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North Georgia Ice Storm

              February 16-17, 2015


Event Summary

A strong cold front pushed across Georgia by the morning of Sunday, February 15th, bringing in plenty of below freezing temperatures to north Georgia. As a low pressure system approached the area from the west on Monday February 16th, warmer temperatures surged northward, bringing much of the area above freezing. However, temperatures at the surface across parts of north and northeast Georgia hovered at or below freezing as the rainfall increased, thanks to a wedge of cold air. Freezing rain continued for these areas into the early morning hours of February 17th before cominng to an end. Freezing rain totals reached from 1/4" to 1/2" in some areas, leading to widespread tree and power line damage. By the morning of February 17th, more than 200,000 customers were without power, generally for the northeast Atlanta metro area and points north and east.

Wedge of Cold Air

This image from the evening of February 16th shows the areas where temperatures remained at or below freezing, allowing freezing rain to occur. The highlighted area is where most of the ice accumulations formed.

Surface Temperatures, evening of 2/16/15

Surface Analysis, 10 PM 2/16:


The surface analysis from 10 PM on February 16th shows the "wedge" of cold air across northeast Georgia and the surface low to the south bringing in plenty of rainfall.

850mb map at 7 PM 2/16:


The 850mb map for the evening of February 16th show that temperatures were above freezing at this level across the entire state of Georgia. This allowed snow to melt into a liquid raindrop until it reached the shallow cold layer near the surface, where it refroze onto elevated surfaces.


Ice Accumulation Map





Event Photos

Hwy 52 west of Dahlonega, GA


Oakwood, GA

(Courtesy: @HolaCorryn)

Dawson County

(Courtesy: @Claire_FOX5)

Commerce, GA

(Courtesy: @gunnisonheath)


Forsyth County, GA

(Courtesy: @SawneeEMC)


Braselton, GA