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Snow a maybe, cold a definite

By Ed Brock

There may have only been traces of snow and other overnight precipitation this morning, but there was nothing scarce about the stiff winter temperatures that greeted residents of Clayton and Henry counties today.

The snow that appeared briefly and sporadically around the metro Atlanta area, including the southside, on Sunday was not expected to accumulate, but the wind chill factor for this morning was 2 to 12 degrees. Sunday evening, forecasters were predicting icy winds to make Monday morning's low temperature of 17 degrees feel much colder.

Residents got a taste of the winter winds Sunday, as temperatures dropped during the morning and ominous clouds rolled in.

With bitter winds blowing dead leaves and the occasional snowflake their way, Daniel Ashley and Steve Janick persevered in their work Sunday.

They were loading furniture from Ashley's old law office on Mill Road in Jonesboro to move to his new office around 2:30 p.m., and 45-year-old Ashley said he doubted that they would be finished in time to avoid the worst of the weather.

"I think it's going to be nasty. You can see it coming. It's already snowed a little," Ashley said.

Janick, who works as Ashley's private investigator, said things were already worse in Cartersville where he lives.

"I left there this morning and we already had snow up there," Janick said, adding that it was also already 20 degrees as well.

There was a 20 percent chance of rain with snow in the area Sunday night and winds were expected to be 30 mph, said Gerald Birdow, a hydrometeorological technician with the National Weather Service office in Peachtree City.

"[The snow flurries] can be scattered out there. Some will see them and some won't," Birdow said.

Though today is expected to be mostly sunny, the highs will only be in the upper 30s. The low will be in the 20s tonight and by Tuesday the temperatures are expected to rise into the low 50s.

Preparing to go out into the blustery day with a cart full of groceries on Sunday, Dwight Woodall of Jonesboro said he works inside and was only concerned with one particular type of Atlanta winter weather.

"If it ices, then we have a problem," Woodall said.

Jennifer Weed of Jonesboro bundled up her 18-month-old daughter Haven in a parka for their trip to the store Sunday.

"We try not to go out that much," said Weed.

Weed's friend Sue Ann Brown said she will be staying inside with her newborn daughter today, but her husband, a house painter, would have to go to work.

"And I think he'll be painting outside the house, too," Brown said.

The National Climatic Data Center Web site recommends wearing loose-fitting, lightweight clothes in layers to trap air warmed by body heat as the best protection against the cold. Outer garments should be tightly-woven, water-repellent and hooded and mittens are better protection than gloves.

Wind chill does not affect antifreeze in cars or water pipes in houses.