Tornadoes, damaging winds expected Wednesday


Today: Mostly sunny. High: 80

Tonight: Mostly clear. Low: 60

Tomorrow: Storms likely. High: 75

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

As many as 20 tornadoes touched down in Georgia on Monday as part of a storm system that left thousands in the dark and ripped the roof off a fire station, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

RELATED: How tornadoes are rated

And North Georgia may not have seen the worst of the severe weather, Channel 2 Action News reported. Another round of storms could return with a vengeance Wednesday, according to the latest forecast.

Griffin-Spalding County Schools, the University of West Georgia and Albany State University announced Tuesday that campuses would be closed Wednesday.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley declared a statewide state of emergency for Wednesday in anticipation of severe weather conditions.

Metro Atlanta faces a moderate severe storm risk for tornadoes, widespread damaging wind gusts, flash flooding and large destructive hail, Channel 2 meteorologists said.

“Be prepared for power outages,” Chief meteorologist Glenn Burns said. "Be prepared for the worst. We will have tornadoes and damaging winds. There will be damage.”

While moderate may not sound alarming, meteorologists said don’t be fooled. Only one other designation — high — poses a greater risk, according to the National Weather Service.

Risk categories for storms range from marginal to high risk. (Credit: National Weather Service)

Moderate “is not common,” Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said.

She said she has never seen a moderate risk over metro Atlanta in her more than 30 years with Channel 2.

“I have seen them in South Georgia, but not widespread over metro Atlanta,” Minton said.

Here's Severe Weather Team 2's Brian Monahan with a look at your Tuesday evening forecast.

Parts of North Georgia are still cleaning up from Monday’s severe storms.

RELATED: Outages remain in metro Atlanta, North Georgia

Wednesday’s storms could result in more widespread damage than Monday’s system, meteorologists said.

That means even more outages are likely as the storms move in Wednesday, possibly before sunrise, Minton said.

The first round of severe weather is expected to hit metro Atlanta about 8 a.m. Wednesday, according to Channel 2.

"There will be waves of severe storms all day,” Minton said. “It should end late Wednesday night to just after midnight Thursday morning.”

There was no sign of severe weather Tuesday.

Current temperatures are 71 degrees in Atlanta, 57 in Blairsville and 64 in Griffin.

Matt Sutter with American Pools works on the reflecting pool on a clear day at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Pollen levels fell, too.

According to Atlanta Allergy and Asthma, the pollen count dropped from 2,507 Monday to 834 Tuesday.

The count this time last year was 716 particles per cubic meter of air, and last year’s season high was 4,107.

RELATED: Metro Atlanta pollen count and allergy index


Strong winds left a gaping hole in Anthem Automobile in Buckhead, Channel 2 Action News reported. The auto shop, located near the intersection of Piedmont Road and Lakeshore Drive, is expected to remain closed for a few days. 

RELATED: Tornadoes in Georgia since 1950

In downtown Atlanta, a tree fell on top of a van at the intersection of Peachtree and 3rd streets.

A crew from the City of Atlanta Forestry Division works to remove a tree that fell on top of a van at the intersection of Peachtree Street and 3rd Street in Atlanta on Monday. HENRY TAYLOR / HENRY.TAYLOR@AJC.COM

An oak tree crashed into a home on Bunnie Trail in Henry County, and three children narrowly escaped injury, Channel 2 reported.

And the storm system sparked a ground stoppage at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, preventing flights from coming in or going out of the airport for about an hour.

Much of the damage, however, was outside the Atlanta area. 

People were reported trapped in a Griffin home, and the roof of fire house No. 22 on Brumbelow Road was torn off in Carrollton, according to Channel 2. Downtown Mansfield in Newton County also had wind damage.

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