WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Severe weather threat diminishes, rush-hour delays build

The threat of severe weather is ending across metro Atlanta as a system of thunderstorms rapidly moves east, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Several counties have been dropped from a severe thunderstorm watch that was issued earlier Thursday for much of the state and all of metro Atlanta. 


 

The watch, which is set to expire at 10 p.m., now covers areas south and east of metro Atlanta, according to the National Weather Service.


Strong wind gusts up to 70 mph are likely in those areas, and frequent lightning and scattered hail up to the size of a pingpong ball are possible, the Weather Service said.

RELATED: What's the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and warning?

While the severe weather threat has diminished in metro Atlanta, several crashes are causing delays on the evening commute.

A crash temporarily blocked eastbound lanes of I-20 in Carroll County. While lanes reopened about 4:30 p.m., drivers can expect lingering delays from Bremen to Temple, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.


 

In Cobb County, a wreck involving two tractor-trailers and a Mini Cooper is backing up traffic on the Cloverleaf at the I-285 East exit to I-75 North, the Traffic Center reported.


 

Daytime construction closed one lane of I-85 South at Pleasantdale Road, causing some delays through Gwinnett County for the afternoon commute, according to the Traffic Center.

The first wave of storms pushed across the Alabama line just before daybreak, prompting a series of severe thunderstorm warnings, dumping heavy rain and toppling trees in northwest Georgia, according to Channel 2.

In Cherokee County, a tree fell on a power line and ignited a transformer fire, emergency management officials told the news station. 

Storm damage was also reported in Floyd, Meriwether, Polk, Pickens and Upson counties. 


 

Despite the rain, the weather should remain warm and muggy. Currently, it is 85 degrees in Atlanta.

A man walks by a colorful advertisement at a MARTA bus stop at Peachtree Circle and Peachtree Street in Midtown on Thursday as thunderstorms made their way across North Georgia.
Photo: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

North Georgia is expected to have much drier air Friday, but some severe weather is still possible, Channel 2 chief meteorologist Glenn Burns said. 

“We’re going to have another risk for strong and severe thunderstorms tomorrow,” he said.


A Level 1 threat has been issued for all of North Georgia on Friday, meaning there is a threat of isolated storms with lightning and wind gusts between 40 and 60 mph, Burns said. 

The wet weather is expected to move in Friday evening and stick around for much of Saturday according to Channel 2, and Burns said some of those storms could “pack quite a punch.”

Photo: Channel 2 Action News

» 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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