5 years after ‘snow jam,’ storm takes aim at Super Bowl city

ATLANTA (AP) — Five years after cars, trucks and school buses became marooned on Atlanta freeways in what became known as “snow jam,” another winter storm is bearing down on the city — just as thousands of fans begin pouring into town for Super Bowl 53.

A winter storm watch goes into effect at 4 a.m. Tuesday for Atlanta, a city known for grinding to a halt even in relatively light snowfalls.

The National Weather Service projects that up to an inch (2.5 centimeters) of snow is possible Tuesday in Atlanta, with up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) in far northern suburbs. Forecasters warn of the possibility of ice-glazed roads and highways.

Sunday’s Super Bowl will be played in downtown Atlanta in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which has a roof. The roof will be open if weather permits, officials have said.

There’s a 40 percent chance of shows Sunday, but highs will be near 58 degrees (14 Celsius). That’s slightly warmer than average for Feb. 3 in Atlanta, climate records show.

But forecasters say the more immediate threat is Tuesday, when roads could be treacherous. And forecasters were uncertain how widespread the snowfall will be.

“Some uncertainty continues regarding amounts of snow accumulations and how far south and east the threat may extend,” the weather service said in a Monday update on the approaching storm.

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