We had a close call last Friday with the system that brought ice to parts of north Georgia. But what's the saying, close is only good with horseshoes and hand grenades?
It looks like severe weather will be coming to our area on Wednesday. This is going to primarily be a wind and rain event, although a quick spin up tornado is not out of the question. An upper low that is currently over the southwest US is expected to advance east through the day on Tuesday. The upper level jet at both 200 mb and 300 mb are expected to line up (see the 200mb, 300mb, and 500mb maps above) and combine to bring a portion of those winds toward the surface, both in advance of the squall line and during it's passage. There will be quite a gradient as the system approaches, and winds in advance of the actual rain could be quite strong. Combine those winds with the still moist soil, and you have a recipe for considerable damage. Huntsville NWS had this to say about the winds:
THE OBVIOUS THREAT WITH THIS EVENT WILL BE WIDESPREAD DAMAGING WINDS
(WHICH MAY REACH/EXCEED 70MPH), WITH LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL A CLOSE
SECOND. PWATS OF 1.6" ARE BETWEEN THE 99TH PERCENTILE AND RECORD
VALUES FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. THOUGH THE LINE WILL BE MOVING RAPIDLY
ACROSS THE AREA, IT WILL PRODUCE VERY HEAVY RAINFALL AMOUNTS IN A
SHORT PERIOD OF TIME (UPWARDS OF AN INCH IN 30 MINS OR LESS ARE
LIKELY), SO THIS MAY BRIEFLY LEAD TO PONDING OF WATER ON AREA
ROADWAYS. NO WIDESPREAD FLOODING ISSUES ARE EXPECTED, BUT THIS WILL
BE SOMETHING TO WATCH IF THE SYSTEM SLOWS DOWN.
The models have picked up the pace for this system and it now appears it will arrive here very late tonight or in the morning on Wednesday. There will be heavy rain accompanying this system with the HPC showing as much as two inches over portions of north Georgia. Once again like last Friday, we were stuck in the wedge and kept our temperatures in the 40s for most of the day on Monday. Today will be a different story with warm moist gulf air, from the surface to the mid levels of the atmosphere. Temperatures could hit 70 here depending on the sunshine or lack of.
Colder air returns after the frontal passage with highs on Thursday only in the 40s again. There is a chance that Thursday night/early Friday, parts of north Georgia could see a few flurries, as well as again Saturday night which might be a better chance. None of these are major events and may end up passing to our north again.
We're going to be in for a roller coaster ride for February with cold periods intermingled with warm-ups, and there are signs that March may end up as the coldest month of the winter. I'll have more on this in a new post.
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