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  • Drought largely gone in Atlanta

    Southeast

    The summer rainy season continued across Florida and southern Georgia, and was enhanced by a slow-moving cold front and developing tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico (which became Tropical Storm Cindy Tuesday afternoon) late in the week. Most locations in Florida and southern Georgia saw 2 inches or more rain during the week, with up to a foot in south-central Florida. A few areas in central Florida and southern Georgia, however, only saw 1-2 inches of rain, thus improvements were limited to 1-category, and with lingering long-term (6-12 months) indices at D1-D2 in the region, a few small areas [More]

  • From bad to good weather

    There is light at the end of the prolonged wet and/or cloudy spell we have been going through. As I’ve been advertising on the radio for a few days now a prolonged dry spell is expected to begin Sunday and last through next Thursday, with modest thunderstorm chances returning Friday and next weekend. By the way, from this long distance, 4th of July weather looks pretty typical for the Metro, very warm and humid with around a 30% chance of an afternoon or evening thunderstorm.

    But first things first. We are still in a warm very deep moist tropical air mass. [More]

  • Any hot summer weather fleeting

    It was a rather pleasant spring and now the first summer month too has been cooler than normal. Hot weather has not lasted more than a couple or few days so far this year.

    It sure saves the lawn and bushes a lot of stress and saves the watering bill and the A/C bill, so I like it. But I am sure sun tanning fans are not thrilled.

    It still looks like from today past the 4th of July real hot weather will continue to be hard to come by. Then odds of some heat go up if the new Weekly European [More]

  • Cindy! Tropical Storm in Gulf

    …DISTURBANCE BECOMES TROPICAL STORM CINDY… …HEAVY RAINFALL SPREADING ACROSS MUCH OF THE CENTRAL GULF COAST…

    The primary threat is days on end of periodic rain in the South and Southeast and flooding at times scattered across most of the South, worse of course Central Gulf Coast.

    Cindy joins Bret. Two at once in June has only happened three times, 1909, 1959 and 1968!! However, 2012 came close.

    Satellite imagery, aircraft data, and surface observations indicate that the low pressure system in the central Gulf of Mexico has acquired a well-defined center, and is now Tropical Storm Cindy, the third tropical storm of 2017.

    At 100 PM CDT (1800 [More]

  • Tropical activity kicking up

    June tropical cyclones are not that unprecedented in the Gulf of Mexico, but many years don’t have one! It is even more rare to have a storm east of the Greater Antilles this early as we are watching now with Bret.

    It is worth bearing in mind that in the pre-satellite era many storms we can detect now would have gone unnoticed. But in over 164 years of weather history there’s never been an East Caribbean storm in June. Bret is also lowest latitude storm in June since 1933.

    That being said, research by Dr. Gray has found that storms in the [More]

  • Drought gone in most of Metro Atlanta

    Wet weather prevailed in the Southeast where rainfall amounts of over 4 inches fell in areas of southeastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The excess rainfall helped alleviate abnormally dry and drought conditions in parts of eastern Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

    However, drought and dryness still linger at timescales longer than about 3 months. This week’s map reflects a one-category improvement in conditions in the drought/abnormally dry areas of South Carolina.

    Recent rains also resulted in improvements to the drought/abnormally dry areas in northern and central Georgia as streamflow and soil moisture conditions improved.

    In the southern part of the state, moderate (D1) [More]

  • Late June-August signals mixed

    Models and analog methods are hotter and drier for mid to late June through August.

    They depict the jet stream storm track retreating toward if not into Canada while high pressure ridging aloft expands from California, Mexico and the Desert SW into much of Dixie.

    A standard method in synoptic meteorology used to indicate summer-level heat trends even without looking at model temperature output, is to look for a jump north by the 588dcm contour of constant height at 500MB, and/or the northward lurch of the 576dcm measure of 1000-500mb thickness value.

    500mb height levels in summer of 582 or less are common, [More]

  • Hurricane season outlook 2017

    Tropical cyclone season begins June 1st and runs through the end of November.

    An early out of season tropical storm already formed back in April named Arlene. It was only the second April tropical storm since the satellite era, that was Ana in 2003.

    Rare, earlier than normal storms also developed last season in January and May.

