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  • Georgia drought update

    Much of the south experienced drier-than-normal weather over the past week, which coupled with recent dryness led to widespread expansion of drought.Over five and a half million Georgia residents are covered by a drought classification.

    Locally heavy rain facilitated drought reduction across the interior, while persistent dryness led to drought expansion and intensification over southern portions of the region.

    Rain totaled 1 to 3 inches (locally more) from western and northern Tennessee into western North Carolina as well as northern Alabama; modest reductions in Abnormal Dryness (D0) as well as Moderate to Severe Drought (D1 and D2) were made where the heaviest [More]

  • Tuesdays severe weather a Mesoscale storm complex

    Last evenings MCC or mesoscale convective complex (a unique thunderstorm system) originated in West Tennessee and points west as you’ll see below. It headed southeast at  50 mph into Georgia and the metro Atlanta area, as expected hitting hardest north of the perimeter and weakening rapidly as it moved past I-20 and fell apart in the south suburbs. 60+mph wind gusts brought hit and miss damage and scattered hail.

    MCC stands for Mesoscale Convective Complex. An MCC is a grouping of storms that is defined by characteristics on infrared satellite imagery. They bring a significant bulk of precipitation events that occur [More]

  • Severe threat hit and miss

    The area under at least some threat of a strong or severe thunderstorm this evening covers 4-8 million people:

    Widespread heavy showers and storms tonight. However, not every one will get a severe storm as they are spaced apart.

    The threat is greatest the farther north of I-285 you go (and east) and the lowest the farther South and west of I-285 you go. The risk goes down after 11pm and the chance of rain goes away completely by 3am.

    The danger of a tornado in the metro is very low although not zero. The main threats are isolated strait line wind gusts [More]

  • Looking ahead

    The springtime temperature swings continue but the longer trends point to above-normal temperatures winning out on average through the coming month of April.

    A more active jet stream looks to increase chances for storminess in the longer term as well. But early signs still indicate the worst of it to our north and west.

    The American model is warmer than the European ensemble:

    Models both statistical and dynamical are still projecting at least weak El Nino conditions in the summer, maybe moderate:

    El Nino is associated with fewer tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic. But it remains to be seen if the El [More]

  • Drought persists in the Southeast U.S.

    Outside of Florida and the coastal regions of Alabama, temperatures were 2-4 degrees cooler than normal during the week. The heaviest rains were in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and the coastal regions of North Carolina, with some areas recording up to 3-4 inches of rain.

    Florida remained fairly dry with only enough precipitation to keep drought from expanding rapidly. In Florida, the moderate drought was expanded to the north in central Florida and abnormally dry conditions spread into more of northern Florida.

    In North Carolina, moderate drought was expanded while abnormally dry conditions were introduced into North and South Carolina.

    Georgia had improvements to [More]

  • Big warmup ahead

    In the 30 years I ‘ve lived here it seems like clockwork. We get a frost or freeze in March right when the pear trees are blooming with their big white stinky flowers. Then we warm up again. Then we get a frost or freeze in April around the time the beautiful sweet Dogwoods bloom with their cross snowflakes.

    Hopefully, if we do get cold again next month it will not be as damaging as this freeze. Normally we would not expect it to be as cold as this cold wave, so hopefully this is the coldest until next winter.

    Lows Friday [More]

  • There came a Killing Freeze

    It’s not at all unusual to get a frost or freeze in March or April, EVEN after a warm winter or in a mild spring as I have pointed out for many months now in blogs and on Twitter @ MellishMeterWSB

    However, obviously just HOW mild the winter was will determine how far advanced from normal the crops and plants get. And that in turn determines the vulnerability to said frost or freeze, whether it comes at a normal time and severity or worse.

    This season many plants are 3 weeks or more ahead of normal growing schedule, so with way below [More]

  • Snowflakes don’t matter, but another killing freeze does

    Yesterday a spot or two around Atlanta saw a few flurries briefly, and again today a few snow flakes have been seen even in the metro area, mixed simultaneously with big patches of blue sky.

    This is being caused by the cold air advection (CAA) stratocumulus clouds, as channeled vorticity in the Northwest to Southeast jet stream flow squeezes out what little moisture is left in the air mass.

    You can see those cloud streaks/streets clearly on the visible GOES Satellite image:

    Sunshine will increase as the day wears on, and most of us will not see any flurries and for those that [More]

  • Killing freeze, coldest air in two months

    Weather demands a wardrobe change. A freeze warning the next two nights with 12-15 hours of below-freezing temperatures and lows in the 20s. We sprang ahead on the clocks but the thermometer falls back. A wind advisory goes into affect as well, so it will FEEL like it’s in the 30s all day due to the wind chill factor.

