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Latest from Kirk Mellish

    We look to stay in a soupy “air you can wear” tropical air mass with hot afternoons and warm muggy nights: temperatures above normal day and night for at least the next 3 days. The big heat wave gripping most of the nation will shift out West next week.  High moisture air will be provided at times by the Bermuda High Pressure and at other times by Easterly Trade Waves off the Atlantic. That combo plus an upper-level trough of low pressure over us will provide a potentially unstable air mass each day.  The sun will be out at times with hazy conditions and random scattered hit and miss showers and storms each day, a few heavy or strong. An early morning or late night thundershower can’t be ruled out, but the main “window of opportunity or risk” will be 1pm to 10pm. (subject to adjustment each day-- hear that on WSB radio) but not raining the whole time so plenty of dry hours each day, no wash-out days foreseen as of now.  Remember the dead horse I’ve been beating for decades: thunderstorm forecasts UNLIKE others sometimes need to be updated every two hours or so (The complex reasons I’ve explained many times before- you miss a blog you miss a lot). At least daytime highs should start to come down by next week with added clouds we break the back of the heat wave. We could even see high temperatures drop to the low to middle 80s and MAYBE drop morning lows to 70 or a bit below.  Early next week the Rossby long-wave jet stream pattern will be shifting the big heat dome ridge to the West allowing a long-wave trough into the Eastern U.S. helping to lower our temperatures but keeping the rain chance at least normal if not above-normal through early next week.  The GFSV3 Global Model indicates a cold front will bring drier air and low 80s starting next Wednesday. However, that would be a rare occurrence, fronts don’t often get that far South this time of year,  so I’ll believe it when I see it and hold off putting it in my forecast for now.  SEE HOW WHAT I DESCRIBED ABOVE PLAYS OUT IN JET STREAM WEATHER MAPS (shaded areas disturbance energy swirls): GFS ENSEMBLE 500MB JET STREAM LEVEL HIGHLIGHTING AREAS ABOVE OR BELOW NORMAL: SURFACE WEATHER MAP DAYS 3-7: SURFACE COLD FRONT PROJECTED NEXT WEDNESDAY: This time of year the normal or average (climate mean) chance of a thunderstorm is 40%.  In the weather pattern above the chance will be at least normal but occasionally 50-70% and on a lucky day 30%, but that can only be determined on a day to day basis and sometimes only 2-4 hours in advance.  ESTIMATED AVERAGE RAINFALL ACCUMULATION BETWEEN NOW AND 8AM MONDAY: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Some interesting notes on Barry from hurricane expert Philip Klotzbach of CSU.  *Barry is the FIRST hurricane of the 2019 season, almost 30 days earlier than the average first date of August 10th.  *It made landfall as a Category 1 near IntraCoastal City, LA. *The first hurricane to land in Louisiana since Nate in 2017 and the first in the month of July since Cindy in 2005. *It’s the 4th on record back to 1851 to make a LA landfall in July the others being Bob 79, Danny 97, and Cindy 05. Fortunately rainfall amounts were much less than NOAA/NWS/WPC/NHC anticipated but flooding was widespread none-the-less with many evacuations and numerous roads closed in Louisiana and Mississippi along with a scattering of tornadoes.  It was quite unlike any prior Gulf storm, as radar indicted 20 inch plus rains held offshore even as the center of Barry was 50 miles inland! Mid and upper level dry air and wind shear caused the asymmetrical shape of the rain field cutting down the anticipated rain amounts.  Despite the rain forecast being off on Barry it’s worth remembering how spot-on rain forecasts were well in advance of Harvey in 2017 (Houston record flooding) and for Florence record flooding in NC/SC just last year 2018. That’s two out of three nailed.  And the track and intensity forecasts for Barry were excellent.  In fairness, the National Weather Service DID update rain forecasts to much lower numbers as early as Saturday as the storm made landfall including just a couple inches for New Orleans. Also of note is that Barry originated over land in the U.S. (rare thing) in Kansas and YET was accurately forecast to move into the Gulf and become a tropical system 8 days in advance! Barry almost back to point of origin (10/11 day trip), from Dr. Philippe Papin: Rainfall rates up to 3 inches per hour were observed. Rain totals have still amounted to trillions of gallons over a three state area.  Many homes were damaged by falling trees.  The pumps worked and the levees held in New Orleans which was spared the heaviest rain: Flooding was still bad and widespread across multiple states: It’s not over til it’s over, Depression Barry today: Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • I will show you in the maps below how the national weather pattern and our weather changes as the soupy steamy tropical air mass of Barry leaves the scene allowing a high pressure ridge aloft to build a dome of hotter than normal air over much of the country.  