Big storms to the west expected to weaken before reaching Atlanta

The leading edge of the storms, which were developing ahead of a cold front, had crossed from Mississippi into Alabama and was approaching Birmingham at 6 a.m.

The National Weather Service said that as the front nears western and northern portions of Georgia, the storms are expected to "weaken and possibly diminish as the air will remain relatively stable this morning."

With afternoon heating, "the threat of thunder will increase," the Weather Service said.

By that point, however, the weather system "will become moisture-starved, with isolated and scattered showers and thunderstorms," forecasters said.

The forecast for metro Atlanta calls for a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms on Friday, with rain diminishing by sunset, just in time for high school football games.

Afternoon highs Friday are expected to be in the low 70s, followed by overnight readings in the low 50s.

Sunny skies are forecast for Saturday and Sunday, with highs in the mid- to upper 70s and lows in the upper 40s Saturday night.

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