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Weather to improve Thursday, officials say

Gwinnett should begin to thaw Thursday, with skies expected to clear of clouds and temperatures due to rise.

Following a final wave of precipitation, which will add to the ice that has caused government and school closures, problems on roads and more than 100,000 power outages throughout the state, forecasters feel good about Thursday.

George Wetzel, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Peachtree City office, said the precipitation could bring the total snowfall to up to 4 inches and more than a quarter-inch of ice in Gwinnett.

“Any ice build-up could cause some more problems,” he warned, speaking of the danger of fallen trees and power lines in addition to slippery roads.

But Gwinnett is expected to avoid the worst of the ice, which is projected to take a more southern and eastern routing, hitting Athens and Augusta. The colder temperatures here, he said, are likely to keep the precipitation snowy instead of sleet.

While temperatures never eclipsed the freezing level Wednesday, Wetzel said they should begin to work their way up after sunrise Thursday.

“The thaw should begin (Thursday). … With luck, we’ll get some good sunshine,” he said, predicting a high of 42 degrees Thursday and 52 degrees Friday. “By Friday it could actually be a good day.”