ATLANTA  will come under the influence of high pressure surface and aloft with an air flow from the Southwest bringing in more moist air for high humidity while the high pressure provides the heat.  The MAP ABOVE is the projected heat index or “feels like” factor next Saturday July 20th. The chance of a thunderstorm will not be zero with the heat and humidity providing a potentially unstable air mass, but the chance will be 10-20% below-normal for this time of year. Ironically some of the highest temperatures may end up being from I-40 Northward including places like Chicago. The heat comes on as the global wind energy budget changes from -AAM to +AAM as the Pacific El Nino signal weakens. See how the upper level jet stream pattern evolves in the days ahead (ECMWF model 500mb level ~18,000ft): SURFACE WEATHER CHART DAYS 3-7: 3 GLOBAL MODELS ENSEMBLE TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE OUTPUT: They disagree on specific numbers but there’s consensus the heat wave reaches a crescendo next weekend: STATISTICAL BLEND OF MODELS: I think the GEFS and CMC are too extreme as of now so my forecast will reject those numbers for now, but I’ll revisit it when I am back to work Monday.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The current location size and shape of Barry and Tropical Storm conditions, watches and warnings shown in MAP ABOVE.  Barry is a strong tropical storm and continues to strengthen and is expected to reach minimal hurricane status by landfall, BUT it’s the rain not wind that is the main impact. 3 inches an hour or more at times over the weekend 20-30 inch total in some spot not out of the question. OFFICIAL NHC TRACK FORECAST: Isolated tornadoes will also be possible in Louisiana, Mississippi and Western Alabama over the weekend.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Tropical Storm Barry will not have any direct impacts on Atlanta but it WILL influence our rain prospects through at least Monday. The tropical air mass in place will interact with a front moving down from the North which will stall across our region into Monday before dissipating.  This combination will increase clouds and scattered showers and thunderstorms the next 3-5 days some heavy or strong, but with plenty of dry hours and dry areas in-between. REMEMBER, New Orleans can flood 3 ways... water coming down the Mississippi from up North, local downpours, or storm surge from the Gulf. This is a case of ALL THREE.  BARRY FORECAST TO BE AT LEAST A MINIMAL HURRICANE MAX WINDS 75 MPH BY LANDFALL SOMETIME SATURDAY: THE NHC SAYS: MODEL TRACK SPAGHETTI PLOT backs that up with plenty of spread:  The bathtub water temperatures in the Gulf (warmer than normal) are fuel for the storm: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • A mainly dry day again today with no major change in air mass. The MAP ABOVE shows just spotty thunderstorm coverage for today.  Variable sun and clouds the next 5 days with humidity trending up, temps trending down and coverage of showers and heavy storms on the increase tomorrow into the weekend.  PLEASE READ PRIOR POSTS FOR INFO NOT CONTAINED HERE.  We will be in the squeeze play between a front coming down from the North out of the Midwest and Tropical Moisture coming up from the South. See the sequence here: ACCUMULATED RAINFALL ESTIMATE ENDING 8AM MONDAY: As for potential future Barry the BIG CONCERN is flooding for the Gulf States. The Mississippi is already having flooding from all the Midwest rain water heading South even BEFORE they get any rain from the Tropical system! There’s concern about the levies in New Orleans: ESTIMATED DAILY RAINFALL TODAY THROUGH SUNDAY: Potential for “Barry”. Odds of a Tropical Depression now 90% within 48 hours, possible hurricane by Saturday evening: The Atlanta National Weather Service has a great explanation of the weather set-up next 7 days and some of the uncertainty and risks for Georgia: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The chart above shows plenty of warm surface water to support tropical development in the Gulf, only a small pool of slightly below normal temperatures. Surface water temps are now 84-89F, most of my college textbooks put the formation requirement at 82/83F with 80 the bare minimum.  Other tropical systems like this one have developed as a result of upper level (jet stream or slightly lower) energy (vorticity) dropping from land over the Continental U.S. into the Gulf of Mexico such as Alicia in 1983, Bertha 2002 and Edouard 2008. Bonnie in 1986 and the surprise no-name of 1943 may also qualify.  