After what has been a very cold winter, and a cool start to spring we finally have warmer weather coming to north Georgia this upcoming week. We just have to get through the weekend! The windy conditions that have arrived this evening will continue overnight and through the day on Sunday. A Wind Advisory is in effect from 6am to 6pm Sunday.
Winds overnight tonight will range from 15-25 mph with gusts to 35 or higher. The winds will still be strong Sunday afternoon, so if you have outdoor plans be aware that the winds will be a factor.
As promised the warm air finally arrives by Monday and it appears that it will last for some time down the road. Highs will eventually get close to 80 by midweek with the next cold front arriving on Friday. Behind the front highs will only get knocked back into the low 70s by next weekend. Not bad after the all the cool weather that we have had so far this spring. Although you can’t rule out a rogue cool day or so over the next month I firmly believe that we are done with the cold weather this spring. Enjoy!!
The chance for snow or a wintry mix in the north Georgia Mountains on Tuesday morning is slim, but it could happen in the highest of elevations. Cold air will combine with very light moisture coming in along the next cold front. The front will produce rain showers for all but the extreme northeast corner of the state where a wintry mix or just plain old snow could fall. Again the moisture will be very limited, and the system will be moving very fast so don’t expect much if does happen.
Now before all that happens we have showers coming in for Sunday with another fast-moving system. The speed of the system and the lack of significant moisture will limit rain totals. The showers will roll through Atlanta in the late morning and early afternoon. Expect less than a quarter of an inch of rain.
The next change coming this week will be the cooler temperatures. Highs monday through Wednesday will only be in the 50s with lows in the 30s Monday through Thursday morning. Lows will dip into the 20s in outlying areas Wednesday morning so protect any tender vegetation that could be affected by the freezing temperatures Wednesday morning.
Spring arrives this Thursday and along with the expected warmer weather the certainty of drier months down the road also looms near. So where do we stand on the state of drought here in north Georgia? According to the US Drought Monitor the entire state of Georgia is drought free with only a few areas classified as abnormally dry. Here in north Georgia that includes the counties of Heard and Carroll to the west, and Gilmer, Fannin, Lumpkin, White, Habbersham, Towns, Union and Rabun counties to the northeast.
Of course 2013 was an extremely wet year with a total of 66.02″ of rain. The average yearly total for Atlanta is 49.7″ so we were 16.31″ above normal. Looking closer, though, we had some very dry months in the fall of 2013 before an incredibly wet December.
It turns out that 5 of the last 6 months have actually been below normal, but that whopping 7.8″ of rain in December more than made up for the deficit. So far, March is starting off just about right where we should be, but will have to remain wet to keep up with what is historically our second wettest month of the year coming in just behind July.
Just when you thought that the warmth of spring was here to stay, Mother Nature still has a few tricks up her sleeve for the final few days of Winter. On Monday fog, light rain and drizzle along with dropping afternoon temperatures will make it feel more like February than late March. Most of metro Atlanta will be in the 40s by late afternoon with some locations along I-85 northeast toward South Carolina only in the 30s!
Whatever rain that falls on Monday will be very light. Nothing like the heavy rain that fell earlier this morning. Most areas received between one and two inches of rain which was almost enough to erase our deficit for March. March by the way is historically our wettest month.
The heavy rain on Sunday is timely because this week is Flood Safety Awareness Week which focuses on what to do to stay safe in the event that you are involved in a flood. Here is a link from the National Weather Service that lots of great information to keep both you and your family safe if you are ever caught in a flood. http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/
The winter chill is back along with strong winds that will produce wind chills in the teens by Thursday morning. A Wind Advisory is in effect until 2am for north and central Georgia and until 8am for the northeast corner of the state.
Temperatures will drop into the 20s to around freezing tonight so the NWS has issued a Freeze Warning from 1am until 10am Thursday morning. Protect any tender vegetation that may be harmed by the freezing temperatures.
The good news is that the cold snap won’t last long and temperatures will return to normal by the weekend. The normal highs and lows for this time of the year are 64 and 43 respectively. Showers are possible this weekend, but right now it looks like the amount of rain will be small and the number of dry hours will far outweigh the wet hours.
