Pollen returns and rain’s on the way in metro Atlanta

Cooler temperatures didn’t stop the sun from shining or the pollen from falling. In fact, the allergy-triggering dust fell so plentifully, it set a new season high Tuesday in metro Atlanta.

The pollen count increased from 120 particles of pollen per cubic meter of air Monday to 4,107 particles Tuesday, edging ever closer to last year's season high of 6,152 particles on April 9. The new season high hasn't been achieved in the month of March since 2012, said John Manasso, a spokesman for the Atlanta Allergy & Asthma center.

And pollen’s not the only substance that will fall from up above this week. Rain could trickle in Wednesday and produce storms Thursday night and Friday morning.

“Now it stays mainly clear for us overnight tonight,” Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brian Monahan said. “Tomorrow though, clouds are going to start to thicken up. And by the time we hit Wednesday night, especially Thursday morning, here comes the rain.”

Showers will move toward north Georgia around noon Thursday and become heavy at times.

The metro area could get between 1 and 3 inches of rain, and there is a slight risk of severe storms Thursday night, continuing into Friday southwest of Atlanta.

That could mean strong wind and isolated tornadoes in Carrollton, Griffin and LaGrange.

Most of Atlanta only faces a marginal risk of strong wind, heavy rain and flash flooding.

Though, conditions could still bring down tree limbs and power lines, Monahan said.

The good news is rain could also mean less pollen.

It typically decreases with precipitation — hence, the drop in pollen Monday following Sunday showers and the spike after a dry Monday.

For now, expect mostly sunny skies and continued dry conditions.

Temperatures were 65 degrees in Atlanta, 58 degrees in Blairsville and 65 degrees in Griffin just after 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday’s high is 70 degrees.

Sunshine will last through much of the day before temperatures start to decline this evening.

“Tonight temperatures will drop fairly quickly,” Monahan said.

They will be down in the lower 60s again by 7 p.m. and into the upper 50s by 11 p.m.

» Check the full forecast and track changes