WEATHER-TRAFFIC UPDATE: Severe threat should be over; light rain on tap tonight

ATLANTA FORECAST

Friday: High: 89

Friday night: Low: 72 

Saturday: High: 89

» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.

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6:17 p.m.: Light rain showers are expected across North Georgia and the metro area tonight, but the severe storm threat is over for today, Channel 2 meteorologist Katie Walls said via Twitter.

5:36 p.m.: MARTA tweeted about a train losing power south of East Point, which is causing delays. The storms downed a tree over the northbound track, causing the train to lose power. Delays north and south are approximately 15 minutes.

 

5:32 p.m.: A vehicle fire on I-75 South past Mt. Paran Road has blocked the three left lanes and contributed to heavy delays, the Traffic Center reported.

 

5:22 p.m.: The severe thunderstorm watch has been canceled in parts of metro Atlanta and northeast Georgia, Channel 2 meteorologist Katie Walls said in a tweet.

 

5:14 p.m.: A flood warning has been issued for Cobb County by the National Weather Service. Severe thunderstorm warnings were added, expanded or shortened for Clayton, Coweta, Fayette, Henry, Meriwether, Pike and Spalding counties until 5:30 p.m.

Storm damage on Bryant Drive in Lilburn. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

5:05 p.m.: The NWS expanded and added thunderstorm warnings for Henry, Butts, Jasper, Lamar, Monroe, Newton and Spalding counties until 5:45 p.m.

5:04 p.m.: Georgia Power’s amount of active outages has dropped to 415, which affects 24,756 customers.

5:03 p.m.: Heavy delays remain on I-85 at Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Gwinnett County after two earlier crashes, the Traffic Center reported.

 

5:02 p.m.: Downtown Canton’s "First Friday" event scheduled for tonight has been canceled due to the storms.

5:01 p.m.: The temperature has dropped to 69 degrees in Atlanta, which is 20 degrees cooler than the predicted high.

5 p.m.: The roadwork for the I-75/I-285 resurfacing project has been canceled for tonight by GDOT due to the thunderstorms and rain.

 

4:59 p.m.: A tree is down on Burnt Hickory Road between Old Mountain Road and Polk Street, according to a tweet from the city.

 

4:57 p.m.: Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport said weather is affecting traffic arriving at the airport and causing flight delays of about two hours on average. 

4:51 p.m.: Georgia Power said it now has 415 active outages affecting almost 26,000 customers, mostly within metro Atlanta.

4:49 p.m.: The NWS has expanded and issued thunderstorm warnings for Clayton, Coweta, Fayette, Heard, Henry, Meriwether, Pike, Spalding and Troup counties until 5:30 p.m. 

4:42 p.m.: Traffic remains slow across the metro area, and some roads are flooding, the Traffic Center reported. The left lane on Ga. 400 South at Ga. 20 is reportedly underwater and caution is advised.

 

4:39 p.m.: The severe weather watch has ended for Bartow, Cherokee, Chattooga, Cobb, Floyd, Gordon, Haralson, Paulding, Pickens and Polk counties, Channel 2 meteorologist Katie Walls said in a tweet.

 

4:37 p.m.: Georgia Power said it now has 377 active outages affecting more than 20,000 customers.

4:29 p.m.: Damage, such as fallen trees, has been reported in Cobb County.

 

4:25 p.m.: Georgia Power said it has 319 active outages affecting 15,725 customers. 

4:19 p.m.: New thunderstorm warnings and expansions were issued for Dawson, Forsyth, Hall and Lumpkin counties until 5 p.m. by the NWS. 

4:17 p.m.: Gwinnett County police have closed several side streets off Ga. 78 between Stone Mountain and Loganville and advise staying off the roads if possible.

 

4:09 p.m.: Thunderstorm warnings were issued and expanded for Hall, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Carroll, Coweta and Heard counties until 4:45 p.m. by the NWS.

3:56 p.m.: The NWS added and expanded thunderstorm warnings for Carroll, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton and Paulding counties until 4:30 p.m. Roadways all across metro Atlanta are at a crawl due to rain, according to WSB’s 24-hour Traffic Center.

 

3:49 p.m.: There are multiple reports of trees falling on houses in Gwinnett County, including three in Lilburn on Angevine Court, Richmond Court and Woodfall Drive. There are also house fires reported on Park Estates Drive and Waterscape Trail in Snellville‎. 

