Mid-winter thaw ending

LAWRENCEVILLE — Thursday night marks the end of what weather officials have called a weeklong winter thaw. And Gwinnett County residents can expect a return to relatively normal seasonal weather in the coming work week.

Cold winds moved through the region Thursday, bringing a cold front expected to drop temperatures into the 20s. Friday’s forecast continued to be affected by the front with lows projected in the 20s and highs in the 40s, according to Meteorologist Jason Neese with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

Lawrenceville resident Dennis Rollins said he’s bundling up for Friday’s cold weather. As a roofer, he’ll be bracing against the wind as it rolls through.

“It gets outright frigid up on the roofs,” Rollins said. “Putting on two extra layers tomorrow.”

While a cold snap is expected Friday, it’s still a far cry from a snowstorm that hit the region one year ago this week. The Jan. 9, 2011 blizzard froze the streets, immobilizing Gwinnett County and metro Atlanta for days.

Local weather enthusiast Jon Richards said that, compared with that icy mess, recent temperatures have felt “almost springlike.”

However, the spring-like weather comes to an end this weekend after a seven-day run with highs of 60 degrees or better.

“That mid-winter thaw going on for more than a week is unusual, but that’s what we got this year,” Richards said.

Gusts of up to 35 mph are expected late Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service. The service issued a wind advisory through midnight for parts of north and central Georgia.