What You Need To Know

On Air Now

Listen Now


Partly Cloudy T-storms
H 84° L 67°
  • cloudy-day
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy T-storms. H 84° L 67°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    Partly Cloudy T-storms. H 84° L 67°
  • heavy-rain-day
    Partly Cloudy Showers. H 76° L 65°

News on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Latest from Kirk Mellish

    The expectation for a neutral to weak LA NINA episode in the Pacific Ocean this Summer and Fall is a major input to the outlook for average weather over the next 3-4 months, but the -ENSO (La Nina) is not the sole input to the outlook. Ocean patterns in the Atlantic and Caribbean along with recent solar and atmospheric trends are also inputs. A list of analog years is composited to show what years in past history suggest could be the outcome for the coming Summer.  NATIONAL MODELS BLEND ENSO FORECAST: INTERNATIONAL MODELS BLEND ENSO FORECAST: MULTI MODEL SYSTEM SEA-SURFACE TEMPERATURE FORECAST ANOMALY: HISTORICAL LA NINA TRENDS FOR SUMMER: NORTH AMERICAN MODEL CONSENSUS: INTERNATIONAL MODEL CONSENSUS: MULTI NATIONAL SYSTEM BLEND: So the models generally agree on above-normal rainfall but are split on temperatures being warmer than normal or just normal. I will lean more on my analog years list for my outlook... ANALOG LIST CONSIDERED: ANALOG SUMMER TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL OUTLOOK: TEMPS: COOLING DEMAND: RAINFALL: Above-normal air-conditioning demand is expected in much of the country. In terms of precipitation the wettest area is the Upper-Midwest and the driest areas are the center of the country to Louisiana and in the Mid-Atlantic states. The later is subject to being thrown off if multiple tropical systems reach there as many indicators point to happening.  For the Atlanta area near-normal rainfall is suggested along with temperatures a little warmer than normal. No drought is indicated by the analogs and is supported by the model blends. A long brutally hot summer is also not indicated for our area but warmer than normal none-the-less.  That does NOT mean there will be no heat waves, it just means steady un-ending extreme heat is not expected as of now.  Remember the outlook covers the average of June-September temperatures and rainfall, it does NOT describe every day or every week. If data from May or early June indicates a need for a revision then I will update the outlook. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The recent chill is fading now as the thermometer roller coaster ride we’ve been on for 6 months now continues.  The thing about unseasonably cool weather this time of year is, that when it breaks down it usually breaks down in a big way so you get a surge of above-normal temperatures. So you go from cool for the season to almost summer. It looks mostly dry the next 7 days. And rainfall the rest of the month looks near-normal to below-normal.  It looks like that is about to happen as the jet stream pattern changes yet again from a cool trough over the East and a t ridge out West to the mirror opposite with a ridge over the central and East U.S. and a trough out west with heavy rain and severe weather in-between: 500MB JET STREAM PATTERN FORECAST: MODEL FORECAST TEMPERATURE DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL: FORECAST 5-DAY RAINFALL ESTIMATE: SEVERE WEATHER OUTLOOK:
  • It was two weeks ago I first showed the return of below-normal temperatures was coming and now it’s upon us with more to come.  We’ve had several cold fronts pass through the area this week and another one will move through by Friday evening. I’ve showed the reasons for the temperature drop with the why and the mechanics behind it in my last blog post. A light freeze will be possible in the Northeast Georgia Mountains and frost will be possible in the usual cold spots away from the perimeter Sunday morning, not great for all the tender plants and blooms.  It will not last long as has been the case for many months now, the cold snap will be replaced by a return to above-normal temperatures again by the middle or end of next week.  The cool air mass from Canada is also a very dry air mass so afternoon humidity levels will be very low adding to brush fire danger. The drier air also means an extended rain-free spell as well after the frontal passage Friday brings some showers. NORMAL OR AVERAGE FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR: PERIOD TEMPERATURE DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL: PERIOD DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL RAINFALL: Temperature and moisture changes follow shifts in the upper-level jet stream flow pattern: FORECAST 500MB LEVEL JET STREAM: GFS ENSEMBLE TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE EXAMPLE NORTH COBB: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • A wavy front near us will provide just a few scattered heavy or strong storms the next couple of days, but more dry than wet. Continued warmer than normal the next 48 hours.  NOAA/SPC SEVERE WEATHER RISK TODAY AND TOMORROW (MARGINAL): The pattern since December: unseasonably warm followed by a brief unseasonably cool spell then back again, rinse and repeat.  And here we go again. As I’ve been pointing out in multiple posts for the past several weeks this was seen coming so no surprise to followers of the blog.  