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Latest from Kirk Mellish

    The only saving grace at the beginning of this heat wave is that the dew points are not yet high meaning the relative humidity will not be that much in the afternoon so we won’t have those extreme heat index numbers the next 5 days. However, with ample sun and temperatures 10-15 degrees above normal by the weekend and into next week we won’t need much humidity to feel heat stress and discomfort outdoors.  The prospect for rain and thunder Wednesday or Thursday is too low to plan around at only 10-20%. Remember the pets in this heat and check the back seat for kids and pets in the car, cracked windows are NOT enough.  Make sure pets have shade and water and indoors with A/C is better and remember paws can burn on hot pavement. It would be no surprise if the stagnant heat wave eventually leads to some of those “air quality alert code orange” ozone alerts as the sun interacts with auto exhaust and other air pollution so if you or someone you love has breathing sensitivity be ready. The hot and mostly dry weather expected to last around 10 days or longer. The dry spell started when we were still having mild days and cool nights and mornings.  Another effect of a long dry spell is insect trouble in the home, particularly roaches and ants. During long dry spells they are more likely to enter homes because like humans they can go longer without food than without water. So don’t leave any water in the sink or elsewhere to discourage them and lay out your traps or poison of choice ahead of time.  Energy use will be way up with air conditioners humming, I am bracing for the higher utility bill now.  Dating back to 1878 Atlanta has never had a 100 degree day in the month of May and I don’t expect that to change this year.  The highest May temperature in Atlanta has been 97 in 1914 and 1941. Record smashing highs are most likely from around Macon South and Eastward with the best chance of triple digits in those areas.  All the tornadoes and flooding in the nations mid-section is in the boundary zone between cool weather West and Hot weather East with the jet stream storm track in-between along the baroclinic zone. This is the peak of tornado season for the country and they are occurring where they typically do this time of year.  Upper-level high pressure ridge and a “Great Smokies” surface high pressure type pattern build over the Southeast U.S. with the downward sinking air motions adding compressional heating to the hot air mass moving in on the Southerly wind flow: ECMWF MODEL JET STREAM FORECAST SATURDAY: ESTIMATED RAINFALL TOTALS NEXT 7-DAYS: We are lucky to be starting this heat wave with rivers and lakes full in much of North Georgia so no water supply issues. But our lawns and gardens and farm soils will be drying out rapidly requiring irrigation.  DROUGHT will expand across the state the next couple weeks and worsen in Central and South Georgia which has been drier than Atlanta the past two months: ECMWF MODEL ENSEMBLE RAINFALL DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL NEXT 15-46 DAYS: In maps above green and blues are above-normal rainfall and shades of brown and red is below-normal rainfall. Drying spells frying in the summer because dry soil heats more rapidly than moist causing a “positive feedback loop” so the more we dry out the more likely a hot summer becomes. Heat in May does NOT have to mean a hotter than normal summer but it does tilt the odds in that direction.  Of the three main model ensembles the Canadian continues to be the coolest but still with some heat: 15-DAY MODEL ENSEMBLE TEMPERATURE OUTPUT: (Note MY forecast will vary) Middle ground more likely. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Much of the country North and West of us has been and continues to be wet while a drying trend has begun in parts of the Southeastern part of the nation.  There is no drought here yet but Southeast Georgia is drier than normal on a short-term basis. However, there are signs of at least a short-term drought expanding over much of the state. Trends this time of year and June are important because weather patterns often start to “lock-in” for weeks or months at a time and in Summer drying usually means frying.  In this blog back on MAY 11th I first showed you what was coming. Our first HEAT WAVE of the new year and “the summer” although it’s still Spring.  With an upper-level trough of low pressure out West a ridge of high pressure pops over the Southeast, with wet and stormy in-between and below-normal rain and above-normal temperatures under the jet stream ridge: There are no signs of this locking in for the rest of the Summer YET, but like I said we need to watch the trends. As of now it looks like the hot dry pattern will break down by June. Fingers crossed. BOTH the ECMWF model ensemble and the GFS ensemble (maps below) show below-average rainfall the next 1-6 weeks with mostly above-average temperatures. Soils will dry rapidly and will impact lawns gardens and farmers/ranchers. Notice above the “Urban Heat Island” effect around Atlanta really shows up in the map which shows above and below normal temperature areas in the map above.  