On the heels of some wonderful early spring-like weather it looks like the last gasps of winter will return briefly to end this week. Gone will be the 70s, and in will come the 40s and 50s with lows in the 20s and 30s. Fear not for by the weekend we should return to what’s normal for this time of the year: 60s and 40s. First up though we have rain to deal with.
It looks like the rain should arrive in metro Atlanta around midnight with the bulk of the rain falling overnight and through the early morning rush hour on Wednesday. Expect a quarter to a half-inch of rain with this first wave. I don’t think there will be much rain after 8am before another minor round of showers move through quickly with the cold front in the afternoon. In fact this second round may not amount too much at all.
Once the cold front moves through in the afternoon the winds will start to pick up out of the northwest at 20-30 mph. Along with the winds increasing the temperatures will dropping as well. In fact by Thursday morning low temperatures will drop into the upper 20s to low 30s bringing another freeze that could damage any tender vegetation that has sprouted.
As stated earlier this will only be a minor bump in the road. By the weekend the weather should improve for all the St. Patrick’s Day Festivities. Clouds will increase on Saturday with a chance of showers, but dry weather should prevail on Sunday.
Today the pollen count jumped to near 1000 as the recent warm weather has produced many blooming trees here in the south. Remember that this is just the beginning and our highest numbers in the 1000’s are still to come. In fact historically our highest pollen counts don’t arrive until the first few weeks of April so hang in there all of you allergy sufferers.
Rain and some cooler weather may help to knock down the pollen count by Wednesday and Thursday. Showers will begin to arrive here in metro Atlanta just after midnight Tuesday and will continue on and off Wednesday.
Right now it looks like much of the area will see around a half-inch of rain from this system. along with the rain much colder air will move in behind a cold front late Wednesday and Thursday. In fact it might be cold enough for a few flurries in the higher elevations of the north Georgia mountains late Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.
This is a big change from where we are today and where we will be on Tuesday, but the good news is that we should at least be back into the 60s by the weekend.
Sunny skies will return this weekend along with much warmer temperatures. The warm up will begin today with highs climbing into the upper 50s, once the rain ends this morning and the clouds break this afternoon.
Things get even better on Saturday as high pressure builds in and highs climb into the upper 60s to near 70! The good news is that the warm weather will stay with us through Tuesday of next week.
One last thing: Don’t forget to change your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night as we go back to Daylight Saving Time. You can thank Ben Franklin for that!
On this last day before the beginning of Lent the big party in New Orleans is being hampered by rain and cold temperatures. Earlier today a large area of sleet and freezing rain was just to the north of NOLA while folks in the city had to party on through rain and temperatures in the 30s.
You can see from this webcam that people are bundled up in rain gear and carrying umbrellas in what is usually a packed Jackson Square.
The rain is now in New Orleans will continue to try to work its way to the north. It’s possible that a few showers could form late tonight mainly south of Atlanta.
The storm producing the rain to our south will strengthen on Wednesday and form a larger area of rain across the Southeast. I think that area will spread far enough north that most of metro Atlanta will see rain throughout the day Thursday and into early Friday before the sun and milder temperatures return for the weekend.
What was a Freeze Watch has been upgraded this afternoon to a Freeze Warning for all north Georgia. Temperatures will drop into the upper 20s to low 30s overnight tonight.
Along with the cold temperatures some low-level moisture will linger, so it’s not out of the question that some patchy light drizzle could continue as temperatures fall below freezing. If this happens some of the drizzle could freeze on elevated surfaces, but the ground will be too warm for any icing of roadways although bridges and overpasses in far north Georgia could see a few slick spots so be careful.
Lots of clouds will continue Tuesday with a bit more sun on Wednesday. Temperatures will start to creep into the upper 50s on Wednesday. Rain moves back in for Thursday and then drier and milder weather will move back in for the weekend. Remember this weekend we return to Daylight Saving Time which means you need to turn your clocks ahead one hour at 2am Sunday.