A late season cA airmass gyre or vortex in the polar jet stream is progged to settle into SE Canada providing a cool down here and record cold for parts of the Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast states, maybe even the Mid-Atlantic region.  This occurs by the coming weekend and may well be repeated the following week with reenforcement. Put another way, despite the recent/current well-above normal temperatures an “early Summer” is not in the cards. The temperature step-down will begin Wednesday. The weekend looks dry and unseasonably cool. Note the change in the jet stream flow from the start of the week to the coming weekend as we go from a somewhat zonal flow with some ridging over the Southeast to a big strong tall +PNA ridge out West and a deep -NAO trough in the East: GFS 500MB JET STREAM PATTERN: SURFACE WEATHER CHART WEDNESDAY: SURFACE WEATHER CHART SATURDAY: ANALOGS support the numerical variants in showing below-normal temperatures this Wednesday through next Tuesday 85%: THE ANALOGS also indicate a risk of a freeze, especially away from I-285 30-45% (50%+ NE mountains): The GFS model however is not quite that cold showing 10 degrees below normal: However, the ECMWF model suggests 21 degrees below-normal. (Normal high 78 normal low 58 at Hartsfield Airport). TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE MODEL BLEND AND EUROPEAN ENSEMBLE: So too early to know just how low temperatures will go, but given all the green and blooming plants it bears watching as we get closer to the weekend. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The “official” hurricane season starts June 1st and runs through the end of November. I’ve already posted on the coming season back on April 17th here. Over the past 5 years or so tropical storms IN MAY have occurred more often than in the past record.  There are indications this could be another such season by the end of the May. This is the typical genesis area and track zones for “early season” systems May/June: Seasonal peak is September: Most of the numerical and statistical prediction models point to near-neutral conditions or a WEAK La Nina in the Pacific for the heart of the season August-October: ENSO El Nino vs. La Nina can be influential on the nature of the tropical storm/hurricane season: Thanks in part to the mild winter and the +AMO the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean sea-surface water temperatures are above normal, and in some areas warm enough to support cyclogenesis: Research finds that warmer than normal water near the U.S. coastline does not necessary increase THE NUMBER of total storms a season has, but DOES influence the strength of storms that form or move into those region and does increase the odds of an early start to the season.  The Pennsylvania State University team if forecasting almost double the average number of named tropical storms at 20 (average is 12). IF that number is actually reached it would make this the second most active season on record in number of named tropical cyclones.  Here is the CURRENT FORECAST CONSENSUS FOR THE 2020 SEASON: The average predictions (orange dot on the line bar at the left) are all above-normal.  Although we can not predict where storms might go or even if they will hit land until there is an actual real life storm to track this is still very concerning, especially with regard to evacuations and shelter in the time of COVID-19. Also National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center forecasters are often working from home like the rest of us, making forecasting and communicating to the public more difficult. READ story in link below: Disaster worries for coming hurricane season. State governments better get ready now for unique challenges. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • As discussed in my prior blog post the threat level for severe weather today just did not look good to me based on the key ingredients not quite in sync and with the latest data the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center now agrees and has downgraded the risk level to 1/5 or marginal. The risk of large hail is none and the small risk of a tornado is mostly South and East of Atlanta. An isolated strong or severe storm is still possible but would be the exception not the rule. Still expecting some gusty and heavy downpours in some of the showers and thunderstorms. The chance of rain goes down tonight and away after midnight.  SPC DISCUSSION: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The chart above is the surface weather map for late today. The risk of LARGE hail or a tornado is low today but not zero.  Damaging winds are the higher threat from thunderstorms today and early evening.  However, widespread damage is NOT expected, as of now. Stay tuned for updates in case that changes.  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A stray morning shower is possible but most of us will stay dry until later today. The chance of a shower or thunderstorm starts going up during the lunch hour and goes higher after roughly 3 PM.  