A "yurt", the traditional Mongolian tent home made from animal skins.

In metro Atlanta, a light snowfall shut down schools and government offices Friday. But it could be worse. In Mongolia, it is too cold to snow, Jonathan Addleton, the country’s new U.S. ambassador, who has family roots in Georgia, told GlobalAtlanta.

“In recent days, the low has typically been in the minus-30 to minus-40 degree range Fahrenheit, while the high has been on the order of 0 to minus-20 degrees,” Dr. Addleton wrote in an e-mail from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital.

It’s so cold, snow is not really an issue.

“Usually, it is too cold to snow in Mongolia,” Dr Addleton wrote. “When it does snow, the general perspective is that it must be warmer than usual.”

He sends his regards to Georgians.  “All the best in dealing with the weather there,” he wrote.

Although Dr. Addleton was born in Pakistan, where his parents were Christian missionaries, his family has deep roots in Macon. His parents moved back there and he returns frequently on holidays and between international postings.

Dr. Addleton earned a journalism degree from Northwestern University and later a doctorate in international studies from Tufts University, specializing in the economics of migration, before joining the U.S. Agency for International Development, which helps countries fight poverty and institute democratic reforms.

With USAID, Dr. Addleton lived all over the world, including three years in Mongolia. In 1985, he met his wife, Fiona, who is originally from Scotland, in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital. It was his first assignment with USAID. She was a teacher at the British School there.

Dr. Addleton was not expecting to become a U.S. ambassador since his career had been in a specialized agency, not the U.S. State Department proper.

He was also surprised by the fact that he was named an ambassador to a country where he previously served, which is not a customary practice. Yet he enjoyed his previous service in Mongolia and was happy to go back there in November as the new U.S. ambassador, even if the temperature sometimes reaches 40 below.