 
 

3:46 p.m.: Several Gwinnett County roads have been closed due to weather according to the Lilburn Police Department, including Camp Creek Parkway at Wood Fall Road, Camp Creek Parkway at Nantucket Drive and Arcado Road at Emily Drive. Police advise avoiding those areas. 

3:33 p.m.: New thunderstorm warnings were issued for north Fulton, Cobb and Cherokee counties until 4:15 p.m., according to the NWS. Both thunderstorm warnings for DeKalb and Gwinnett counties expired at 3:30 p.m., but new thunderstorm warnings were issued for Carroll, Haralson, Paulding and Polk counties by the NWS until 3:45 p.m. Thunderstorm warnings in Newton and Walton counties were added until 4 p.m. 

3:17 p.m.: Thunderstorm warnings for DeKalb and Gwinnett counties were expanded until 3:30 p.m. by the NWS. Fulton County’s thunderstorm warning expired at 3 p.m., but a significant weather advisory was issued until 3:30 p.m., according to a tweet from the Fulton County Emergency Management Agency.

 

2:42 p.m.: A thunderstorm watch is also in effect for much of North Georgia and metro Atlanta until 10 p.m., according to the NWS. In addition to heavy rainfall, more than an inch of hail and 60-mph gusts could pose a threat to Friday afternoon’s commute, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Katie Walls said. There is also a chance for flooding and dangerous lightning.

 

2:38 p.m.: Outages are reported near Georgia Tech’s campus due to severe rains in Atlanta, campus police said on Twitter. “We're seeing power outages all along the eastern boundary of campus, including non-functioning traffic lights.”

 

UPDATE [2:32 p.m.]: A thunderstorm warning has been issued for DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties, according to the National Weather Service. The warning is expected to expire at 3 p.m.

ORIGINAL STORY: After several hours of gridlock, I-75 North before Chastain Road has reopened ahead of the lunchtime rush.

A tractor-trailer crash that had all lanes shut down has been cleared, but heavy delays remain, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. Drivers are encouraged to use U.S. 41 as an alternate route. 

 

It’s not good news for Atlanta drivers heading out over the lunch hour. Elsewhere on metro roadways, newly cleared crashes, construction and stalled vehicles are causing slowdowns. 

All lanes are blocked for an injury crash on I-20 West at Ga. 113, according to the Traffic Center. Bypass the crash by taking U.S. 78.

Local weekend weather: AtlantaCobb DeKalb Gwinnett | North Fulton 

 

In Midtown, traffic is bunching up on the interstate ramps along the Downtown Connector. The Traffic Center is also reporting “heavy backups” on I-285 North before Paces Ferry Road due to construction in the left lane.

 

But if you do end up stalled, at least there’s a little sunshine. That likely won’t be the case for the evening commute, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Channel 2 meteorologist Katie Walls is tracking a complex system of storms north of Georgia that could bring severe weather to metro Atlanta in the afternoon.

“Parts of the west metro are now in an enhanced risk for strong/severe storms this afternoon,” Walls said. “We are not concerned about tornadoes, but hail and damaging winds are threats in storms that develop this afternoon and evening. Heavy rain will also be a huge concern as we are saturated across the metro.”

 

Friday should see temperatures in the upper 80s, and the humidity should stick around through the day, too.

"That adds a lot of energy to the showers and storms and produces these big updrafts that you see,” Channel 2 Chief meteorologist Glenn Burns said. “That will be conducive to the hail formation and also those strong, gusty winds of up to 60 mph.”

The combination means thunderstorms, Burns said, and likely nasty, strong ones will develop.

Another wave of storms should hit the metro area closer to 7 p.m., so the evening commute should be bookended by strong rains and wind.

 

Some areas of northeast Georgia, namely Helen, have accumulated more than 12 inches of rain since Saturday. A flash flood warning for White County expired Friday morning, but flooded roads are still possible, Walls said.

 
 

That rain has flooded many bodies of water around Georgia, including Lake Lanier. Runoff from the rains and the rising levels at Lake Lanier has spilled into the Chattahoochee River, causing unsafe levels of bacteria.

RELATED: ‘Unsafe’ Chattahoochee waters force river businesses to close

 

Cooler, drier weather should arrive in Georgia early next week. There is a 30 percent chance of rain Saturday and a 60 percent chance Sunday, but that drops to 10 percent Monday.

Temperatures should also drop to the low 80s at the start of the week, according to the latest forecast.

 

» For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.

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