Unseasonably cool weather follows for tomorrow. Then the weekend will have only a few clouds with a big warm-up to near-record highs by Sunday. It just looks to me that the best combination of atmospheric parameters are out of phase for most of Metro Atlanta with this system i.e. instability, helicity for rotating updrafts, highest wind shear etc. IF that changes we will find ourselves placed under a WATCH of some kind late today.  SEVERE WEATHER RISK LEVEL 2/5 TODAY: 24-HOUR RAINFALL ESTIMATE WEDNESDAY/WEDNESDAY NIGHT: THUNDERSTORM OUTLOOK NOON-4PM: 4PM-8PM: 8PM-MIDNIGHT: For more listen to 95.5 WSB Radio across all platforms including the WSBRadio APP. MY Exclusive 5-Day Forecast. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Our next chance of heavy rain or severe weather comes Wednesday late afternoon or early evening. As of now it looks like the standard or routine Spring type risk level (2/5) for a thunderstorm with damaging winds. Behind the system much cooler Thursday, but it looks like the warmest weekend of the year so far and dry.  SURFACE WEATHER CHART 8AM WEDNESDAY: SURFACE WEATHER CHART 8PM WEDNESDAY: NAM MODEL SIMULATED RADAR WEDNESDAY 2PM, 7PM, AND 11PM: use as guidance only not exact details... ESTIMATED 24-HOUR TOTAL RAINFALL WEDNESDAY/WEDNESDAY NIGHT: MULTI-MODEL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • We could be near 80 Tuesday and see low to mid 80s on the weekend, but then the pendulum will swing again. Possible squall-line Wednesday afternoon needs to be monitored for any strong or severe weather.  March was warmer than normal and April is ending up the same but to a lesser degree. In both cases the average has been the result of a lot of up and down wild swings from above average to below and back again. This pattern dates back to December 1st.  The result of the temperature changes from frequent low pressure systems and frontal passages has been +50% above-normal precipitation: It looks like we will see more for the first half of May at the very least: NOAA/CPC MAY 03-07: NOAA/CPC MAY 5-11: However, I do NOT see these as being very cold temps, just lower than average that comes and goes. No frost or freeze.  Also of note regarding tropical cyclone season. Each of the last five years has seen a tropical storm form BEFORE the official start of hurricane season.  There are signals that could well happen again this year, probably in the second half of May.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • We stay dry today as the system that brought rain and some hail storms yesterday moves away. The next system is right on its heels though for tomorrow (map above Saturday morning) but moisture return to feed it looks limited.  The NOAA/NWS/STORM PREDICTION CENTER has a 1/5 marginal risk for a severe thunderstorm over North Georgia afternoon or evening: I think the best chance for that is in far North and East Georgia away from Atlanta and more so in the Carolinas. Near-normal temperatures today, above-normal tomorrow, and cooler than normal Sunday/Monday. The normal or average high this time of year is 75. MULTI-MODEL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Kirk Mellish

    Kirk Mellish is Atlanta's first and only full-time radio meteorologist. He's also the FIRST broadcast meteorologist in Georgia and the Southeast to earn the American Meteorological Society's new Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) designation. Mellish is THE ONLY meteorologist in Atlanta to be certified by BOTH the AMS and the NWA, National Weather Association. Kirk has more than 30 years of experience in weather forecasting and has won dozens of awards for forecast accuracy and broadcasting excellence.

    You can hear Kirk Mellish and his accurate and dependable weather forecast every six minutes mornings during Atlanta’s Morning News with Scott Slade. AND listen for his exclusive 5-day forecast every morning at :18 and :48 past each hour. Kirk is constantly updating his forecast. You can also hear his weather in the newscast on the hour and half hour as well as :25 and :55 past the hour.

    You can hear Kirk Mellish and his accurate and dependable weather forecast every six minutes mornings during Atlanta’s Morning News with Scott Slade.

    Read More


  • Two people were killed early Monday after a car crashed into a Houston motel and caught fire, authorities said. The vehicle slammed into the Super 8 Motel in northern Harris County near the North Freeway around 1:45 a.m., KTRK reported. The crash left a large hole and extensive damage in the front office of the motel, police said. “The guy went off the road and crashed right into the hotel,” Chris Young, who witnessed the crash, told KRPC. Harris County Precinct 4 investigators said it appeared the car flipped onto its side before hitting the building, according to KHOU. It was not clear if both victims were in the car or staying at the motel, the television station reported. However, some witnesses told KRPC the victims were in the sedan. The motel manager also said the people in the car had been killed, KTRK reported. The motel manager told KTRK that no employees were injured, although a clerk was standing behind the counter when the crash occurred. The manager said the motel’s sprinkler system prevented the fire from spreading, the television station reported. “Once they actually got (the fire) put out, we could see the back portion of the vehicle that was actually in the lobby,” Young told KPRC.
