The science of rain delays: SunTrust is parked under a faucet

Former President Jimmy Carter leaves his seat as rain begins to fall before a baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday in Atlanta. AP /John Bazemore

Credit: Jim Galloway

Credit: Jim Galloway

Former President Jimmy Carter leaves his seat as rain begins to fall before a baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday in Atlanta. AP /John Bazemore

Where science and rain delays merge: The Atlanta Braves endured their 11th rain delay of the season on Tuesday.

Marshal Shepherd may know why.

He’s a professor of meteorology at the University of Georgia, is co-author of a study of urban rainfall patterns in and around Atlanta.

Using radar and rain gauge data, Shepherd partnered with two University of North Carolina academics and found that SunTrust Park, new home of the Atlanta Braves sits “in the maximum region” for cloudbursts. In other words, the stadium is parked under a faucet:

The pattern of rainfall anomalies is most evident in the early evening hours of the day and is hypothesized to be related to the evolution of the skin or surface urban heat island.

If you're of a mind, check out the three-author, University of North Carolina/UGA study here. Otherwise look at the crib sheet that Shepherd has posted on Twitter:

For the record, our AJC colleague Tim Tucker reports today that the Braves considered building a retractable roof to shield fans from the elements but decided against it over cost concerns.


We're at the outset of the 2018 race for governor and in the midst of a debate over the government role in health care. The two issues may be merging.

The Gainesville Times this morning picks up on a new addition to Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle's stump speech in Gainesville on Tuesday – the extreme poverty that resides outside metro Atlanta

Hall County's poverty rate is an estimated 16.9 percent, but some counties are dealing with rates in the high 20s and 30s and, in the most extreme cases, poverty rates of more than 40 percent.

"I can tell you fundamentally that metro Atlanta, certainly in our area, we're seeing great economic prosperity," Cagle told the Kiwanis Club. "But you can go to Sen. Tyler Harper's area or Sen. Greg Kirk's area in Sumter County and Ocilla, and you'll see they're losing population."


U.S. Rep. Jody Hice represents one of the redder districts in the nation, a northeast Georgia stretch splattered around the deep-blue island of Athens. He's drawn a 2018 challenger who aims to energize those core Democrats in next year's midterms.

Chalis Montgomery, a 39-year-old educator and youth ministry leader, is backing an ardently progressive platform. She lists an immigration overhaul, criminal justice reform and access to college and vocational training for all among her policy platforms.

But she's centering her campaign on a call for universal healthcare. Her announcement tells of her 9-year-old daughter Gwen, who suffers from the pre-existing condition of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and thus is covered by the Affordable Care Act.

She said Hice, who voted to repeal and replace the measure this year after initial concerns that it didn't shave costs too deeply, took a stance that is "devastating to children like her."

She faces a tougher battle than candidates eyeing nearby suburban Atlanta districts, like the newly-competitive Sixth and Seventh Districts, where changing demographics and skepticism to Trump have buoyed Democratic hopes. Trump easily carried the 10th District and Hice, who captured two-thirds of the vote when first elected in 2014, didn't even face an opponent in November.

(Though a super PAC was trying to recruit a candidate: And what a disaster that would have been.)