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THURSDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Cold now, but near 70-degree temps just days away

ATLANTA FORECAST

Thursday: High: 48

Thursday night: Low: 56

Friday: High: 31

» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.

A blast of arctic air is driving temperatures down in North Georgia Thursday, but by next week air should be moving in from much further south.

Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brian Monahan said air is on its way from the Pacific Ocean to help warm things up. It’s below freezing Thursday, but by early next week North Georgia could see a near 40-degree jump in temperatures, he said.

“By Monday, by Tuesday, we have a chance to run up temperatures toward 70 degrees across North Georgia, and that is going to feel real nice,” he said.

Metro Atlanta is starting the day in the upper 20s, with lower 20s recorded in northwest Georgia and teens in the mountains, according to Channel 2. It only gets better from here, Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said.

“During the day, a lot of sunshine,” she said. “The area is dry, (and) we’ve got high pressure built in. These cold temperatures this morning are going to begin to rise to the upper 30s and lower 40s as we head through noon today.”

Atlanta has a projected high of 48 degrees, and Minton said some spots could even warm up to the 50s before it gets chilly again Thursday night. North Georgia will still find some near-freezing temperatures Friday morning, but Minton said the high will be in the upper 50s for the afternoon.

While the weather is still driven by some of the coldest air North Georgia has seen this season, and in the Northeast and Midwest some of the coldest air in decades, Monahan said the warmup is coming.

“It is starting to lift out,” he said. “… That’s the set up for the milder weekend as temperatures push back to close to 60 degrees for us by Saturday and Super Bowl Sunday.”

With the warmer temps comes a 30 percent chance of rain Saturday through Monday, according to the latest forecast.

“There’s going to be some rain around for the weekend,” he said. “It’s not going to be very heavy. The rainfall amounts are going to be pretty light.”

Monahan said metro Atlanta is likely to see some rain early in the day on Sunday, with the afternoon and evening expected to be cloudy to mostly cloudy.

Volume remains light for the start of the Thursday morning drive and “everything is zipping along” on the Downtown Connector, WSB traffic reporter Mark Arum said.

The WSB 24-Hour Traffic Center is reporting a crash blocking a left lane on I-85 South before Beaver Ruin Road in Gwinnett County, but there are no significant delays.

“A decent run on this early Thursday morning heading to Spaghetti Junction,” Arum said.

Traffic is expected to pick up in the days leading up to the big game, with more than 1 million football fans expected in Atlanta.

Downtown, Super Bowl road closures remain in effect.

Martin Luther King Jr. Drive is closed between Northside Drive and Centennial Olympic Park Drive, and Andrew Young International Boulevard between Marietta Street and Centennial Olympic Park Drive are closed until Feb. 7. Baker Street between Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Luckie Street is closed until Feb. 8.

Mitchell Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Elliot Street, and Mangum Street between Markham and Foundry streets will also be closed until Feb. 7.

One southbound lane of Northside Drive is closed until Saturday while contractors work to build a security fence around Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

MORE: Super Bowl 53: Some road closures already in place, more to come

Additional road closures are expected this weekend, including the closure of Peachtree Street between Ponce de Leon Avenue and Third Street beginning Friday.

» For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.

» Download The Atlanta Journal-Constitution app for weather alerts on-the-go.

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