  • An Iowa woman is accused of trying to stab a cat with a kitchen knife and then trying to drown it, authorities said. Rosemary Kay Buelow, 21, of Des Moines, was charged with animal torture in connection with the Sunday morning incident, the Des Moines Register reported. Police officers responded to a call at 2 a.m. Sunday, the newspaper reported. Buelow told police her “aggressive” cat had bitten her while she was showering and she stabbed the animal in self-defense. Des Moines Police Department Sgt. Paul Parizek told the Register. “Officers discovered serious inconsistencies and, upon further investigation, learned that Buelow had stabbed the cat, and then attempted to drown it because she didn’t want to care for it anymore and she did not believe that any shelter would take the cat,” Parizek told the newspaper. According to a criminal complaint, Buelow allegedly stabbed the cat three times in the back before attempting to drown the animal in a bathtub. The condition of the cat was unknown. Buelow was being held at the Polk County Jail on a $2,000 bond, the Register reported.
  • Officials with the Georgia Aquarium announced a new addition Sunday after the aquarium’s 20-year-old beluga whale gave birth this month to a calf. The not-so-little baby beluga, born May 17 to a whale named Whisper, weighed 174 pounds at birth and measured 5.4 feet in length. The average weight of a beluga calf at birth is between 119 and 145 pounds and the average length is between 4.5 and 5.1 feet. The Georgia Aquarium remained closed Monday to the public because of the coronavirus pandemic. Aquarium officials said their teams were closely monitoring mom and baby on Sunday. “We are so proud of Whisper and overjoyed to welcome her calf to our Georgia Aquarium family,” said Dennis Christen, senior director of zoological operations, mammals and birds at the Georgia Aquarium. “We will be there right alongside the calf as it continues to grow and learn from Whisper.” Officials said other beluga whales housed at the Georgia Aquarium, Qinu, Maple, Nunavik and Imaq, were doing well Sunday and were in a separate area of the exhibit. The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.
  • More than 5.4 million people worldwide – including at least 1.6 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Monday, May 25, continue below: Maryland company announces experimental vaccine Update 5:07 p.m. EDT May 25: Novavax, a Maryland-based biotechnology company, announced plans to begin enrolling approximately 130 people with a new experimental vaccine against the coronavirus. It is the 10th company worldwide to start human trials of potential vaccines against COVID-19, and the first volunteer is expected to be vaccinated in Australia, CNN reported. The vaccine, called NVX‑CoV2373, produced high levels of neutralizing antibodies in pre-clinical testing, the company said in a statement. “These results provide strong evidence that the vaccine candidate will be highly immunogenic in humans, leading to protection from COVID‑19 and thus helping to control the spread of this disease,” the statement said. Connecticut reports 49 new COVID-19 related deaths Update 4:29 p.m. EDT May 25: Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s office issued a statement that said there were 495 new coronavirus cases and 49 deaths. Some of the numbers have been compiled over the last several days to a week, Lamont said. As of 2 p.m. today, the state now has a total of 40,873 cases of coronavirus and 3,742 deaths. On Tuesday, Lamont reported there were 3,693 deaths. At least 706 Covid-19 patients have been hospitalized. Officials respond to Trump’s threat to pull RNC from North Carolina Update 3:55 p.m. EDT May 25: Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina and other officials responded Monday after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the Republican National Convention from Charlotte due to the state’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, WSOC-TV reported. In a series of tweets published Monday, Trump said Cooper must immediately tell organizers whether or not they’ll be able to host the convention as expected from Aug. 24 to Aug. 27 at the Spectrum Center and Charlotte Convention Center. “Plans are being made by thousands of enthusiastic Republicans and others to head to beautiful North Carolina in August,” the president wrote. “They must be immediately given an answer by the governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied.” Cooper said Monday that state health officials are working with the Republican National Committee and reviewing their plans for holding the convention, WSOC-TV reported. “North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state’s public health and safety,” Cooper said, according to WSOC-TV. As of Monday, 23,964 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in North Carolina. Officials said at least 754 people have died of COVID-19 statewide. >> Read more on Most stores in England will be allowed to reopen in June Update 3:40 p.m. EDT May 25: The vast majority of shops in England will be allowed to reopen next month as the government gradually eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said outdoor markets and spacious car showrooms will be allowed to open from June 1 because the likelihood of transmission is low there. Clothes stores, bookshops, tailors, auctioneers and other retailers will follow on June 15, as long as the number of infections continues to fall and the businesses can be made “COVID-19 secure.” The other parts of the U.K. — Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — can set their