ESTIMATED RAINFALL NEXT 7-DAYS: The flooding in the nations mid section this Spring has been reminiscent of 1993 and the current sea-surface temperature patterns are a decent match to 2014. Using those as analog predictors for the summer show this: IF the coming summer mimics those years it be a warmer than normal summer with rain near-normal to below normal.  The CAS soil moisture model however shows a much more temperate Summer, much less extreme: I’ll have my thoughts on Summer by early June. Meanwhile here is the next 15 day Ensemble models temperature guidance: If your local soils are wet or if you get a lucky thunderstorm that will hold temperatures down but if you stay rain-free for much of the duration then the higher values become more probable.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • As I’ve been saying on the radio for days it would not be constant rain this weekend with some breaks, but we will be pretty gloomy much of the time along with the threat of a shower or thunderstorm anytime of the day or night and some heavy rain totals along the way and an isolated severe storm possible. The rain odds are high. Once passed the weekend a stretch of beautiful weather awaits so there is weather light at the end of the muggy and unsettled tunnel. A cold front will sweep through Monday and bring refreshing weather with low dew points (dry air) so low humidity producing cool to chilly mornings and mild afternoons with a return of ample sun. Good weather to open the windows especially at night and get some free natural air conditioning and save some money. High and low temperatures will be cooler than normal for this time of year. Normal or average is currently a high of 79 and low of 59.  Sure the timing could be better but it beats a long hot dry brutal Summer that starts in April and doesn’t ends until October as we’ve had so many times in recent decades.  A small chance of a shower returns with another front Thursday (moisture pocket seen in Midwest in second chart below), but after that looks dry again through next weekend with a warming trend. MONDAY SURFACE WEATHER MAP: AIR MASS MOISTURE CONTENT THIS WEEKEND: AIR MASS MOISTURE MONDAY-WEDNESDAY: 15-DAY TEMPERATURE TREND ABOVE OR BELOW NORMAL GFS MODEL ENSEMBLE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The 500mb jet stream level chart shows a “noisy” flow of disjointed incoherent vorticity max and min advection.  Therefore, unfortunately it will be difficult more than a few hours ahead of time, to give a timeline for rain this weekend. That’s due to the complicated pattern with a slow moving frontal low pressure system, difficult to time upper level disturbances (aforementioned vorticity), large scale assent but varying surface instability and unknown low level outflow boundaries. I’ve often pointed out over the years that thunderstorm forecasts, unlike regular rain or snow forecasts many times must be updated ever two hours or so.  So it’s impossible to give specific start and stop times for any given place in this type pattern but neither day should rain all the time.  Bottom line for the weekend is have an umbrella available on stand-by and have a plan B if planning outdoor activities.  It should not be a constant rain either day and coverage and intensity should max out afternoons and evenings, however, there will be a chance of rain in the mornings as well.  Remember even if it’s not raining on you “When thunder roars go indoors”, if you hear thunder or see lightning even at a distance you are at risk of being struck.  Heavy downpours at times and rain accumulation over time could lead to some flooding of low-lying areas and the usual suspect creeks and streams. An isolated strong or severe thunderstorm with damaging wind will be possible. No widespread severe weather expected as of now, but that could change so monitor forecast updates ahead.  TODAY the chance of rain is estimated to start 2pm, goes up after 4pm but it looks much more hit and miss compared to late yesterday with rain amounts a tenth to a quarter of an inch on average and isolated 1 in totals possible.  Weekend rain amounts a quarter to half an inch each day on average with isolated 2-4 inch totals possible by the time it all ends. Looks like it will be diminishing Sunday evening. It turns cooler than normal Sunday into next Wednesday with highs in the 70s and lows in the upper 40s to low and mid 50s along with low humidity early next week.  Most if not all of next week looks dry, and maybe just maybe next weekend as well.  DOWNLOAD the WSB RADIO APP here and turn on weather alerts.  RAINFALL ESTIMATE FOR FRIDAY/FRIDAY NIGHT: ESTIMATED AVERAGE RAINFALL TOTALS BETWEEN NOW AND LATE SUNDAY NIGHT: EXCESSIVE RAINFALL OUTLOOK NEXT 3 DAYS: SEVERE WEATHER RISK LEVELS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY: For more Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB. 
