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Tropical system poised to deliver heavy rainfall, potential flash flooding

Updated: Jun 25, 2021

Bottom Line:


*There is currently a Potential Tropical Cyclone impacting the Gulf coast and approaching North Georgia

*Heavy rainfall will overspread much of the region Saturday afternoon into night, with the highest flash flooding potential along an axis from Atlanta to Athens and Southeast

*Scattered strong wind gusts and a couple tornadoes are possible


Tropical season is underway and this weekend is the first recorded US landfall of 2021. A tropical system has made landfall in the Northern Gulf Coast and will track into North Georgia Saturday into Sunday.


As it does, heavy rainfall upwards of 2" may trigger flash flooding, especially along a line from Atlanta to Athens and Southeast, as well as the Northeast Georgia mountains. Portions of far North and Northwest Georgia can expect lighter impacts due to the more Easterly track of the storm.

Infrared satellite imagery of Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 Friday night
Infrared satellite imagery of Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 Friday night (Tropical Tidbits)

If the track of the storm continues as projected, Athens and areas to the Southeast will be impacted by the right side of the system. Our own Dr. Marhsall Shepherd has written about the effects of the right side of tropical systems, where he comments that "studies have shown that rainfall totals are typically greater on the right side of the storm", and he goes to stay that the "storm surge and tornadoes threats are greater in the right-front quadrant of landfall hurricanes" (Shepherd, Forbes Magazine).


NHC forecast track for Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 (National Hurricane Center)
NHC forecast track for Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 (National Hurricane Center)

While this distburnace is not projected to grow into a Category-based Hurricane, it could still generate gusty winds of 30-40 mph and a couple isolated tornadoes, particularly near and South of Athens. Further West into the Atlanta area, heavy rain and localized flash flooding are the primary concerns.


Total rainfall forecast (Weather Prediction Center)
Total rainfall forecast (Weather Prediction Center)

After a lull in rain Sunday night, more rain and storms are expected to start the work week, with flash flooding continuing to be a concern.

AthenGAWeather will be covering the disturbance as it heads through Georgia this weekend so be sure to follow AthensGAWeather on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest information.

Sources:

https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/storminfo/

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

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