own timetables. Since a nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 23, only shops classed as “essential,” such as supermarkets, have been allowed to operate. Pennsylvania reports lowest number of new COVID-19 cases since mid-March Update 3:35 p.m. EDT May 25: Officials in Pennsylvania on Monday reported the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases since mid-March, according to WPXI. Officials with the state Department of Health reported 473 new coronavirus infections Monday, bringing the statewide total to 68,186 cases, WPXI reported. About 61% of those diagnosed have since recovered, according to health officials. As of Monday, 5,139 people have died statewide of COVID-19, WPXI reported. >> Read more on 1,625 new coronavirus infections reported in the UK Update 3:15 p.m. EDT May 25: Officials in the United Kingdom reported 1,625 new coronavirus infections Monday morning, raising the country’s total number of infections to 261,184. Officials said that as of 9 a.m. local time, 36,914 people had died nationwide of COVID-19. Nearly 38,000 coronavirus cases reported in Louisiana Update 3 p.m. EDT May 25: Officials in Louisiana reported 640 new coronavirus infections Monday, raising the state’s total number of infections to 37,809. The number was far higher than average due to a server issue which delayed reports of positive cases from commercial lab data, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. Statewide, at least 2,585 people have died of COVID-19 and at least 28,700 people have recovered from the viral infection, officials said. Patrick Ewing released from hospital after coronavirus diagnosis Update 2:25 p.m. EDT May 25: Basketball Hall of Famer and Georgetown men’s basketball coach Patrick Ewing has been released from a hospital after testing positive for COVID-19, his son said Monday in a post on Twitter. Patrick Ewing Jr. said his father was resting Monday at home and continuing his recovery. “I want to thank all of the doctors and hospital staff for taking care of my father during his stay, as well as everyone who has reached out with thoughts and prayers to us and since his diagnosis,” the younger Ewing said in a post on Twitter. “I hope everyone continues to stay safe and protect yourselves and your loved ones.” The elder Ewing had announced Friday that he was diagnosed with a coronavirus infection. Number of deadly COVID-19 cases continues to fall in Massachusetts Update 2:10 p.m. EDT May 25: Officials in Massachusetts on Monday announced 68 new coronavirus-related deaths in the state, marking the fourth day in a row that the number of new deadly cases has decreased, according to WFXT. As of Monday, at least 6,372 people statewide have died of COVID-19, according to numbers released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Officials said 92,675 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state. >> Read more on 965 new cases of COVID-19 reported in New Jersey Update 2 p.m. EDT May 25: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Monday that 965 new coronavirus infections have been reported, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 155,092. Murphy said officials also reported 16 more deaths, much smaller than the number of new daily deaths reported so far in the pandemic. He noted the low number might be due to delayed reporting over the holiday weekend. As of Monday, 11,144 people have died in New Jersey of COVID-19. WHO temporarily pauses review of antimalarial drug touted by Trump in COVID-19 fight Update 1:25 p.m. EDT May 25: World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced Monday that the organization has paused a review of the efficacy of an antimalarial drug touted by President Donald Trump due to concerns over its safety for use in treating novel coronavirus infections. At a news conference Monday, Tedros said the decision was made in light of an observational study published Friday in the medical journal The Lancet which found that coronavirus patients who were treated with antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine or a combination of the drugs and an antibiotic were at a higher risk for death. “The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met on Saturday and has agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally,” Tedros said Monday. “The review will consider data collected so far in the Solidarity Trial and in particular robust randomized available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug. The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board.' Tedros said other coronavirus drug trials were continuing Monday. “This concern relates to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloraquine in COVID-19,” Tedros stressed. “I wish to reiterate that these drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria.” Trump honors fallen soldiers, military members fighting coronavirus pandemic on Memorial Day  Update 1:10 p.m. EDT May 25: President Donald Trump is mourning America’s fallen service members and noting that Memorial Day this year is different from years past. Marking the holiday at Baltimore’s historic Fort McHenry, Trump noted that tens of thousands of service members and national guard personnel are currently “on the frontlines of our war against this terrible virus.” The U.S. leads the world with more than 1.