[5:45 p.m.]: All I-75 North lanes have reopened near Jonesboro Road after a wreck, the Traffic Center reported. The wreck has been moved to the right shoulder, and delays are lengthy.
[5:25 p.m.]: A crash in Morrow has all I-75 North lanes blocked just past Jonesboro Road, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. The interstate is gridlocked back to North McDonough Road, which is more than a 15-mile stretch.
ORIGINAL STORY: Showers have mostly missed metro Atlanta on Thursday, but traffic issues definitely have not.
Construction is slowing down I-75 in Henry County near Jodeco Road, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. A right southbound lane is blocked, but delays are heavy in both directions.
The exit ramp from I-285 North to I-20 in DeKalb County is also blocked by a wreck, and delays are heavy on the Perimeter as a result, the Traffic Center reported.
A cold front moving toward Georgia will tap into the moisture from a tropical system moving through the Gulf of Mexico, creating conditions for another scattering of storms, according to Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brian Monahan.
“This afternoon, scattered showers and storms developing will especially favor the North Georgia mountains,” Monahan said. “Up across areas around Lake Lanier, the Northside of the metro, into the mountains ... you'll see a good coverage of showers and storms late tonight.”
The tropical system has been upgraded to a tropical storm, with sustained winds of 40 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Tropical Storm Barry is expected to strengthen as it moves west and become a hurricane before it reaches the central Gulf Coast.
“It is a big system covering a lot of real estate across the Gulf of Mexico,” Monahan said. “The big impact from this is going to be a lot more heavy rain. In fact, a foot or two of rain is possible across the central Gulf Coast.”
Louisiana got about 8 inches of rainfall in four hours Wednesday, he said. By Friday night, the storm is expected to reach the central Louisiana coast and dump 12 to 18 inches more rain as it makes its way toward the Mississippi River Valley.
“Places, all of these, that don’t need any more rain, and they are going to get a lot of it with this tropical system,” Monahan said.
North Georgia is not looking at the same impacts. A 40% chance of rain Thursday goes up to 60% Friday as the cold front closes in, but only about an inch of accumulation is expected between now and the weekend, according to the latest forecast.
So far, most of the spotty rain showers are in east Georgia and the North Georgia mountains, but the rain is expected to stick around through the evening and overnight hours, Monahan said. Thursday’s evening commute will likely be impacted.
“We’ll have some rain around for the morning commute on Friday — it will be isolated — and then another round of showers and storms coming up on Friday as we tap into that tropical moisture that is about 500 miles to our south,” he said.
Atlanta is forecast to hit a high of 90 degrees Thursday. Atlanta is hovering at 88 degrees right now, with a heat index of 95. Monahan said with the rain chances going up, temperatures will come down a bit into the start of the weekend.
“But it’s still going to be hot and steamy,” he said.
The second half of the weekend will be a little drier and a little sunnier with highs in the mid- to upper 80s, according to 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.
» Download The Atlanta Journal-Constitution app for weather alerts on-the-go.
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