One benefit of this is that without it we’d be developing a scorcher of a heat wave again, instead it will be worse in the Western and Northern U.S. this week and next week: Of course the price to pay will be muggy tropical air and some tropical downpours and more clouds. Here’s an overview of where this has come from and the overall synoptic setting starting July 5th courtesy WeatherSouth: THUNDERSTORM CLUSTERS AND VORTICITY ALOFT: FORECAST 500MB JET STREAM PATTERN SETTING: PROJECTED 850mb HEIGHTS AND VORTICITY 8PM WEDNESDAY: Whether or not it gets a name and regardless of ultimate intensity ALL areas along and near the Gulf Coast should prepare of days of periodic heavy rain, thunderstorms and flooding.  By Friday a FRONT  sinks down from the North and will help “tap into” all the tropical moisture as it stalls across the Southern states through the weekend and into next week: Thus the tropical system will give an assist or boost to our humidity values enhancing cloud cover and providing isolated heavy downpours at times as we roll through the next 7 days (Above). By the way, tropical cyclone/tropical low/tropical depression are all the same thing. All tropical storms and hurricanes are tropical cyclones but NOT all tropical cyclones are depressions tropical storms or hurricanes. (because tropical cyclone is a generic term). Keep in mind that while track forecasts are quite accurate, forecast accuracy for intensity of tropical systems is poor.  With regard to intensity of this system something to note is where it finally develops a closed system. The sooner that happens and the farther South it happens increases the chance it has sufficient time over the bathtub temperatures of the Gulf waters to intensify more, so the farther South and a longer track West would increase odds it reaches hurricane strength (European model and some others).  On the other hand, a formation farther North means less space and time over water for much intensification and a weaker system (American GFS model). Expect model and track forecasts to continue to wobble in all directions as subtle differences in the systems energy and the jet stream (location strength and timing of high and low pressure ridges and troughs) across the Northern U.S. will exert influence on the Gulf system within the margin of error.  I don’t pay too much heed to our “spaghetti plots” until we have an actual entity over water, but FYI: Many models suggest at least the POTENTIAL for rapid intensification to at least NEAR hurricane force but uncertain as to when, how much and where.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • This type of close-in development is somewhat rare but certainly not unprecedented.  Forecasters always keep and eye on any front or upper level disturbance that makes its way into the Gulf of Mexico OR the Atlantic during the hurricane season as they can be the genesis for a tropical system when they stall over the warm water.  It could increase  Atlanta’s rain odds next weekend into the follow week but we’ll know more in a few days.  The future PATH AND INTENSITY of this system is very uncertain. Below you can see the best estimate over the next 7 days as of now but expected changes in the days ahead: 5-DAY AVERAGE RAINFALL ESTIMATE: The  DETERMINISTIC OPERATIONAL VERSION OF THE ECMWF has a different idea: However, a bit different tune from the ECMWF ENSEMBLE TROPICAL STORM PROBABILITY: Stay tuned.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB. 
  • The “Dog Days of Summer” officially start today and our heat wave continues but it will ease off a little by the weekend. Still hazy hot and muggy weather continues. Late afternoon HEAT INDEX 98-100 today and the 4TH.  More dry hours than wet expected the next few days, clouds will be on the increase next few days but still some sunshine. MOST of us will stay dry today with only a few rogue thunderstorms around this afternoon ending most areas before 10pm.  4TH OF JULY looks pretty typical for Atlanta hot and humid with a mix of sun and clouds and the MAIN WINDOW for a thunderstorm on the 4th SOMETIME between 2pm and Midnight, but most of them will end by 10pm so the majority of FIREWORKS displays tonight AND Thursday night should be dry.  Remember though as I’ve warned you before thunderstorm forecasts UNLIKE other forecasts often need to be updated every 2 hours (for reasons explained in many previous blogs). “If thunder roars, go indoors” if you can hear thunder you are in danger of being struck. PEACHTREE ROAD RACE: The warmest start in history is 80 degrees, tomorrow it wont be a record warm start but it will be a top 5 warm start very uncomfortable with a starting temperature near 77 relative humidity near 88% a N/NW wind around 3 mph partly cloudy. The HEAT INDEX by the end of the race will make it feel like around 91 in the shade, add up to 15 for direct sun. So yes a potentially dangerous unhealthy combination of heat and humidity for the racers! MY exclusive 5-day forecast here. (available 24/7/365) MULTI-MODEL BLEND TEMPERATURE FORECAST FOR MARIETTA: (MY forecast will vary) For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • 500mb Jet Stream Chart above. Hotter than normal temperatures the next 4 days as the heat wave continues this week with temps running 4-9 degrees above average. Then temperatures drop a bit as the cloud cover increases by the weekend and beyond and the number of showers and thunderstorms increases on the weekend and next week.  