A strong cold front will approach the Southeast late Wednesday and through the day on Thursday bringing with it showers and a few t-storms. The SPC has an area southwest of Atlanta under a slight risk for severe t-storms. The area in question would include all counties south of I-20 and west of I-75.
If severe t-storms do occur the main threat would be from damaging winds. Lightning will also be a threat so be sure to seek shelter if a storm approaches. The best timing appears to be in the morning on Thursday and then again late Thursday night into early Friday morning.
Here is a look at two different computer models (GFS & NAM) that paint a slightly different story. The GFS model is more aggressive and faster then the NAM. Here is the GFS for 2 am Friday morning.
If this is correct a fairly strong line of t-storms will be moving through much of North Georgia in the overnight hours into Friday morning. The NAM on the other hand shows far less activity.
As for the timing the GFS has the rain moving out in the morning on Friday while the NAM keeps the shower activity around through Friday afternoon. Here is the GFS for 2 pm Friday clearly showing the showers well to the east and south.
The NAM on the other hand keeps showers (although light & few) around through 2 pm on Friday.
I’m leaning more toward the GFS with the faster solution. Once the system makes its way to the east look for another cold snap with lows down into the 40s and 30s both Saturday
and Sunday morning.
Don’t get too used to the warm spring weather of late, because a more active pattern will emerge for the end of March and the beginning of April. This will allow for slightly cooler than normal temperatures,
and above normal precipitation.
The outlook for the entire month of April is a little less clear, but I think a more active pattern will continue allowing for an overall cooler and wetter month for north Georgia. The official outlook has us in an equal chances category for temperatures,
and above normal chances allowing for a wetter than normal month.
The El Nino which has been raging for the past year is finally showing signs of weakening, so maybe this is the last gasp as we transition to an ENSO-neutral phase heading into summer.
Reality will set in this weekend after a week that saw record high temperatures, and soaring pollen counts. Cold air combined with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will interact to bring us a cold raw day on Saturday, but luckily the sun will return on Sunday although the cool weather will remain.
The good news is that lots of sunshine will be with us both Thursday and Friday before the clouds start to increase overnight Friday and into Saturday morning.
This will be the beginning of a wedge event that will solidify itself through the day on Saturday. Overrunning moisture will start to produce light rain by mid-morning that could last for most of the day.
There is a chance that we get by with just an overcast sky and very little rain on Saturday, but if the outcome is as advertised we could get a decent amount of rain. About a half inch seems to be the consensus as of now.
Luckily by Sunday the storm system will be to our east and clearing will begin to take place from the west. Temperatures will still be on the chilly side, but at least the sun will return for the second half to the weekend.
Last but not least Spring officially arrives Sunday morning at 12:30 am!
With the weekend fast approaching you’re probably wondering what we can expect across north Georgia. Earlier in the week it looked like late Friday through early Sunday would be the best time frame for showers and even a few t-showers. Now it looks like the upper level system over Texas is going to stall out, and take longer to reach the Southeast.
You can see from the hour-by-hour forecast that the rain hardly advances eastward through Friday. The only minor exception would be a few light sprinkles in the northeast Georgia mountains early Thursday, and a few showers in northwest Georgia early Friday morning.
Saturday should turn out to be dry with the bulk of the rain arriving Sunday. The storm system will be responsible for huge amounts of rain up and down the Lower Mississippi River Valley with some spots seeing more than 6″ of rain between now and Saturday morning.
By the time the storm arrives here there wont be much left of it. In fact across north Georgia don’t expect much more than a half inch of rain during the day on Sunday with little to no t-storm development.
So once again if you have outdoor plans this weekend you’re set for Friday and Saturday, but not Sunday.
Now that winter has come to an end (meteorologically speaking) it’s interesting to see just how wet and mild the period between December and February was. In an El Nino year we typically see a wetter than normal winter along with a colder than normal temperatures. The wet part worked out, but not so much with the temperatures.
As you can see in the image above courtesy of The NWS Peachtree City, all of north and central Georgia saw above normal rainfall through the winter. In fact here in Atlanta it turned out to be the second wettest winter on record! We only missed tying the record by a mere 1.26″.
The temperatures on the other hand didn’t come in the way you would expect them to in an El Nino winter. Instead of being below normal we were actually well above normal across all of north and central Georgia. In fact here in Atlanta it turned out to be the 9th warmest winter on record.