  • The above chart shows estimated rainfall between now and 8am Friday. A warm moist Southwest flow ahead of a slow moving low pressure frontal system will bring a more unsettled weather pattern to Georgia the next 3-4 days.  The chance of rain goes up late this afternoon and this evening. There’s a marginal level 1 of 5 risk of a severe storm late day mainly I-85 West. There is a chance of rain or a thunderstorm anytime Friday through Sunday, but the highest odds each day will be afternoon or evening, so no all-day rains are expected at least as of now but stayed tuned. The odds of SEVERE WEATHER at least marginal levels Saturday and Sunday.  SURFACE WEATHER CHART TODAY/TONIGHT: SURFACE WEATHER CHART FRIDAY/FRIDAY NIGHT: SURFACE WEATHER CHART SATURDAY/SATURDAY NIGHT: ESTIMATED RAINFALL TOTALS BETWEEN NOW AND SUNDAY NIGHT: SEVERE WEATHER OUTLOOK TODAY AND TONIGHT: SEVERE WEATHER OUTLOOK FRIDAY-SATURDAY MORNING: SEVERE WEATHER OUTLOOK SATURDAY/SATURDAY NIGHT: “Normal” high temperature this time of year is 78, we’ve been above-normal for weeks now. But a bit of a cool off is coming Sunday into next Wednesday with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. We dry out Monday through Wednesday. 
  • As I’ve discussed on the radio the past couple days and in the prior blog post, not a washout Saturday. There will be dry periods before and after any downpours and storms.  There is a risk of severe weather in the form of 60mph wind gusts and maybe quarter sized hail. The tornado risk is not zero but it’s very low.  NOT all storms will be severe. Rainfall amounts the next 36 hours a half to one inch on average with 2-3-inch totals possible in some spots.  This is a standard or routine severe weather risk (level 2/5) that we experience many times a year in this part of the country, nothing unusual about it as things stand now. Hardly the end of the world.  THUNDERSTORM OUTLOOK PRIOR TO 4PM SATURDAY: MAIN THUNDERSTORM AREAS AFTER 4PM: ESTIMATED RAINFALL AVERAGE NEXT 36 HOURS: The MAIN severe weather risk period is sometime between 4pm to 11pm give or take an hour, the broad rain window is 2pm today to 8am Sunday, with the rain chance ending after 1pm Sunday.  Obviously all forecasts are subject to change so stay tuned to updates on the radio via all platforms.  For more Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB and download the WSB RADIO APP here. 
  • The weather map above is for Friday and despite some isolated to scattered showers or thundershowers in Metro Atlanta there will be more dry areas and dry hours than wet along with some sunshine.  The chance of a shower or thunderstorm goes up on Saturday as humidity continues to rise but still plenty of hours when it is not raining.  There is a standard risk 2/5 of a thunderstorm with damaging wind or hail tomorrow in North Georgia, the chance of rain Sunday is mainly before 2pm. Next week starts dry and warm. Chance of a thunderstorm returns by midweek.  SATURDAY SURFACE WEATHER MAP: SUNDAY 8 AM SURFACE WEATHER MAP: AVERAGE RAINFALL FRIDAY: TOTAL ESTIMATED RAINFALL BY END OF DAY SUNDAY 3-DAY TOTAL: MY 5-day Forecast here. WEATHER AVERAGE NEXT 6-WEEKS ECMWF MODEL: Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB and download the WSBRADIO APP here. 
  • DTN research shows the trends in weather for each season over the past decade. In our neck of the woods a warming trend for Winter and Spring in particular with a wetter trend for Winter and Spring, a little drier for Summer and especially Fall: They also looked at tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic and Caribbean:  Weak El Nino conditions are expected to continue into the Summer to near-neutral: ENSO or El Nino Southern Oscillation which includes La Nina and La Nada (neutral) impacts both tornado season and the hurricane season: The seasonal outlook from the ECMWF and other models suggest warmer than normal Gulf and Atlantic waters with muted wind shear. Tropical storm/hurricane outlooks are more accurate in the summer.  Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • More clouds than yesterday but as the above surface weather map shows we stay dry and around 10 degrees warmer than normal today. A front and weak low pressure system moves in tomorrow night into Friday as it turns briefly a little cooler to end the week: Rainfall amounts average a quarter of an inch or so, no severe weather is expected as of now, but we’ll have to monitor that for any change. Then an upper level ridge of high pressure will bring the warmest weather of the year so far next week: As you would expect with a jet stream ridge over the Southeast along with warm weather it turns drier: A warm May with rainfall normal to a little below normal.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The weather system impacting us overnight and this morning continues to look impressive. The worst pushes East after reports of 2-6 inches of rain, isolated higher totals. RADAR ESTIMATED RAINFALL THROUGH 11AM FRIDAY: Flood Warnings in green and red: NAMNEST MODEL SIMULATED RADAR 2PM: 5PM: 8PM: NOON SATURDAY: Some snow is still possible in the higher elevations of the Cumberland plateau and Smokies Saturday. Behind the cold front chilly temperatures tonight and tomorrow into Sunrise Sunday. 8AM EASTER SUNDAY: My Atlanta area 5-day forecast here. 
