WEATHER-TRAFFIC UPDATE: Roads go from ‘ugly’ to ‘nasty’ as Thanksgiving rush continues

ATLANTA FORECAST

Wednesday High: 56

Wednesday night: Low: 36

Thursday: High: 59

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

As people hit the roads Wednesday ahead of Thanksgiving, the weather is cooperating. But the traffic has gone from “ugly” to “nasty,” according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.

“No rain for us,” Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Karen Minton said. “The Southeast is looking good for this big travel day. In other areas, you head north and you're going to run into some snow, and out west, some rain, but in Georgia and the Southeast, we are dry and that’s good news.”

The traffic outlook is not as optimal. The Thanksgiving rush is in full swing.

RELATED: GDOT: Expect slower commutes Wednesday as Thanksgiving travelers hit the road

MORE: The best and worst times to drive in Atlanta this Thanksgiving

With 5 to 10 percent more drivers on the road than normal, speeds could slow 35 to 45 percent, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

 

Traffic is already jamming in DeKalb County and on the Downtown Connector, according to the Traffic Center.

Drivers won’t just be flocking to the interstates. Expect to see more congestion around bakeries, grocery stores and liquor stores, as Google analysts suggest Wednesday afternoon is the most popular time to get in last-minute shopping. 

Outside the Perimeter, a crash in Bartow County has blocked two left lanes of I-75 North near Ga. 20, according to the Traffic Center. It’s recommended to take Ga. 41 as an alternative.

In Henry County, northbound delays are mounting to over 15 minutes on I-75, according to the Traffic Center.

North Georgia started out chilly Wednesday, with temperatures 13 to 21 degrees cooler than they were early Tuesday. Lots of sunshine is on tap, boosting temperatures into the mid-50s.

“It is going to get a little cooler, but we are still going to have a fantastic Thanksgiving,” Minton said.

 

Atlanta could wake up to temps in the mid-30s, while the mountains could dip below freezing, she said. A high in the mid- to upper 50s is expected.

“Weather will stay gorgeous through Thanksgiving,” Channel 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan said. “Then the rain moves in Friday night and sticks around ... thanks to a strong wedge and ... a system along the Gulf (that) will drive in warm, wet air over our cold air at the surface.”

 

Winds are expected to kick up Thursday night, according to Channel 2. A backdoor front makes its way to Georgia on Friday, wedging down over the Appalachians. Clouds should increase before patchy, light rain develops. There is a 90 percent chance of late showers Friday.

“No risk for anything strong,” Monahan said.

According to the latest forecast, rain continues into Saturday morning before the wedge starts to break down, allowing for some clearing. A 60 percent chance of rain Saturday drops to 20 percent Sunday.

» 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.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.