Cloudy, breezy and cool through Friday as the ‘Wedge’ settles over North Georgia

The Atlanta Airport registered 90 degrees on Mother’s Day, but now the thermometer is going in the opposite direction!

Cloudy, breezy and cool conditions will prevail today through Friday, courtesy of our buddy “The Wedge”.

I call this “our buddy” because The Wedge happens pretty frequently in Metro Atlanta. The metro area is located in the Piedmont of the Appalachian Mountains, which means it is in the southern periphery of the mountain chain.

When a pressure system sets up along the East Coast, it forces -- or “wedges” -- cold air into the Appalachian Mountains. For Metro Atlanta, the “wedge” often sets up when high pressure is located in New England.

Other times, the “wedge” develops when low pressure is just off the coast of New England or the coast of the Carolinas.

A hybrid of both will set up this week, as high pressure develops off the coast of New England while a surface low meanders its way through the low country of the Carolinas.

Frigid air in New England is responsible for the cool air flowing through the Appalachians into the Southeast. Thursday morning lows dipped into the 20s in Burlington, Vermont, and this air is flowing south into Georgia.

This air accumulates along the ridge of the mountains, and it is able to rise high enough to create cloud cover, but not necessarily enough to move over the top of the mountain range. As a result, the cold, dense air oozes or slides south along the mountains before draining in the Piedmont in north and central Georgia.

Meanwhile, a surface low will be responsible for pushing occasional rain showers into North Georgia, including Metro Atlanta.

As a result, easterly winds will continue to push cool, dry air in to Metro Atlanta. Both morning and afternoon temperatures will remain about 5 degrees below average today and Friday, before the air moderates and warms up with the sunshine on Saturday.

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