  • 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

  • It was supposed to be a fun ride on a roller coaster, but it ended with a fire department rescue. About a dozen children were stuck atop the roller coaster at Wonderland Amusement Park in Amarillo, Texas, KVII reported. They were at the park for an end-of-the-school-year party when the Mouse Trap got stuck mid-ride. >> Read more trending news  Park officials said they think the ride had an issue because of wind and temperatures at the park, but the 35-year-old ride worked as expected, and stopped when magnetism was indicated on the rails, KVII reported. The children were removed from the ride either via fire department cherry picker or by manually pushing the cars down the track, according to KVII.
  • Alabama Public Television is standing by its decision not to air an episode of the PBS Kids show “Arthur.” The first episode of the 22nd season, titled “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” features the first gay wedding in the show’s history. In the episode, Arthur’s teacher, Mr. Ratburn, marries a chocolatier named Patrick. >> Read more trending news  APT ran a repeat episode instead and said it does not plan to show the season premiere. “Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” APT director of programming Mike McKenzie said in a statement to AL.com. “More importantly — although we strongly encourage parents to watch television with their children and talk about what they have learned afterwards — parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision. We also know that children who are younger than the ‘target’ audience for ‘Arthur’ also watch the program.” Related: 'Arthur' character Mr. Ratburn gets married, comes out as gay on PBS Kids show McKenie told NBC News the station would have taken away parents’ ability to choose what their children watch. “The vast majority of parents will not have heard about the content, whether they agree with it or not,” he said. “Because of this, we felt it would be a violation of trust to broadcast the episode.” APT was among many PBS member stations that didn’t air a 2005 episode of the “Arthur” spin off “Postcards From Buster.” In the episode, titled “Sugartime!” the character Buster visits Hinesburg, Vermont, to learn about the production of maple sugar. He meets children who live with their mother and stepmother. The couple are referred to as partners in the episode. WGBH, a member station that produces “Arthur” and “Postcards from Buster,” aired the episode and offered it to other stations, some of which chose to air it.
  • A mile-long, walnut-shaped asteroid with its own moon is set to pass Earth on Saturday, according to scientists. >> Read more trending news  The asteroid, known as 1999 KW4, will come within 3.2 million miles of Earth -- its second-closest approach in the past 20 years, WGRZ-TV reported. While this is considered close it’s still a safe distance from Earth. The asteroid is considered a binary system, meaning it consists of one large asteroid and a smaller moon orbiting it, CNet reported. The Las Cumbres Observatory describes its shape as “slightly squashed at the poles and with a mountain ridge around the equator, which runs all the way around the asteroid. This ridge gives the primary an appearance similar to a walnut or a spinning top.” The asteroid will best be observed Saturday from the Southern Hemisphere. However, stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere may be able to catch a glimpse of it Monday using an 8-inch-diameter telescope, EarthSky.org reported. The next time the asteroid will be visible from Earth will be in 2036, when it will be even closer. More information about viewing 1999 KW4 can be found here.
