Snow expected in south-metro region today

Weather forecasters expect the south-metro, Atlanta region to get about an inch of snow today through the evening.

There is about an 80 percent chance of snow, according to Verona Murrell, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "We're looking at light snow, and the possibility of rain mixed in," Murrell said.

She said she anticipates snow accumulation throughout the day, with winds coming from the northwest, at 10-12 miles per hour. She said temperatures will increase from early morning readings in the upper 20s, to high temperatures in the afternoon in the upper 30s to lower 40s.

Road conditions may worsen during the day, said Murell, as light snow becomes more widespread through the day, and into the evening.

"We would like to ask that all people stay off the roadways, or they use them only when it is extremely necessary," said Kimberly Larson, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

There will be about 400 transportation department employees and road-crew members on call in the West Central Georgia area today to respond to the potentially hazardous conditions, added Larson.

The department, she said, has 4,600 tons of salt and 4,000 tons of stone on standby for use on roads and bridges. Bridges and the interstates will be at the top of the department's priority list for monitoring. Heavily traveled state routes will follow.

Motorists, who have to travel today, should use extreme caution, not only driving through the wintry precipitation, but following the wintry storm mix, continued Larson. "After nightfall, moisture on roadways will freeze [and] dangerous black ice may be prevalent," she said.

"Stay at least 10 car links, or approximately 100 feet, behind the vehicle in front of you," Larson advised. "And cut your speed in half, and be very alert when crossing bridges and overpasses."

The winter storm is expected to affect operations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Airport officials expect multiple flight cancellations and possible flight delays, inbound and outbound.

Passengers are advised to contact the individual airlines to check on their flight's status before going to the airport, said Katena Carvajales, media relations manager for the airport.

Carvajales said travelers can check the airport's web site, at www.atlanta-airport.com, for flight information, and sign up for Trak-a-Flight, which is the airport's free service that delivers updated flight information to e-mail accounts, PDAs or mobile devices.

Murrell said conditions are expected to improve on Saturday, a dry day, with highs in the mid-40s, and lows in the upper 20s. Likewise, Sunday lows are expected to be in the upper 20s, with highs in the mid-40s. And there will be a chance of rain during the day.