Tropical storm to create a rainy day in Georgia

Tropical Storm Ida made landfall early Tuesday and is already dumping heavy rain on parts of Georgia. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for the north and central parts of the Peach State, and Atlanta area commuters should be prepared for a wet and hazardous ride to and from work.

The rain was causing delays averaging 40 minutes for arriving flights at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration reported at 11 a.m.

The FAA reported departure delays of 16 to 30 minutes and increasing in length.

Ida, which was downgraded from a hurricane on Monday, made landfall about 6:40 a.m. Tuesday on Dauphin Island, Ala., with maximum winds of 45 mph.
At 10 a.m., Ida was downgraded further to a tropical depression as winds diminished to 35 mph and the system began losing tropical characteristics.

The depression was expected to take a turn to the east and be centered near Tallahassee, Fla., by Wednesday.
By 11 a.m. Tuesday, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport had recorded 1.32  inches of rain, while Peachtree City reported 1.93 inches and Columbus had picked up 4.51 inches. On the north side, 1.35 inches of rain had fallen in Alpharetta by 11 a.m.

Forecasters are calling for strong winds and 3 to 5 inches of rain, with as much as 8 inches possible in some spots.

But don’t expect a replay of the September floods that forced thousands of metro Atlanta residents to evacuate their homes, some in small boats. Those floods were caused by several straight days of rain, whereas it’s been pretty dry lately.

“This will be a quick shot of moisture,” said Kent McMullen, a forecaster at the National Weather Service Station in Peachtree City.

Commuters will still have it rough. It will be raining hard during the morning rush hour and probably pouring during the afternoon rush hour, McMullen said.

The Weather Service has also issued a wind advisory for gusts up to 35 mph throughout the day Tuesday, and forecasters warned that with the ground-soaking rain, "it may not take very strong winds for trees to begin to fall."

The forecast for metro Atlanta calls for a 100 percent chance of rain Tuesday and Tuesday night, with highs near 60 and lows in the low 50s.

There's an 80 percent chance of rain on Wednesday, mainly before 7 a.m., the Weather Service said. Highs on Veterans Day should be in the low 60s.

Mostly sunny skies are forecast for Thursday through Sunday, with highs warming from the mid-60s on Thursday to the low 70s by Sunday and lows in the mid-40s.

Staff writers Mike Morris and Mashaun D. Simon contributed to this report.