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Storms Precede Season's First Freeze Across South


Storms raked across the central United States from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes ahead of an arctic blast that forecasters say could bring record cold to the South.

Temperatures were predicted to drop as much as 30 degrees in a few hours on Thursday. Forecasters said severe storms were possible from Alabama to New England. Winds were gusting above 30 mph (48 kph) in some areas, but no damage was reported immediately.

A freeze warning reached across more than dozen states, from southwestern Texas into the South and Midwest.

The storms provided another round of drought relief across the Southeast after weeks of dry weather endangered crops and increased fire risks. But a new federal report showed much of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina are still too dry.

According to the National Weather Service, a Flood Watch also continues across most of northern Georgia with additional rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches expected and locally higher amounts possible. This combined with saturated soils from previous rainfall could lead to flooding in area creeks, streams and rivers, as well as roadways and low- lying areas.

Tonight, a Freeze Warning is also in effect for most of northern and portions of west-central Georgia as sub-freezing temperatures are expected to filter into the forecast area following the cold front.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!