As construction ends, wrecks begin.
Friday’s evening commute is being marred by several wrecks in DeKalb County, shutting down surface streets and affecting nearby interstates, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.
I-285 North just reopened after multiple right lanes were blocked by a crash, and police activity is still blocking the right shoulder, the Traffic Center reported. The interstate is jammed back to I-675.
Glenwood Avenue is also struggling after a crash near Columbia Drive, the Traffic Center reported.
The intersection of Covington Highway and Young Road is also blocked after a five-vehicle wreck, which includes a patrol car.
Elsewhere, a tractor-trailer crash on I-20 westbound in Villa Rica has left debris all over the interstate and caused a major backup. According to the Traffic Center, a helicopter landed on I-20 after the wreck.
U.S. 78 is one alternative for drivers.
The only good news on the roads is that earlier roadwork in Gwinnett and Douglas counties has ceased. Most other delays are due to the increased volume on the roads during the evening commute, according to the Traffic Center.
Just two weeks ago, Atlanta broke a heat record with an afternoon high of 97 degrees.
That’s about a 50-degree difference from morning lows Friday, according to Channel 2 Action News. The coldest air to reach North Georgia in about six months dropped temperatures into the 40s in the city and the 30s in the mountains.
Atlanta has since warmed into the mid-60s.
“October tends to be a roller coaster, and I'm pretty sure we have fulfilled that,” Channel 2 meteorologist Katie Walls said. “We started off in the 90s, and now we're talking about frost up in the North Georgia mountains.”
Clouds will begin increasing Friday evening in advance of another weather system that Walls said will drive a lot of rain into North Georgia on Saturday. That is good news considering drought conditions are worsening.
According to the latest drought monitor released Thursday, more of metro Atlanta and parts of North Georgia are now in extreme drought.
“We do have a good opportunity for some rainfall, much-needed rain, arriving tomorrow, and it’s in association with this potential tropical cyclone number 16,” Walls said. “Basically, this is a storm likely to develop later on today into Tropical Storm Nestor.”
The current storm track projections show the system will strengthen into a tropical storm as it races northeast, making landfall along the Florida Panhandle late Friday night, Walls said. It will then continue northeast, pushing off into South and Middle Georgia.
“That’s going to be increasing our rain chances here at home and also bringing some breezy conditions on your Saturday,” Walls said.
Metro Atlanta has a shot at a half-inch to an inch of accumulation, while Georgia’s lake country and areas near Augusta have a better opportunity for 1 to 2 inches, she said. Those areas will be closer to the storm’s center of circulation.
Rain is 90% likely Saturday, but Walls does not expect any severe weather. Showers will start in South Georgia early Saturday morning and make their way north, she said, becoming more widespread through the morning hours.
Downpours will fall on and off all day, and they could be heavy at times, according to the latest forecast.
“It’s going to be a bit breezy at times,” Walls said. “Ten to 20 mph is your forecast wind speed on your Saturday, with some of those bigger gusts down toward Middle Georgia.”
The rain and wind will keep temperatures in the low 60s Saturday, she said. As the system moves away Sunday, rain chances will back off significantly, dropping to 10%, according to Channel 2.
» 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.
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