Meanwhile the next three days its hazy hot and humid with scattered puffy cumulus clouds developing in the afternoon, the chance of a late afternoon or evening thunderstorm is only 20% or less (”silent POP”) not enough to put in my formal forecast or cancel plans over... just know rain chance is NOT zero and when thunder roars go indoors. (POP: Probability of Precipitation) The heat and humidity continue Thursday the 4th of July right into next week but with more clouds and a 30-50% chance of a shower or thunderstorm afternoon and evening with the main “window of risk” sometime between 2pm and 10pm.  Remember, the “Heat Index” or “Feels Like” is measured in the shade, add up to 15F for direct sunlight. Stay hydrated.  GFSV3, ECMWF, AND CANADIAN GEM MODEL ENSEMBLE TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: MY forecast will vary from computer models,  it’s available on WSB radio and on-line across all digital platforms including the WSB Radio APP. 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.

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News

  • An airman was reportedly shot in the leg Thursday night at Nellis Air Force Base. >>Read more trending news The airman was taken to a hospital with survivable injuries, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Adrian Beas told The Las Vegas Review-Journal. The circumstances surrounding the incident are unclear. Police were called shortly after 9:30 p.m. and found the injured airman near the O’Callaghan Federal Hospital, Beas said. Police and base personnel are investigating how the shooting happened, KVVU-TV reported.
  • A New Jersey judge who said a teenage boy accused of rape deserved leniency because he came from a 'good family' and got good grades has resigned. >>Read more trending news Monmouth County Superior Court Judge James Troiano resigned Wednesday, the New Jersey Supreme Court announced. The resignation came after weeks of criticism from the public and death threats to Troiano's family, The New York Times reported. In 2018, Troiano, 69, was called out of retirement to hear the case of an alleged rape involving teenagers at a party the previous year, The Washington Post reported. Police said a 16-year-old boy recorded cellphone video of himself sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl. The boy allegedly sent the video to others with the caption, “When your first time having sex was rape.” Both teens were intoxicated during the incident, prosecutors said. Prosecutors in the case pushed for the teen to be tried as an adult, calling his alleged crime 'sophisticated and predatory,' CNN reported. Troiano denied prosecutors' request. He wrote in his July 2018 decision that he didn't think the teen's actions were necessarily rape, because in 'traditional' rape cases there are 'two or more generally males involved, either at gunpoint or weapon, clearly manhandling a person.' Troiano further wrote, “This young man comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well. He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college. His scores for college entry were very high.” The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court reversed Troiano's decision in June, and sent the case back down for further judgement, CNN reported. Monmouth County prosecutors are planning their next move in the case. 'While we have the utmost respect for the Family Court and the judge in this case, we are grateful that the Appellate Division agreed with our assessment that this case met the legal standards for waiver to Superior Court,' Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a statement. 'As with all cases, we are assessing our next steps, which will include discussions with the victim and her family.
  • The first trailer for the upcoming musical film 'Cats' has been released. >>Read more trending news 'Cats' is an adaptation of the 1981 Broadway musical of the same name. Based on a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot and featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Weber, 'Cats' follows a tribe of cats called the Jellicles as they decide which cat will come back to life, according to the film's Internet Movie Database page. The original Broadway production ran for nearly 28 years and won several awards, including the 1983 Tony Award for Best Musical. The movie's star-studded cast includes Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden and others. It introduces ballerina Francesca Hayward in her first movie role. Viewers tweeted their reactions to the trailer. Many reactions were negative, as viewers said they found the appearance of the cat characters unsettling. 'Cats' is set for a December 20 release date.
