The National Weather Service issued a warning early Friday morning that roadways north of Interstate 20 will likely be covered in black ice Sunday night and Monday morning because of the winter weather expected to move through north Georgia this weekend.

"A strong upper level storm system will combine with very cold temperatures aloft and near the ground to produce wintry precipitation this weekend," weather service officials said in a special weather statement that covers north Georgia from the mountains to the southern crescent area on the south side of Atlanta.

"The rain will begin mixing with and changing to snow after midnight on Saturday night and switch to mainly snow over far northeast Georgia with a mix of rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow over the rest of north Georgia during the day Sunday. Light snow or snow flurries will be ending from west to east Sunday evening."

The weather service's special weather statement said snow fall — upwards of 7 inches depending on the elevation — is expected to be heaviest in far northern Georgia, in an area extending as far southward as Gwinnett and Barrow counties. A winter storm watch has been issued for that area.

In addition to snowfall and ice on the roads, the weather service is warning residents to be prepared for power outages and trees coming down under the weight of heavy snow and ice.

The rest of north Georgia is expected to get a mixture of freezing rain, sleet and snow, with up to 2 inches of sleet and snow possible above I-20.

The concern in that area is the ice that is expected to be left behind because temperatures will be below freezing. The weather service is forecasting up to 0.2 inches of ice.

"After the precipitation clears out Sunday night, temperatures will fall into the 20s and any remaining liquid runoff from earlier precipitation will likely freeze on roadways across north Georgia," weather service officials said in a special weather statement.

"These icy spots will persist well into Monday morning."

Parts of metro Atlanta that are south of I-20 could see some snow and sleet mixed together, but no accumulation is expected and it's unclear if the weather service anticipates any ice on that side of the metro area.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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