesday. We ask motorists to please limit travel during this period,” said Heather Jensen, a spokeswoman with the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
The storms would pale in comparison to what cities in the Northeast have seen. In Boston, where there is already six feet of snow accumulated from the past several weeks without a thaw to take some of it away, residents were hit with another 16 inches of snow this weekend, along with 60 mile-per-hour winds.
Mayor Martin Walsh told CBS News that Bostonians are ready for the snow to stop and spring to come.
“I know that, as I was walking out of my house today, I just didn’t know what to say,” Walsh said.
“People are just frustrated, people just want this to end and we all want spring to come.”
In the south, residents are already preparing for this week’s winter storms. Reports say that grocery stores have been unusually busy, with residents stocking up on items needed in case they get snowed in.