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Sprinklers, running water may cause black ice Friday night as Forsyth temps dip below freezing
Officials warm to turn sprinklers off

FORSYTH COUNTY – Thought fires blazed in north Georgia recently, that weather pattern may already seem a distant memory to Forsyth County as temperatures are forecasted to plunge below freezing Thursday night.

According to the National Weather Service, a low of 27 degrees is predicted in Cumming overnight between Thursday and Friday, with wind gusts as high as 20 miles per hour.

Friday should reach back up to around 41 degrees before dropping to 25 Friday night.

Saturday is currently forecasted at a high of 46 and low around 30.

Below freezing weather can result in more than frigid feelings.

“Black ice is a thin, often invisible sheet of ice that forms on the roadway, especially on bridges and overpasses and low lying areas,” said Katie Strickland, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation. “It can form at any time when temperatures drop below freezing and there is any form of moisture, from sprinklers, runoff or precipitation on the roadway.”

To prevent black ice from building up, homeowners should turn off their sprinklers overnight.

“Sprinkler systems operating in freezing temperatures create hazardous, black ice conditions for motorists the next morning,” Strickland said. “Every year the department sees traffic incidents caused by these icy spots formed when water from sprinklers creeps onto the roadway.”

With winter finally upon us, here are some tips to staying safe:

• Beware of black ice, especially on bridges and overpasses and water for fallen trees or power lines

• Avoid driving unless absolutely necessary and postpone travel until daylight hours when road conditions such as black ice are more visible

• Do not pass a GDOT dump truck spreading the salt/gravel mixture, as it may kick up and could break a windshield – follow at least 100 feet behind GDOT vehicles

• Stay aware of GDOT crews working to clear snow or ice from interstates and state routes

• Slow down at least half your normal speed and use a low gear as you drive through dangerous conditions

• Treat a non-working traffic signal as a four-way stop sign

Follow for updates on severe weather events.