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases and is approaching 100,000 deaths. Trump said brave warriors from the nation’s past have shown that “in America, we are the captains of our own fate.” Fort McHenry is where a poem written during the War of 1812 became “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The fort is closed to the public because of the pandemic. Trump speaks at Memorial Day ceremony at Fort McHenry Update 12:05 p.m. EDT May 25: President Donald Trump is speaking Monday at a Memorial Day ceremony at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. 96 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in New York Update 11:45 a.m. EDT May 25: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Monday that 95 more people have died of COVID-19 statewide. The number was slightly less than the 109 new fatal cases reported one day earlier. Cuomo said hospitalization rate and the number of patients needing intubations continued to fall Monday, though he stressed that social distancing efforts need to continue. Trump to participate in Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Update 10:25 a.m. EDT May 25: President Donald Trump is set to participate in Monday morning’s wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley are also scheduled to participate. Pence: Republican National Convention will be moved from NC ‘if needs be’ Update 9:50 a.m. EDT May 25: Vice President Mike Pence said Monday that the Republican National Convention will be moved from Charlotte, North Carolina to another city “if needs be” due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event is scheduled to begin Aug. 24. “I think the president is absolutely intent on ensuring that as we see our nation continue to make steady progress on putting the coronavirus epidemic in the past that, come this August, we’ll be able to come together in a safe and responsible venue and renominate President Donald Trump for four more years,” the vice president said Monday during an appearance on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends.' His comments came after Trump wrote in a series of messages posted earlier Monday on Twitter that Republicans “must immediately be given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied.” The president framed the governor’s decision to keep businesses shut in the state due to the health threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic as a political decision by a Democratic governor. As of Sunday, the last date for which data was available, 23,222 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in North Carolina. Officials said at least 744 people have died. Stay-at-home order protesters plan demonstrations in North Carolina Update 9:05 a.m. EDT May 25: Protesters organized by the group ReOpen NC plan to hold a “Freedom Rally” Monday outside the governor’s mansion in North Carolina, WSOC-TV reported. “It would just be so appropriate to do it on Memorial Day and just really shine a light on honoring our fallen heroes and standing up for freedom right now,” said Ashley Smith of ReOpen NC, according to WSOC-TV. “We just all feel it is more important now -- than many of us have seen in our lifetime.” Protests were also planned for Monday in Charlotte, Asheville, Greensboro and Wilmington, WSOC-TV reported. Rally organizers told WTVD that Gov. Roy Cooper’s phased reopening of businesses was hurting the state’s economy. As of Sunday, the last date for which data was available, 23,222 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in North Carolina. Officials said at least 744 people have died. >> Read more on Volunteers work in the night to create scaled-back Memorial Day flag garden in Boston Update 7:48 a.m. EDT May 25: A Memorial Day tradition in Boston was made possible by a group of volunteers who worked through the night to honor our fallen heroes, WFXT is reporting. Each Memorial Day for the past decade, the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund has planted more than 37,000 flags on Boston Common – one flag for each fallen service member from Massachusetts since the Revolution. The project requires hundreds of volunteers, and due to coronavirus precautions and guidelines, organizers initially canceled the event this year. To keep the tradition alive, a group of 10 volunteers worked carefully overnight to plant 1,000 flags on the common. Each flag in the scaled-back display is 6 feet apart from the others, and organizers hope the smaller spectacle will minimize the number of people who visit the garden. People who plan on stopping by to see the display are asked to wear masks at all times, stay a safe distance away from others and be respectful. In addition to the flag garden, people were encouraged to create their own patriotic displays at home this year and share photos online using the hashtag #HeroesFlagGarden. A Monday morning ceremony at Boston Common will include speakers, a wreath-laying and a rendition of “Taps.” Florida reports lowest number of daily deaths since late March Update 5:04 a.m. EDT May 25: Florida health officials on Sunday reported five new coronavirus-related deaths statewide since Saturday – the lowest day-to-day increase since March 29, records show. According to Orlando’s WFTV, officials also reported 740 additional cases of the virus statewide since Saturday. As of Sunday, the total number of cases in the state was at 50,867, with 2,237 deaths. Read more here. ‘Person of interest’ identified in bias crimes against Asians in Seattle Update 3 a.m. EDT May 25: Police in Seattle are investigating a growing number of crimes targeting Asians during the outbreak. Seattle officers said the attacks started late Saturday afternoon in the heart of Ballard and moved to Golden Gardens Park. They believe one man is responsible for all the incidents. A victim at Golden Gardens Park said the man spat in his face. The workers at Thai Thani