    Bad news for all the early budding and blooming plants with a killing freeze. Furnace and fireplace weather will be with us for a few days with the coldest air in 2 months.

    Be prepared to take precautions to protect plants, pets, pipes [More]

  • The spring thermometer ride


  • The British man who killed four people during a London rampage had made three trips to Saudi Arabia: He taught English there twice on a work visa and returned on a visa usually granted to those going on a religious pilgrimage. More details about attacker Khalid Masood's travels, confirmed by the Saudi Arabian embassy in Britain, emerged Saturday amid a massive British police effort to discover how a homegrown ex-con with a violent streak became radicalized and why he launched a deadly attack Wednesday on Westminster Bridge. The embassy said he taught English in Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and again from April 2008 to April 2009, with legitimate work visas both times. He then returned to Saudi Arabia for six days in March 2015 on a trip booked through an approved travel agent and made on an 'Umra' visa, usually granted to those on a religious pilgrimage to the country's Islamic holy sites. The embassy said Saudi security services didn't track Masood and he didn't have a criminal record there. Before taking the name Masood, he was called Adrian Elms. He was known for having a violent temper in England and had been convicted at least twice for violent crimes. Masood drove his rented SUV across London's crowded Westminster Bridge on Wednesday, striking pedestrians. Then he jumped out and stabbed to death police officer Keith Palmer, who was guarding Parliament, before being shot dead by police. In all, he killed four people and left more than two dozen hospitalized, including some with catastrophic injuries. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack, calling him a 'solider' who responded to its demands that followers attack countries in the coalition fighting IS in Syria and Iraq. British officials said security at Parliament will be reviewed after new footage emerged that showed the large gates to the complex were left open after Masood rushed onto the grounds. There are concerns that accomplices could have followed him in and killed even more people. The footage from that day shows pedestrians walking by the open gates and even a courier entering Parliament grounds. Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Ian Blair told the BBC that changes to the 'outer soft ring' of Parliament's security plan are likely in the aftermath of Masood's attack. The new footage follows earlier video that showed slight delays and confusion during the evacuation of Prime Minister Theresa May from Parliament as the attack unfolded. Masood, who at 52 is considerably older than most extremists who carry out bloodshed in the West, had an arrest record in Britain dating to 1983. In 2000, he slashed a man across the face in a pub parking lot in a racially charged argument after drinking, according to a newspaper account. Masood's last conviction, in 2003, also involved a knife attack. One victim, Danny Smith, told The Sun newspaper that Masood had stabbed him in the face with a kitchen knife after an argument just three days after they met. Hundreds of British police have been working to determine his motives and are scouring Masood's communications systems, including his possible use of the encrypted WhatsApp device, to help determine if he had any accomplices. Still, police have released many of those they took in for questioning in the case. One 58-year-old man remains in custody for questioning after being arrested Thursday in the central English city of Birmingham, where Masood was living. Authorities haven't charged or identified him. A 32-year-old woman arrested in Manchester has been released on bail and faces further inquiries. Police said Saturday that a 27-year-old man arrested Thursday in Birmingham has been released. Eight others arrested in connection with the investigation had been set free earlier, including a 39-year-old woman who had initially been freed on bail but now faces no further police action, police said Saturday. Details about how Masood became radicalized aren't clear, although he may have become exposed to radical views while an inmate in Britain or while working in conservative Saudi Arabia. It's also not clear when he took the name Masood, suggesting a conversion to Islam.
  • RADFORD, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina sheriff says a newborn and the baby's 2-year-old sister have been found stabbed to death.Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin tells WRAL (http://bit.ly/2n1S80h) the bodies of 4-day-old Genesis Freeman and 2-year-old Serenity Freeman were found Saturday in the woods near an intersection close to the city of Raeford.Before they were found, their 30-year-old father Tillman Freeman was arrested and charged with two counts of child abuse and child endangerment. Authorities said the father refused to cooperate with the investigation into the children's whereabouts. TRENDING STORIES: Plane crashes near Cobb County home; 1 killed Company will pay you $10K a month to travel, stay in luxury homes Home Depot accused of unsafe practices; Criminal investigation launched They have not said who they think killed the children, who were reported missing following a domestic dispute. Freeman's wife was in a local hospital when the children disappeared.Details about the domestic dispute were not immediately released. It's not clear whether Freeman has an attorney.
