Although Christmas was balmy, the weather will return to its normal seasonal temperatures this weekend, and it promises to be cooler and wet.
“Right now the National Weather Service in Charleston is not projecting freezing temperatures New Year’s Day or into the weekend,” said Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn. “We could see up to a half inch of rain New Year’s Eve so that could make driving hazardous.”
National Weather Service meteorologist Michael Stroz said Wednesday a cold front will move across the region, bringing the rain and what may seem like colder weather in comparison to recent springlike temperatures. However, the weather – highs in the upper 5-‘s and lows in the upper 30’s – are really closer to normal for this time of year, he said.
Yet another front is expected to follow, bringing more winter weather next week, he said.
While the Bulloch County area hasn’t experienced torrential rains such as have occurred in the northern part of the state, the north Georgia flooding is having an effect on local river stages, Wynn said.
Wednesday, men from the U.S. Geological Survey agency measured the Ogeechee River at 12 feet (above sea level) at the Rocky Ford landing. That is well above flood stage, Wynn said. The landing itself was underwater Wednesday afternoon.
There is no major danger of severe flooding in the area, he said, but river stages are expected to be over flood level for the next few days.
Wynn warns drivers to be careful over the holidays, for weather reasons as well as the potential for drinking in excess during the revelry.
The weather being colder and rainy, “coupled with celebrations, (means) drivers need to exercise caution and always have a designated driver,” he said. “I am sure law enforcement will be out in full force, so don’t end up taking a detour to jail.”
He also warned people to be careful with heaters.
“It will be cool enough for people to need heating sources, so I urge citizens to be safe where that is concerned,” he said. “Keep heating sources away from combustibles and have chimneys and furnaces checked by a certified technician. It is also time to change the battery in smoke detectors.”
Weather predictions from the National Weather Service include a 50 percent chance of showers tonight, cloudy, with a low around 55 degrees, with a northwest wind around 5 miles per hour. Rainfall could be between a quarter and half of an inch.
Friday brings a 40 percent chance of shower, cloudy, with a high near 60 degrees. There is a 20 –percent chance of rain Friday night, clearing to partly sunny over the weekend, Wynn said.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.