Restaurant said the man threw things at them while demanding to know if they are Chinese. “I hear some noise, and I see some guy angry, yelling,' Umboom Moore told Seattle’s KIRO-TV. That was the first time she knew something unusual was happening Saturday night at the restaurant where she works. “Just like some crazy guy,” she said. “So I just started taking pictures.” Her co-worker, Natthiya Chumdee, said he was yelling at her. “Right over there, he smashed the window,” she said. When he asked if she is Chinese, she told him everyone there is Thai. He asked her to kneel and swear to it. “Well, I’m not going to do that,” she said. “He’s starting [to] lose control. And he comes here, and he says, ‘You know, I’m going to slam the door, this table to you.’” The night before, Tonya McCabe got the brunt of his anger. “He said, ‘Are you Chinese?’” she said. “And I said, ‘No, we’re not.’ And he still kept yelling at us. And I said, ‘If you’re not going to leave, I’m going to call 911.’ And then he said, ‘Better [expletive] call 911.’” Just last week, a man was captured on camera shoving an Asian couple as they walked by. They told Seattle police he spat on them, too. The man in these latest attacks is described as white, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, in his mid-20s to mid-30s and is of a muscular build. He was wearing a white shirt and shorts. It is the same suspect description in two attacks at Golden Gardens Park on Saturday night. “I stand back there, and ... yell to him, ‘Get out, leave!’” said McCabe. It has McCabe and the others working at this restaurant finding a different way to get around this city that is now their home. “I’m afraid to like walk on the street or take a bus,” said McCabe. They told KIRO that the man also approached other Asian-owned businesses in the area before apparently heading to Golden Gardens Park. Anyone who recognizes him is asked to call Seattle police. 17-year-old Georgia boy becomes youngest in state to die from COVID-19 Update 2:24 a.m. EDT May 25: The Georgia Department of Public Health said Sunday that a 17-year-old boy has died of the coronavirus, marking the youngest fatality and first pediatric death in the state. Nancy Nydam with the department confirmed the information to Atlanta’s WSB-TV on Sunday. The teen was from Fulton County and had an underlying condition, according to officials. His identity has not been released. More than 1,800 people have died of COVID-19 in Georgia since the outbreak began, with the median age of deaths at 73.6 years old, according to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cases of COVID-19 in children have typically been less severe, though there has been growing concern and a new warning about a rare condition recently seen in dozens of children nationwide. A spokesperson for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta confirmed that a team of infectious disease and cardiology experts are evaluating several cases in metro Atlanta of children who exhibited Kawasaki-like symptoms and inflammation. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta physician specialists stressed that it appears to be a rare finding with a low rate in Georgia. New York health officials have already issued a warning about a rare inflammatory syndrome that has infected at least 64 children in that state. A spokesperson for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta said they have experts for treating the symptoms regardless of a potential link to COVID-19. Families should contact their doctor or visit an emergency room if their child develops signs of illness such as high fever, rash, red eyes, abdominal pain and swelling of the face, hands or feet. US coronavirus cases top 1.6M, deaths near 98K Update 12:43 a.m. EDT May 25: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surged past 1.6 million early Monday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,643,238 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 97,720 deaths. The hardest-hit states remain New York, with 361,515 cases and 29,141 deaths, and New Jersey, with 154,154 cases and 11,138 deaths. Massachusetts, with 92,675 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,372, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 110,304. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 5,000 cases each. Seven other states have now confirmed at least 42,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 94,020 cases, resulting in 3,754 deaths • Pennsylvania: 71,563 cases, resulting in 5,136 deaths • Texas: 55,861 cases, resulting in 1,528 deaths • Michigan: 54,679 cases, resulting in 5,228 deaths • Florida: 50,867 cases, resulting in 2,237 deaths • Maryland: 46,313 cases, resulting in 2,277 deaths • Georgia: 42,902 cases, resulting in 1,827 deaths Meanwhile, Connecticut has confirmed at least 40,468 cases; Louisiana, Virginia, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 31,000 cases; Colorado, North Carolina, Minnesota and Tennessee each has confirmed more than 20,000 cases; Washington, Iowa, Arizona and Wisconsin each has confirmed at least 15,000 cases; Alabama and Rhode Island each has confirmed more than 14,000 cases; Mississippi, Missouri and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 12,000 cases; South Carolina has confirmed at least 10,000 cases; Kansas, Delaware, Kentucky, Utah and the District of Columbia each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases, followed by Nevada with more than 7,000; New Mexico and Oklahoma each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases, followed by Arkansas with more than 5,000; South Dakota and New Hampshire each has confirmed at least 4,000 cases; and Oregon and Puerto Rico each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Officials with the World Health Organization announced the group has temporarily paused its trial of an antimalarial drug touted by President Donald Trump as a possible treatment for COVID-19 due to concerns over its safety. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the WHO said Monday that the decision was made in light of an observational study published Friday in the medical journal The Lancet which found that coronavirus patients who were treated with hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine or a combination of either drug and an antibiotic were at a higher risk for death. “The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met on Saturday and has agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally,” Tedros said Monday. “The review will consider data collected so far in the Solidarity Trial and, in particular, robust randomized available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug.' Tedros said other coronavirus drug trials were continuing Monday. “This concern relates to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19,” Tedros stressed. “I wish to reiterate that these drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria.” In the study published in The Lancet, researchers reviewed more than 96,000 COVID-19 cases in which patients were hospitalized between late December and mid-April. The data used for the study, which included 15,000 cases in which patients were treated with either hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine or a combination of the drugs with an antibiotic, came from 671 hospitals on six continents, researchers said. “We were unable to confirm a benefit of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine ... on in-hospital outcomes for COVID-19,” researchers said in a summary of their findings. “Each of these drug regimens was associated with decreased in-hospital survival and an increased frequency of ventricular arrhythmias when used for treatment of COVID-19.” Trump has dismissed concerns around the safety of hydroxychloroquine and told reporters last week that he was taking a two-week regiment of the drug to protect himself against a coronavirus infection. The president said he was not advised to take the drug but that he instead requested it himself from the White House physician. Scientists continue to race toward a vaccine for COVID-19, which White House officials have said is expected by the end of the year. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Friday that he was confident a vaccine would be ready in the timeline given by officials. “(The Department of Defense) has the expertise and the capacity of course, to get the manufacturing done and the logistics and I’m confident that we will deliver,” he said during an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show. The United States has by far the most number of COVID-19 cases in the world with more than 1.6 million reported as of Monday afternoon, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. At least 97,850 people have died of coronavirus infections nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins.
  • Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Monday urged voters to return their absentee ballots in time for the June 9 primary, even as thousands of Fulton County voters are waiting for their ballots to arrive and the coronavirus forced some early voting locations to close. About 1 million voters who requested absentee ballots haven’t yet turned them in, according to state election data through Sunday. “Vote from the convenience of your own kitchen table. Take your time to do it, but get it done as soon as you can,” Raffensperger said in an interview. “Sooner better than later, because it has to be received by June 9, no later than 7 p.m., to be counted.” So far, over 551,000 voters have returned their absentee ballots, and another 77,000 voted in person during the first week of early voting. More than 25,000 Fulton voters still haven’t received their absentee ballots as the county’s elections office has struggled to process a flood of ballot requests, especially those that were emailed. Fulton election officials said the backlog would be eliminated by Memorial Day, but the county processed just 3,000 absentee ballot requests from Friday to Sunday. “It’s concerning that they’re still not caught up,” Raffensperger said. “What that has done has created concern on voters who say, ‘I haven’t received my absentee ballot, and yet I emailed that back in early. What’s the delay?’” If Fulton voters don’t receive their absentee ballots soon, they might not have much time to return them by the state’s election day deadline. A federal lawsuit is asking a judge to rule that ballots should be counted as long as they’re postmarked by election day. Other counties are dealing with coronavirus-related problems, Raffensperger said. Appling County will reopen its only early voting location Tuesday after it was closed Friday for cleaning because a voter tested positive for the coronavirus. In McDuffie County, two election workers caught the coronavirus, leaving its elections staff shorthanded. “Particularly on Memorial Day, we think about the huge sacrifice armed forces members made, sacrificing their lives, so we would have the freedom to be a free people and be able to freely vote,” Raffenpserger said. “These are trying times, and we encourage everyone to complete the process if you requested an absentee ballot.” You may find this story and more at