    Last year Hurricane Mathew killed 46 people in the Southeast U.S. The 2016 season was the most active since 2012, with 15 named storms, including 7 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes last year.

    The theme of preliminary outlooks for the 2017 season has been that an [More]

  • Impediments to hot dry summer

    As I’ve been Tweeting and blogging about for weeks now, while we may end up on the “warmer than normal” side of the ledger when the summer is in the record book, ENSO trends, most but not all numerical variants, and the relentless Pacific Jet Stream being stronger than normal point to a muted heat up.

    The relative wetness of May has really helped the drought to fade. That is important in two ways. The one is it helps prevent a positive feed back loop that helps create more heat and drought in summer. Dry ground means more sun energy goes [More]

  • Drought reversal in North Georgia, South dry

    After 11 consecutive months of drought in most of North and Central Georgia the April and May rains have brought a lot of relief.

    1.6 million Georgia residents are under a drought classification, but most of those are in South Georgia, a big reversal from past months where the Mountains were in extreme drought or worse.

    On a national basis the extent of drought is at it’s lowest since they started tracking it in 2000, at just 5% of the lower 48 states.

    During the past 7 days in Georgia 3.4 Trillion gallons of rain has fallen, 4.9 the past 21 days, and [More]

News

  • The Latest on the Senate Republican health care bill (all times local): 8:30 p.m. President Donald Trump says he doesn't think congressional Republicans are 'that far off' on passing a health overhaul to replace 'Obamacare.' But some lawmakers have doubts. Trump tells 'Fox and Friends' he believes his majority party is 'going to get there.' That optimism runs counter to the public opposition of five Republican senators so far to the Senate GOP plan that would scuttle much of former President Barack Obama's health law. And several lawmakers acknowledge that getting majority support will be tough. Unless those holdouts can be swayed, their numbers are more than enough to torpedo the measure developed in private by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and deliver a bitter defeat for the president. ___ 3:45 p.m. Texas Sen. John Cornyn says passing a health care bill won't get any easier if Republican leaders delay a Senate vote on the GOP health care plan. The Senate's No. 2 Republican said the Senate is on pace to hold a key procedural vote Wednesday. He said he feels 'a sense of urgency' to push forward because the health care system is in 'full meltdown mode.' Cornyn made the comments Sunday at a private gathering hosted by the libertarian Koch brothers in Colorado. He acknowledged the bill has critics: 'Some people have been more public about concerns but said they want to get to yes.' He said the vote is 'going to be close' and President Donald Trump is 'going to be important in the process.' ___ 3:25 p.m. President Donald Trump promised to repeal and replace the health care law Republicans deride as 'Obamacare.' But Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse said Sunday the Senate's current plan to overhaul health care 'is not a full repeal or full replace.' The Republican lawmaker says, 'This is largely a Medicaid reform package.' Senate Republican leaders are scrambling for enough votes to approve their health care legislation as soon as this week. Sasse said he's neither finished reading the bill nor taken a position on it. Sasse addressed health care at a private retreat for top donors to the libertarian Koch brothers' political network, which favors full repeal. He was the featured luncheon speaker also attended by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Texas Sen. John Cornyn. ___ 11:25 a.m. President Donald Trump is bemoaning what he calls 'the level of hostility' that he says has stymied bipartisanship in Washington. While discussing the Republican health bill during an interview on 'Fox & Friends,' Trump said it would be great if lawmakers from both parties could 'come up something that everybody's happy with.' Then he criticizes two prominent Democratic senators. Trump says the Democrats' 'theme is resist' and that 'if it was the greatest bill ever proposed in mankind, we wouldn't get a vote' from them. Trump said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer criticized the GOP bill before knowing what was in it. And the president called Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren 'somebody that's just got a lot of hatred.' Warren is a leading liberal and defender of the current health law. ___ 11:20 a.m. One of the Republican senators who's opposing his party's health care bill as written says the Senate shouldn't vote on the plan this week. The lengthy proposal only came out last week, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to begin voting this week. That's not sitting well with GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. He says: 'I would like to delay the thing. There's no way we should be voting on this next week. No way.' He tells NBC's 'Meet the Press' that he has 'a hard time' believing that his constituents or even he 'will have enough time to properly evaluate' the measure. Johnson says he's made his views clear to the party leadership and the White House. ___ 10:45 a.m. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer says Senate passage of the Republican bill to replace former President Barack Obama's health law is too close to call. He told ABC's 'This Week' the GOP has 'at best, a 50-50 chance.' In the narrowly divided Senate, defections from just three of the 52 Republican senators would doom the legislation. Schumer says Democrats have made clear they would be willing to work with Republicans to pass a Senate bill if they agree to drop a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and instead work to improve it. Schumer described the GOP proposal as 'devastating' to the middle class and 'that's what's making it so hard for them to pass it.' ___ 10:30 a.m. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she thinks getting the votes needed in the Senate this week to pass a Republican bill to replace the Affordable Care Act could be very difficult. The moderate Republican says she has 'very serious concerns' about the proposed legislation but hasn't yet taken a position on it. She cited in part provisions that she believes could cut Medicaid more than the House version. So far five Republican senators have announced their opposition. Defections from just three of the Senate's 52 Republicans would doom the legislation. Collins says another seven to eight senators including herself remain troubled about the possible Medicaid cuts. She says she intends to wait for a Congressional Budget Office analysis before making a decision. Collins spoke on ABC's 'This Week.' ___ 9 a.m. President Donald Trump says he doesn't think congressional Republicans are 'that far off' on passing a health overhaul to replace what he's calling 'the dead carcass of Obamacare.' Trump says he believes his majority party is 'going to get there.' But that optimism runs counter to the public opposition of five Republican senators so far to the Senate GOP plan that would scuttle much of former President Barack Obama's health law. Unless those holdouts can be swayed, their numbers are more than enough to torpedo the measure developed in private by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and deliver a bitter defeat for the president. Trump tells 'Fox and Friends' that 'we've a very good plan.
  • DeKalb County police are trying to find a man thought to be a serial robber and his accomplice, saying they present more than just a threat to businesses. Authorities say it’s a public safety issue, too. “It's a safety issue when you're robbing businesses,” detective Chastity Cantrelo told Channel 2 Action News. “At any point, a customer could come in and startle the suspects, and he could make the mistake of shooting someone.” The person has hit two Waffle Houses and a Walgreens in three weeks. Police say he has never pulled a gun, just shown a handle. In two surveillance videos, the robber is wearing the same outfit — a gray and black zip-up hoodie, black sweatpants and sneakers. Also, he’s always wearing a white glove on one hand to keep from leaving fingerprints, police said. The armed robberies have some people in the area concerned. “I guess they feel really bold and brazen about what they're doing,” resident Ed Banks said. “It is pretty scary.” Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting crimestoppersatlanta.org.
  • SeaWorld is under investigation by two federal agencies who subpoenaed statements made by the company and its executives on or before August 2014 regarding the impact of the “Blackfish Documentary,” according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings published Friday.  The theme-park company reports receiving subpoenas in June from the U.S. Department of Justice as part of an investigation into statements about the 2013 anti-captivity documentary “and trading in the Company’s securities.” >> Read more trending news The filing also indicates the company received similar subpoenas from the SEC, although it is unclear when those were received.  “The Company has cooperated with these government inquiries and intends to continue to cooperate with any government requests or inquiries,” the filing says.  The filing also indicates the company’s board of directors formed a special committee with legal counsel to determine how to handle these investigations on June 16, two days after the company’s shareholder meeting.  The full SEC disclosure reads as follows:  In June 2017, the Company received a subpoena in connection with an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice concerning disclosures and public statements made by the Company and certain executives and/or individuals on or before August 2014, including those regarding the impact of the ‘Blackfish’ documentary, and trading in the Company’s securities. The Company also has received subpoenas from the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with these matters. On June 16, 2017, the Company’s Board of Directors formed a Special Committee comprised of independent directors with respect to these inquiries. The Special Committee has engaged counsel to advise and assist the Committee. The Company has cooperated with these government inquiries and intends to continue to cooperate with any government requests or inquiries.