  • A photo of a dog tied up on the back of a tow truck as it goes down busy Massachusetts highway has upset so many drivers who saw it that they now won't stop calling the tow company. >> Read more trending news The Animal Rescue League and Massachusetts State Police are now investigating the alleged crime. The picture snapped by a Brockton, Massachusetts, man and posted on Facebook drew instant criticism. People quickly began posting their objections and flooding the towing company with calls. Apparently, the two people in the van being towed were in the cab of the tow truck and that's why the dog was chained to the bed. The dog is owned by the driver of the truck. The man who took the picture, Mike Gerry, also has a dog: Molly.  Mike says he saw the dog on the flatbed while driving down Route 128 near Route 2 on Wednesday. He beeped and tried to get the tow truck driver’s attention but had no luck. 'I posted it on Facebook for my buddies to put it out there. and it went unreal, it went ballistic,' Gerry said. 'And ever since then people have been commenting on it, 'you're doing the right thing.'' To be clear the company told WFXT the dog being chained to the back of a flatbed truck is not their policy. The driver has reportedly been fired and the dog is OK.  The company also says it is donating $1,000 to the MSPCA and has set up a call center so it can answer and return every single call about the incident.
  • An Oklahoma man is in custody after allegedly raping a 4-year-old girl in a McDonald’s bathroom while the child was on a field trip with her day care class, according to news reports. >> Read more trending news  It happened Tuesday inside a McDonald’s in Midwest City in metro Oklahoma City when the little girl went to the bathroom alone, WXIN-TV reported. Day care employees told responding officers they went to check on the girl after she had “been gone for a while.”  They said they found the bathroom door locked and when they knocked, a man opened the door.He allegedly came out with his hands up and said, “I was just washing my hands,” the news station reported. The 4-year-old allegedly told police she was touched inappropriately by the man, identified as Joshua Kabatra, 37. Police arrested Kabatra at the scene, according to WXIN. He’s facing two rape charges and a count of lewd acts with a child.
  • Do you feel you’re better focused on the job with a little light background jazz or coffee shop chatter compared to pin-drop silence? Scientists might know why. >> Read more trending news According to Onno van der Groen, a researcher with Australia’s Edith Cowan University school of medical and health sciences, some background noise can actually be beneficial for our senses. This phenomenon is called “stochastic resonance.” First studied in animals, stochastic resonance experiments suggest “sensory signals can be enhanced by noise and improve behaviour in various animals,” van der Groen wrote for The Conversation last week. “For example, crayfish were shown to be better at avoiding predators when a small amount of random electrical currents were added to their tail fins. Paddlefish caught more plankton when small currents were added to the water.” In human experiments, where noise levels were manipulated by getting participants to listen to noisy sounds or feel random vibrations on the skin, people were better able to see, hear and feel at “a certain optimum noise level.” If it were too loud, however, performance dropped. Van der Groen pointed out that stochastic resonance has several real life applications for humans, too. “Adding noise to the feet of people with vibrating insoles can improve balance performance in elderly adults,” he wrote. For patients with diabetes or those recovering from stroke, this can also be used to augment muscle function. His own research has found that when brain currents are applied to participants’ brains with random noise stimulation, “it improved how well they could see a low-quality image.” When he and other researchers applied the same technique to other groups, they noticed “decisions were more accurate and faster when brain cell noise levels are tuned up.” Transcranial random noise stimulation also influenced what participants saw during a visual illusion, suggesting noise could help people approach a situation from multiple perspectives. But the thing about stochastic resonance is it differs from person to person.  The optimal amount of noise for top-notch cognitive function depends on a variety of factors, such as brain variability. Excessive brain variability, van der Groen wrote, is common in those with autism, dyslexia, ADHD and schizophrenia. Elderly folks also tend to have more brain noise (or brain variability) than younger individuals. However, because brain noise can be altered with random noise stimulation, van der Groen believes there are opportunities to explore “interventions or devices to manipulate noise levels, which could improve cognitive functioning in health and disease.”  For example, a study of children with ADHD found white noise delivered specifically through Etymotic earphones at 77 decibels improved memory and concentration. Plenty of downloadable ambient, white and “pink” noise apps have also popped up in recent years. There’s Coffitivity, which plays an infinite loop of coffee-shop sounds — and Noisli, which suggests different sounds for different goals. If you want to improve productivity, you might mix raindrops and train tracks. For those who want to relax, listen to crashing waves. Generally, ambient noise is ideal for creativity, white noise is sound for concentration and pink noise might be most helpful in improving sleep quality. But remember, finding stochastic resonance isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Play around and see which background noises and volumes work best for you. This guide from Techlicious is a good place to start.