SATURDAY’S WEATHER: Sunny skies in view as Ian downgraded to post-tropical cyclone

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

As the storm that was formerly Hurricane Ian continues moving up the East Coast, the Georgia coast is seeing improved conditions and metro Atlanta is expected to be sunny through the weekend.

The morning will start off cool and the afternoon will primarily stay mild and breezy with a few clouds in the sky. Winds could pick up in the late afternoon to about 25 to 30 mph, but no damage should be expected as Georgia sits on the backside of Post-Tropical Cyclone Ian.

“Pretty fortunate that we’re going to avoid these heaviest downpours, these gustiest winds, but we still do have a pretty good breeze,” Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz said.

By the afternoon, we will reach a high of 75 degrees and stay dry. A 20% chance of rain is in the forecast, but the sky should remain clear and sunny.

On Friday afternoon, Hurricane Ian struck the South Carolina coast near Georgetown as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. By about 4:50 p.m., the hurricane was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone.

“From now to tomorrow morning, it’s going to go all the way up into northern North Carolina (and) southern Virginia as the winds really wind down,” Nitz said Friday.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Within hours, Ian ripped apart several piers and flooded countless neighborhoods in South Carolina after the megastorm caused catastrophic damage in Florida and left people trapped in their homes.

Ian had come ashore Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast as a monstrous Category 4 hurricane, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the U.S. It flooded homes on both the state’s coasts and knocked out electricity to 2.6 million Florida homes and businesses — nearly a quarter of utility customers. Some 2.1 million of those customers remained in the dark days afterward.

At least 17 people were confirmed dead in the U.S. from the storm — a number that can increase as officials confirm more deaths and continue searching for people. Three others were reported killed in Cuba after the hurricane struck there Tuesday, but the death toll is expected to increase when emergency officials begin searching through the areas hit the hardest.

Moving beyond the impacts of the storm and into Sunday, the forecast will be very similar to Saturday. Temperatures will reach a high of 74 degrees. Winds will be more moderate, reaching about 13 mph in the later half of the afternoon.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.

» For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.

» Download The Atlanta Journal-Constitution app for weather alerts on-the-go.