Storm dissipates: Minor rain may come, followed by sun all weekend

A line of thunderstorms that was expected to close on Atlanta Thursday afternoon lost its strength and mostly faded away. While it might rain a little overnight there are no big storms expected any time soon.

Forecasters were watching another storm complex roiling over western Alabama as Thursday evening approached. But it also looks to be another dud for Atlantans.

"Our models show this system fading as it approaches Georgia," said Glenn Burns, the chief meteorologist for Channel 2 Action News. He expects some light rainfall after midnight as a warm front blows in from the south, plus morning showers. "Nothing heavy duty," he said.

Later Friday, the light rain will give way to sunshine and clear skies expected to linger through the weekend.

It should be nothing like the weather that hit metro Atlanta early Thursday.

The National Weather Service reported trees down in numerous counties, including DeKalb, Cobb, Bartow and Floyd.

In Marietta, at least one house was struck by lightning, and winds gusting to 32 mph were reported in the storms, which moved into Cobb County around 2:30 a.m.

Doug Turnbull in the AM 750 and now 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB Traffic Center reported malfunctioning traffic lights in several metro counties, including signals on Holcomb Bridge Road near Ga. 400 in Roswell, and trees and wires down on University Drive near Emory University and on Rosser Road in DeKalb County.

In Atlanta, police dispatchers reported that a tree had fallen on a truck on Little Street. No injuries were reported.

About 7,500 Georgia Power customers across the state lost electricity during the height of the storms. By 6 a.m., that number had been cut to about 5,500, mostly in metro Atlanta, a spokeswoman for the utility said.

The overnight rainfall, which was generally between one-third and one-half inch, dropped Atlanta's pollen count for Thursday to 73 particles per cubic meter of air.

Forecasters had given a 40 percent chance for more storms during the Thursday evening commute. But a temperature inversion layer, with warm air floating over cold, defused the storm, Burns said. Storms gain strength when warm air near the ground rises into the atmosphere, but the inversion layer prevented that from happening.

The storm moving toward Atlanta from Alabama is the last such complex in sight. It will fade and be replaced by a completely different weather pattern this weekend, Burns said: "Increasing sunshine tomorrow and mostly sunny for the weekend as high pressure takes over and the front moves away."

He said it will be a warm Easter Sunday, with lows in the 60s.

Staff writer Mike Morris contributed to this article.