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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


  • A 22-year-old police officer died in Oklahoma on Monday morning after he and a man exchanged gunfire when the man ran during a traffic stop Sunday night, Tecumseh police said. >> Read more trending news The officer, identified as 22-year-old Justin Terney, died of his injuries. The suspected gunman remained hospitalized Monday morning. Tecumseh Assistant Police Chief J.R. Kidney said Terney was shot multiple times after stopping a vehicle around 11:30 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of Benson Park Road and Gordon Cooper Drive. Kidney said Terney was working with dispatchers to verify information given by one of the vehicle’s passengers, a man, after becoming suspicious that he might have been giving Terney false information. As dispatchers were telling Terney that it appeared the man had an active warrant for his arrest, the man ran from the stopped vehicle and toward nearby woods, Kidney said. Terney fired a stun gun at the man. “The (stun gun) doesn’t have any effect on (the suspect) and he continues running through a wooded area, over a fence,” Kidney said. “About 25 yards inside that fence area, the officer and the suspect both exchanged gunfire.” Authorities took both the suspect, whose identity was not immediately known, and Terney to a hospital, where Terney underwent surgery for hours overnight. Kidney confirmed that Terney, who had been shot about three times, died Monday morning. The suspected gunman remained in intensive care with four gunshot wounds, according to KFOR. Terney joined Tecumseh’s police force about a year ago. “My department’s not doing good,” Kidney said Monday morning, adding that in the 22 years he has been with the department and the 38 years the chief has been with the department, this is the first officer-involved shooting for Tecumseh police. “We haven’t had to live through this yet,” he said. “We need everybody to rally around and support us.”
  • A woman fought off a knife-wielding man who broke into her southeast Atlanta home Saturday night. Adrien Gass said she was terrified when the man burst into her home on Memorial Drive and chased her with a knife. 'I said, 'I have money.' He said, 'I don't want no money. I want the car and I want your life.' And I said, 'Not today,'' Gass said. The mother of three told Channel 2's Matt Johnson that she threw a piece of furniture at the intruder, who chased her down the hall. 'I know he's bleeding because I attacked him,' she said. Gass said she locked herself in a bedroom. The attacker kept kicking the door and it hit her in the mouth while she held on to it. 'All my might, yes. I would not let that door go,' she said. Gass said she escaped by jumping out a window and the intruder left with nothing. 'I lifted up the window and pushed out and ran as fast as I could to the neighbor's house,' she said. Atlanta police said just three minutes earlier, a quarter of a mile away on Allendale Drive, someone carjacked a husband and wife at gunpoint. 'He was in the car, got the keys and gone,' Tris Siciginanosaid. Siciginano said the thief stole her husband's car and she believes the two crimes are related. 'It was too much in one night and the descriptions are so close,' she said. Police have not said if the crimes are related, but neighbors said they are staying vigilant. No arrests have been made.
  • Police have found no evidence that the man who killed four people in London last week was associated with the Islamic State group or al-Qaida, a senior British counterterrorism officer said Monday. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of the Metropolitan Police said Westminster attacker Khalid Masood clearly had 'an interest in jihad,' but police have no indication he discussed his attack plans with others. Basu, who also serves as Britain's senior national coordinator for counterterrorism policing, said Wednesday's attack — in which Masood ran down pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge before fatally stabbing a policeman guarding Parliament — 'appears to be based on low-sophistication, low-tech, low-cost techniques copied from other attacks.' Masood was shot dead by police after his deadly rampage, which police have revealed lasted just 82 seconds. Police believe Masood — a 52-year-old Briton with convictions for violence who had spent several years in Saudi Arabia — acted alone, but are trying to determine whether others helped inspire or direct his actions. Detectives on Monday continued to question a 30-year-old man arrested Sunday and a 58-year-old man arrested shortly after Wednesday's attack. Both were detained in the central England city of Birmingham, where Masood had recently lived. Prime Minister Theresa May said last week that Masood was 'a peripheral figure' in an investigation into violent extremism some years ago. But Basu said he was not a 'subject of interest' for counterterrorism police or the intelligence services before last week's attack. Masood was born Adrian Elms, but changed his name in 2005, suggesting a conversion to Islam. His mother, Janet Ajao, said Monday she was 'deeply shocked, saddened and numbed' by his murderous actions. In a statement released through the police, Ajao said that 'since discovering that it was my son that was responsible I have shed many tears for the people caught up in this horrendous incident.' Basu said there was no sign Masood was radicalized during one of his stints in prison, the last of which was in 2003. 'I know when, where and how Masood committed his atrocities, but now I need to know why,' Basu said. 'Most importantly, so do the victims and families.' As Basu appealed for anyone who spoke to Masood on the day of the attack to come forward, the British government repeated calls for tech companies to give police and intelligence services access to encrypted messages exchanged by terrorism suspects. Masood used the messaging service WhatsApp just before he began his attack. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Sunday that such services must not 'provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other.' Tech companies have strongly resisted previous calls to create back-doors into encrypted messaging, arguing that to do so would compromise the secure communications underpinning everything from shopping to tax returns to online banking. Rudd is due to hold a previously scheduled meeting with internet companies on Thursday. Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman, James Slack, said tech firms 'should be helping us more' to prevent terrorism. 'The ball is now in their court,' he said. Slack said that if agreement was not reached with the companies, the government 'rules nothing out,' including legislation. Meanwhile, the families of the dead and injured set about the difficult task of going on with their lives. The family of an American victim expressed gratitude Monday for the kindness of strangers as they insisted some good would come from the tragedy. A dozen members of Kurt W. Cochran's family gathered to face the media, sharing their shock and sense of loss. Cochran, from Utah, was on the last day of a European trip celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary when he was killed on Westminster Bridge. Cochran's wife, Melissa, suffered a broken leg and rib and a cut head, but is steadily improving. The family offered profuse thanks to first responders, British and American authorities and people who had sent notes, prayer and donations. 'Last night we were speaking as a family about all this, and it was unanimous that none of us harbor any ill will or harsh feelings towards this,' said Sarah McFarland, Melissa Cochran's sister. 'So we love our brother. We love what he brought to the world, and we feel like that this situation is going to bring many good things to the world.' ___ Jonathan Shenfield contributed to this story.