  • Nasty Nick, Evil Eddie, Junky Jeff and Kim Kong are making a comeback -- on your phone. >> Read more trending news  Those 1980s collectible cards misfits return as a mobile app in “Garbage Pail Kids: The Game,” creator Jago Studios announced in a joint news release with The Topps Company on Tuesday. “Garbage Pail Kids: The Game” is a card collecting and strategy role-playing mobile game available on the App Store. Jago Studios developed the game under license from Topps, which originated the sticker trading cards in 1985 as a parody of the popular Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. The sticker cards even led to a 1987 film, “The Garbage Pail Kids Movie.”  Production of the cards stopped in 1988 after sales dwindled, but a new generation of Garbage Pail Kids stickers were introduced in 2003. “An entire generation grew up with the outrageous and satirical character art of the Garbage Pail Kids, imagining what the cards would look like if they were to come to life,” Stuart Drexler, Jago Studios CEO, said in a news release. “We are excited to bring these ’80s icons to mobile and offer GPK fans entertaining new ways to interact with their favorite characters.” The mobile game incorporates fully animated versions of the 1980s cards and beyond to battle against other Garbage Pail Kids, Jago said in its release. “When GPK was originally launched back in the day, mobile games or mobile phones did not exist,” Ira Friedman, vice president of global licensing at Topps, said in a news release. “Thanks to the giant leaps in technology since those early times, our fans can now experience the fun, the thrills, and the visual audaciousness of the Garbage Pail Kids property through their phones— whenever they want.” 
  • A newborn hospitalized in grave condition after police said he was cut from his slain mother’s womb last month has opened his eyes for the first time, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news Police said the boy’s mother, 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, was killed April 23 by a woman she met through a Facebook group geared toward young mothers. Authorities said Clarisa Figueroa, 46, called 911 after cutting the baby from his mother’s body to falsely claim she’d given birth to a child who was not breathing. Tests later confirmed the boy was not Figueroa’s. >> 3 charged in connection with slain pregnant woman found with baby cut from womb The child, who family members have named Yovanny Jardiel, remained hospitalized Tuesday in critical condition, according to WMAQ-TV. He is not expected to survive. Cecilia Garcia, a student pastor who has been helping Ochoa-Lopez’s family, told CNN she was photographing the baby Sunday as his father, Yovany Lopez, held him at the hospital. 'We were just praying and praying, and he opened his eyes,” Garcia told CNN. “His dad said, ‘Oh my God, he opened his eyes!'' She shared images of Lopez and his son early Monday on Facebook. 'We've been blessed, although this is a really bad tragedy,” Garcia told CNN. “They're such a loving and humble family and it's just so wrong what happened to them.' Authorities said Figueroa plotted for months to get a newborn following the death by natural causes of her adult son, The Associated Press reported. Prosecutors said she strangled Ochoa-Lopez with a coaxial cable while her daughter, 24-year-old Desiree Figueroa, showed the pregnant woman a photo album of Clarisa Figueroa’s late son. >> Woman faked pregnancy for months before killing mother-to-be, cutting baby from womb, reports say Authorities have charged both Figueroas with one count each of first-degree murder and aggravated battery to a child. Clarisa Figueroa’s boyfriend, 40-year-old Piotr Bobak, was also arrested on one count of concealment of a homicide. Police said first responders found Yovanny Jardiel blue after Clarisa Figueroa reported he was not breathing on April 23, according to The Associated Press. They tried to resuscitate the infant and transported the boy to a nearby hospital, where police said he was in grave condition. When Figueroa went to the hospital, doctors who examined her found 'no signs consistent with a woman who had just delivered a baby.' She also had blood on her arms, hands and face that authorities later determined was from Ochoa-Lopez, prosecutors said. It was not clear whether the hospital contacted police. In a statement issued Friday, Christ Medical Center in suburban Oak Lawn declined to comment, citing federal and state regulations. Oak Lawn police said they were not contacted about Figueroa by the medical center or any other agency, including the Chicago Police Department. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has asked the Department of Child and Family Services to determine whether hospital officials followed proper reporting procedures after Figueroa and the baby were brought to the hospital, WLS-TV reported. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • The annual Barbacoa & Big Red Festival is a food festival in San Antonio, but organizers are happier when visitors leave their knives at home. >> Read more trending news  Along with stun guns and other weapons, KSAT reported. Officials said they collected more than 600 weapons Sunday during the event, according to the festival’s Facebook page. 'Safety for our patrons is our number one priority. We are very proud to say that not a single altercation or arrest occurred at our festival,' a spokesman for the festival wrote on its Facebook page. Vigilance by festival organizers resulted in no arrests, KENS reported. Event founder DJTONYC said the delays caused by searching bags for weapons were worth it. 'Fast forward to the end of the night, if you want to know how many arrests we had, how many altercations, how many intoxicated people that we had to arrest and kick out, the answer was zero. So I mean, to me, that's successful,' DJTONYC told Spectrum News.