  • Tens of thousands protested Saturday under sunny skies in London against plans for Britain to withdraw from the European Union. The Unite for Europe march, which saw many people carrying bright blue EU flags, came just days before Britain is expected to begin its formal separation from the other 27 nations in the EU. The crowds observed a minute of silence at Parliament Square as a tribute to the four victims killed and dozens wounded in an attack Wednesday on Parliament. Many bowed their heads as Big Ben chimed and placed flowers at Parliament's gate to honor the victims. Police did not provide a crowd estimate. Organizers said more than 25,000 people were present. There was also a smaller anti-Brexit protest march in Edinburgh, Scotland. Organizers considered delaying the long-planned march because of the attack — in part to avoid putting extra strain on British police — but decided to go ahead. Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron told the crowd that 'democracy continues' despite the assault. 'We stand in defiance of that attack,' he said. Prime Minister Theresa May plans to trigger Article 50 of the EU treaty on Wednesday, setting the Brexit process in motion. Negotiations are expected to take at least two years. Britain voted in a June 23 referendum to leave the EU.
  • Tyler Dorsey poured in 27 points, Dillon Brooks added 17 and plucky Oregon ended Kansas' romp through the NCAA Tournament with a 74-60 victory Saturday night that gave the Ducks their first Final Four trip in nearly 80 years. Dylan Ennis added 12 points for the Ducks (33-5), who took the lead with 16 minutes left in the first half and never trailed again, giving coach Dana Altman his first trip to the national semifinals. They'll face the winner of Sunday's game between North Carolina and Kentucky in Glendale, Arizona. Player of the year front-runner Frank Mason III had 21 points in his final game for the Jayhawks (31-5), who had rolled to the Elite Eight by an average margin of 30 points. But their dream season ended with a thud just 40 minutes from campus on a night where very little went right. Star freshman Josh Jackson was mired in early foul trouble. Sharpshooting guard Devonte Graham never got on track. And the swagger that the Big 12 champs showed in humiliating Purdue in the Sweet 16 quickly became a distant memory on a night that belonged to the Pac-12 champions. Altman had never been to the Final Four in 13 appearances in the NCAA Tournament. And the last time the Ducks were on the big stage, it was 1939 and the Tall Firs took home the title. Jordan Bell added 11 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks for Oregon, while Jackson was held to 10 points for the Jayhawks in what was almost certainly his final college game. The bus carrying the Ducks to Sprint Center on Saturday passed right by the Power and Light District in downtown Kansas City, where thousands of Jayhawk fans were rallying hours before the tipoff. In other words, they knew they were facing a de facto road game. But the torrid shooting of Brooks, Ennis and Dorsey quickly riled up the small section of Oregon fans while deflating the rest of sold-out Sprint Center. And foul trouble that sent Jackson to the bench for much of the first half helped allow the Ducks carve out a comfortable lead. Dorsey finished the half with back-to-back 3s, including a deep bank shot at the buzzer, as the Ducks pranced to their locker room relishing in a 44-33 advantage. They kept right on dancing in the second half, beating the Jayhawks at their own game: Getting into transition, passing up good shots for better ones and knocking down 3-pointers. The Ducks' lead swelled to 55-37 when Brooks drilled another shot from the perimeter, creating the kind of hole Kansas has rarely faced. And the frustration was on the Jayhawks bench was only compounded every time Jackson or Graham tossed up a shot that clanked hollowly off the iron, their sense of desperation growing with every squandered opportunity. Jackson didn't score until midway through the second half. Graham was 0 for 6 beyond the arc. The Jayhawks eventually began to whittle into the deficit, doing most of the work at the free-throw line, where they were in the bonus with 11 minutes to go. But the Ducks remained poised down the stretch, answering just enough times to keep the crowd from giving Kansas any extra juice. When Svi Mykhailiuk scored to make it 64-55, Ennis answered with a driving basket. When Mykhailiuk buried a 3 from the corner to make it 66-60 with 2:49 left, Dorsey answered at the other end with another 3-pointer as the shot-clock expired to give Oregon some breathing room. The Ducks never even bothered with free throws to put the game away. BIG PICTURE Oregon wound up shooting 51 percent from the field and hit 11 of 25 from beyond the arc. It's the kind of torrid shooting that has derailed the Jayhawks several times this season. Kansas also lost in the regional semifinals a year ago, and the round has quickly become the biggest source of frustration for Jayhawks coach Bill Self. He even alluded to the problems on Friday, saying the round is 'probably the hardest' in the entire tournament. UP NEXT The Ducks are headed to the desert to play for a spot in the national championship. ___ More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25