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Kirk Mellish's Weather Commentary

Posted: 7:28 a.m. Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Atlanta summer weather pattern explained 

Atlanta heat climate
The typical heat record for a Georgia summer from the National Weather Service Peachtree City.

The humidity is back up and will stay high into Monday with a flow off the Gulf and/or Atlantic, this leads to a fairly typical summertime pattern of breaks in the clouds (variable amounts of cloud cover and sunshine from day to day and during a given day) warm to very warm hazy and muggy, with hit and miss splash and dash hit and run pop up showers and thunderstorms, possible almost anytime of the day or night, but primarily diurnally driven meaning heat of the day from sun's energy, so odds peak late day/early night (some upper level disturbances enhance odds and coverage but timing of those near impossible)

Odds of a thunderstorm or shower into Saturday will range 20-50%, but if we detect an outflow boundary or upper level swirl (or just radar driven) odds could suddenly jump to 60-80%.

Rainfall totals will average .75 next 3 days, reaching an average of 1.25 for the 5 day period. The real severe weather in the nation (watches and many warnings) will remain in the upper plains upper midwest and Great Lakes region into New England and the Mid-Atlantic states.

Could a rogue storm get a warning issued here? Sure, especially with the National Weather Service "cover your axx" approach to issuing them. But we're in a pattern more supportive of just heavy thunderstorms or at worse pulse severe storms, which tend to have actual severe weather on the order of just 5-15 minutes covering only a subdivision or two so the warnings are pointless because the severe part usually comes and goes before the warning gets out.

Our parents and most of us grew up without a need for "significant weather advisory and special weather statements" for thunderstorms with strong gusty winds, lightning, small hail and heavy rain. We understood that's what a thunderstorm is and does and they happen every summer, we were not babies about it. And the media were adult about it back then, too.

With short to medium range modeling consistent with my summer outlook and rest of summer update, could this be a summer without 100? Probably. Could this be a year without much above 95? Would be no shock. Could this be a summer with all max temps 95 or less. Probably. Quite possibly a below normal total of 90 degree days.

Summertime forecast continues for the rest of the week. Warm, muggy conditions will remain in place with most highs in the mid to upper 80s, just a few 90s possible. (normal high is now 88 this time of year). We will also continue to have the chance of some showers and storms on a daily basis with the greatest coverage of showers and storms occurring during the afternoon and evening hours.

The storms will continue to be pulse in nature as well, meaning they could briefly produce gusty winds and small hail before collapsing on themselves due to weak upper level winds. Lightning is dangerous and destructive but brief flooding or ponding from heavy downpours is more likely than a true severe storm.

The overall coverage of showers and storms could increase for the weekend as our next trough moves into the Southeast states from the North.

"Raining cats and dogs"...

While the exact origin of the expression is unknown, it is widely believed that it can be traced back to northern Europe, where mythology linked cats and dogs to the weather to the point where it was thought that they were able to cause or influence it. English sailors blamed cats for strong winds and violent rainstorms, and in many old German drawings wind was depicted as a dog’s breath. The mythology thus brought together the separate concepts of rain, wind, gales, cats and dogs.

Eric Sloane, author of “Folklore of American Weather,” attributes it to a mispronunciation of “cats and ducks.” The Pennsylvania Germans were fond of saying, “It is raining to keep in the cats and bring out the ducks.”

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