Kirk Mellish's Weather Commentary 

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Georgia drought update

  • 1:36 pm Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

Much of the south experienced drier-than-normal weather over the past week, which coupled with recent dryness led to widespread expansion of drought.Over five and a half million Georgia residents are covered by a drought classification.

Locally heavy rain facilitated drought reduction across the interior, while persistent dryness led to drought expansion and intensification over southern portions of the region.

Rain totaled 1 to 3 inches (locally more) from western and northern Tennessee into western North Carolina as well as northern Alabama; modest reductions in Abnormal Dryness (D0) as well as Moderate to Severe Drought (D1 and D2) were made where the heaviest [More]

Tuesdays severe weather a Mesoscale storm complex

  • 5:59 am Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

Last evenings MCC or mesoscale convective complex (a unique thunderstorm system) originated in West Tennessee and points west as you’ll see below. It headed southeast at  50 mph into Georgia and the metro Atlanta area, as expected hitting hardest north of the perimeter and weakening rapidly as it moved past I-20 and fell apart in the south suburbs. 60+mph wind gusts brought hit and miss damage and scattered hail.

MCC stands for Mesoscale Convective Complex. An MCC is a grouping of storms that is defined by characteristics on infrared satellite imagery. They bring a significant bulk of precipitation events that occur [More]

Severe threat hit and miss

  • 6:05 pm Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

The area under at least some threat of a strong or severe thunderstorm this evening covers 4-8 million people:

Widespread heavy showers and storms tonight. However, not every one will get a severe storm as they are spaced apart.

The threat is greatest the farther north of I-285 you go (and east) and the lowest the farther South and west of I-285 you go. The risk goes down after 11pm and the chance of rain goes away completely by 3am.

The danger of a tornado in the metro is very low although not zero. The main threats are isolated strait line wind gusts [More]

Looking ahead

  • 4:25 pm Monday, March 20th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

The springtime temperature swings continue but the longer trends point to above-normal temperatures winning out on average through the coming month of April.

A more active jet stream looks to increase chances for storminess in the longer term as well. But early signs still indicate the worst of it to our north and west.

The American model is warmer than the European ensemble:

Models both statistical and dynamical are still projecting at least weak El Nino conditions in the summer, maybe moderate:

El Nino is associated with fewer tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic. But it remains to be seen if the El [More]

Drought persists in the Southeast U.S.

  • 8:17 am Friday, March 17th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

Outside of Florida and the coastal regions of Alabama, temperatures were 2-4 degrees cooler than normal during the week. The heaviest rains were in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and the coastal regions of North Carolina, with some areas recording up to 3-4 inches of rain.

Florida remained fairly dry with only enough precipitation to keep drought from expanding rapidly. In Florida, the moderate drought was expanded to the north in central Florida and abnormally dry conditions spread into more of northern Florida.

In North Carolina, moderate drought was expanded while abnormally dry conditions were introduced into North and South Carolina.

Georgia had improvements to [More]

Big warmup ahead

  • 8:48 am Thursday, March 16th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

In the 30 years I ‘ve lived here it seems like clockwork. We get a frost or freeze in March right when the pear trees are blooming with their big white stinky flowers. Then we warm up again. Then we get a frost or freeze in April around the time the beautiful sweet Dogwoods bloom with their cross snowflakes.

Hopefully, if we do get cold again next month it will not be as damaging as this freeze. Normally we would not expect it to be as cold as this cold wave, so hopefully this is the coldest until next winter.

Lows Friday [More]

There came a Killing Freeze

  • 4:55 pm Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

It’s not at all unusual to get a frost or freeze in March or April, EVEN after a warm winter or in a mild spring as I have pointed out for many months now in blogs and on Twitter @ MellishMeterWSB

However, obviously just HOW mild the winter was will determine how far advanced from normal the crops and plants get. And that in turn determines the vulnerability to said frost or freeze, whether it comes at a normal time and severity or worse.

This season many plants are 3 weeks or more ahead of normal growing schedule, so with way below [More]

Snowflakes don’t matter, but another killing freeze does

  • 9:02 am Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

Yesterday a spot or two around Atlanta saw a few flurries briefly, and again today a few snow flakes have been seen even in the metro area, mixed simultaneously with big patches of blue sky.

This is being caused by the cold air advection (CAA) stratocumulus clouds, as channeled vorticity in the Northwest to Southeast jet stream flow squeezes out what little moisture is left in the air mass.

You can see those cloud streaks/streets clearly on the visible GOES Satellite image:

Sunshine will increase as the day wears on, and most of us will not see any flurries and for those that [More]

Killing freeze, coldest air in two months

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

Weather demands a wardrobe change. A freeze warning the next two nights with 12-15 hours of below-freezing temperatures and lows in the 20s. We sprang ahead on the clocks but the thermometer falls back. A wind advisory goes into affect as well, so it will FEEL like it’s in the 30s all day due to the wind chill factor.

Bad news for all the early budding and blooming plants with a killing freeze. Furnace and fireplace weather will be with us for a few days with the coldest air in 2 months.

Be prepared to take precautions to protect plants, pets, pipes [More]

The spring thermometer ride

  • 12:27 pm Sunday, March 12th, 2017 by Kirk Mellish

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