Gov. Nathan Deal (Courtesy CBS Atlanta)
Gov. Nathan Deal (Courtesy CBS Atlanta)

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced a new Severe Weather Warning Task Force and alert system during a press conference this afternoon. The task force comes in the wake of last week’s snowstorm that caused traffic gridlock around the metro area and brought plenty of negative publicity to the state.

Deal said the task force includes meteorologists from Atlanta’s TV stations including WSB’s Glenn Burns, 11 Alive’s Chesley McNeil, CBS Atlanta’s Markina Brown and Fox 5′s Ken Cook. Last week, Deal said his office had relied on models from the National Weather Service, even as local news stations were predicting the snow event to strike Downtown Atlanta and points north on Jan. 28.

The task force also includes law enforcement officials, legislators, school system officials and the Georgia Department of Emergency Management. Deal said he was standing by GEMA director Charley English, who made headlines last week for not notifying the governor earlier on Jan. 28 of the shifting weather forecast and the late opening of the emergency operations center.

The governor also said a new alert system modeled from amber alerts issued for missing children would be implemented to notify residents and motorists of weather emergencies.

Our media affiliate CBS Atlanta contributed to this report.