  • On the eighth anniversary of the death of pop icon Michael Jackson, some of his family members are remembering him in different ways. ABC News reported that members of the Jackson family have made social media posts and tribute performances. The late singer’s brothers -- Jermaine, Jackie, Tito and Marlon -- performed as The Jacksons at England’s Glastonbury Festival Friday. Dressed in military-style jackets similar to those worn by their brother, they performed “Can You Feel It,” the group’s 1981 single.  The brothers also sang The Jackson 5’s “I'll Be There” and Michael Jackson’s “Gone Too Soon,” dedicating both to Michael Jackson. Related: Janet Jackson loving motherhood as she gets back into her music, producer says Jermaine Jackson wrote a message about his brother on Twitter before the performance, saying, “We'll be 4 brothers on stage joined by Michael in spirit. Through the music we made together, we find comfort in memories, esp (sic) this weekend.” “We all love and miss you,” LaToya Jackson, Michael Jackson’s older sister, wrote on Twitter. Michael Jackson’s daughter, Paris Jackson, also shared thoughts on Twitter.  According to E! News, she also got a new tattoo on her foot that reads, “Applehead.” The website reported that the word was a term of endearment Michael Jackson was known to use for his loved ones. The tattoo is now one of several she has to honor her father. “With every step i take, you lift my foot and guide me forward. Love you,” she captioned the photo of her new tattoo on Instagram. Michael Jackson died June 25, 2009, at age 50. The cause of death was cardiac arrest as the result of a mixture of medications in his system.
  • The Latest on an oil tanker fire in Pakistan that killed more than 140 people (all times local): 12:20 a.m. An announcement over a mosque's loudspeaker that an overturned tanker truck had sprung a leak sent scores of villagers racing to the scene to gather spilled fuel. Then the wreck exploded, engulfing people in flames as they screamed in terror. Hospital and rescue officials say at least 153 men, women and children were killed, and dozens more are in critical condition. ___ 8:20 p.m. An overturned oil tanker burst into flames in Pakistan on Sunday, killing 153 people who had rushed to the scene of the highway accident to gather leaking fuel. A doctor at Bahawalpur's Victoria Hospital in south Punjab said the latest deaths occurred at a hospital in Multan where some of the 50 critically injured were taken, many of them suffering extensive burns. A senior rescue official in the area said the death toll could rise further as dozens are still in critical condition. Local news channels showed black smoke billowing skyward and scores of burned bodies, as well as rescue officials speeding the injured to hospital and army helicopters ferrying the wounded. ___ 2:30 p.m. A rescue official says the death toll from an oil tanker fire in Pakistan has risen to 148, with dozens more in critical condition. The disaster occurred when hundreds of residents of a nearby village gathered at the site of an overturned oil tanker to collect the leaking fuel. It's believed that a spark from the many cars and motorcycles that raced to the scene ignited the fuel. Dr. Mohammad Baqar, a senior rescue official in the area, confirmed the latest toll, updating a previous figure. He says many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition and will have to be identified through DNA testing. Some of the most badly burned were evacuated by army helicopters to Multan, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) away. The dead included men, women and children. ___ 10 a.m. A Pakistani official says more than 100 people have been killed after an oil tanker overturned and burst into flames. The tanker flipped over Sunday and the fire from the oil spill engulfed scores of residents who had rushed to collect leaking fuel. Another 50 people have been seriously injured. Dr. Rizwan Naseer, director of Punjab provincial rescue services, says rescuers are collecting the badly burned bodies, many beyond recognition. He says the death toll is likely to rise.
  • Officer Jeffrey Leach traded a chance to write a ticket for an opportunity to teach a lesson, Dunwoody police said. Leach, who joined the Dunwoody Police Department last March, pulled a car over when he suspected a child wasn’t properly seated in a car seat, police said. The driver admitted he didn’t have a seat for his youngest child and Leach, who works as one of the department’s car seat installation technicians, gave the man a choice. Rather than pay a citation, the driver and his two children followed Leach to Target, where he helped them choose a safe and affordable seat. Then, Leach installed it. “We're super proud of Officer Leach for exercising a little compassion and helping keep our Dunwoody streets safe,” Lt. Fidel Espinoza said on Facebook.  RELATED: Sheriff reduces jail time for Georgia inmates who saved officer  In other news: