The massive cool down predicted for the weekend, with temperatures anywhere between 20 and 30 degrees cooler than they have been, has set up a high possibility of thunderstorms, hail, and possible tornadoes for Friday afternoon, and into early Saturday morning.
In an early morning severe weather outlook, the Storm Prediction Center predicted the greatest likelihood of severe storms in most of Alabama and western Georgia, stretching north through Tennessee and Kentucky.
At 1:10 PM, the Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for a diagonal area in middle Georgia, with the top of the warning area including Gwinnett. Shortly before 1 PM, the leading edge of the front was approaching the Atlanta metro area, and several severe thunderstorm warnings had been issued for counties in north and west Atlanta metro, although none yet in Gwinnett.
A severe thunderstorm warning issued for Hall County shortly after 1 PM predicted nickel size hail, however in my section of Gwinnett, all I say was some significant winds and about half an inch of rain.
The watch area proved accurate, with reports of penny size hail north of Columbus, and in Vienna, and 1.75 inch hail in Cordele. As of 9 PM, the second wave of the storm was beginning to pass through the area, prompting the weather service to issue another severe thunderstorm watch until midnight for counties in northwest Georgia and Eastern Tennessee.
While I wouldn’t be surprised to see some additional rain overnight, I think that the more than 20 degree drop in temperatures immediately after the first round of storms will minimize any possible really severe weather.
Updated at 9:00 PM to reflect current conditions.