NCAA Championship: Light rain expected ahead of national championship

Update 6:15 p.m.: 

There is a 70 percent chance of light showers at 6 p.m., just two hours before the 8:17 p.m kickoff, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Most of the showers should subside by the end of the game, but rain chances are at 30 percent by midnight as fans crowd Atlanta streets to celebrate or head home.

Update 2:30 p.m.: As fans continued to make their way to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for Monday's national championship between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide, a winter weather advisory expired without the predicted ice that prompted schools and government offices across metro Atlanta to shutter.

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“The threat for freezing rain has ended,” the National Weather Service said. “Expect chilly temperatures with light rain showers through the remainder of the day.”

Other than reports of light, freezing rain in Gwinnett County, Monday was largely uneventful in metro Atlanta by the time the advisory expired at 1 p.m.

It was a different story in northwest Georgia, where “freezing rain caused significant travel problems,” including a 35-car pileup on I-75 North in Catoosa County, WSB meteorologist Brad Nitz said.

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The wreck occurred at exit No. 345 after northbound lanes iced over, officials said. Six people were injured in the crash about 100 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta.

Original story: While fans of the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide pack Atlanta for the College Football Playoff National Championship, freezing rain moved through parts of Georgia.

 winter weather advisory had been extended until 1 p.m. for metro Atlanta and other parts of North Georgia due to the possibility of glaze and ice through early afternoon, according to WSB.

The original advisory was scheduled to expire at noon.

The weather alert means some areas could get up to one-tenth of an inch of ice, WSB reported.

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

“That’s enough to make you slip and fall on those bridges and those overpasses,” WSB meteorologist Karen Minton said. “So make sure that you continue to monitor that throughout the course of the day.”

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“Just assume that if (a road is) shiny, it’s frozen,” Minton said.

In Atlanta, the temperature was 34 degrees and roads were in good shape Monday morning. However, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport did not take any chances, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

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Crews treated runways, taxiways and roadways leading to the airport in anticipation of wintry weather, officials said early Monday.

The threat of ice also forced officials to close schools and government offices across metro Atlanta.

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Clayton, Cobb, Atlanta, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Fulton, Paulding, Decatur, Marietta, Forsyth and Douglas schools closed Monday.

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Gov. Nathan Deal also ordered non-essential state offices from Columbus to Augusta and northward to close Monday, and city of Atlanta officials announced a similar order for local offices.

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Officials began announcing closures to ease traffic burdens early, in large part because of the game.

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The championship, which President Donald Trump plans to attend, begins at 8 p.m., and Kendrick Lamar is also scheduled to perform a free halftime concert at Centennial Olympic Park.

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Central Atlanta Progress encouraged downtown commuters to use public transportation or work remotely.

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