Athens, GA Weather for Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Partly Sunny

Showers and Storms in the Afternoon/Evening

High: 81°F

Low: 53°F

The Southeast remained fairly clear and dry. Image Credit: NOAA/NASA via COD NEXLAB

If you had the Monday blues, the nice weather was there to cheer you up! Minus a few passing clouds, the sun warmed up the Classic City to a high of 76°F, which is nine degrees above average for this time of year. All eyes are pointed towards a cold front that is heading towards the Southeast. Ahead of it, we have the chance to see a few strong to severe storms in the afternoon and evening hours. When could we expect these storms? What are the main threats? Read more to find out!

Quick Forecast:

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a southwesterly wind around 5 mph. Low near 53°F.

Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a 60% of showers and thunderstorms after 5 p.m. EDT. Some storms may be strong or severe. Westerly wind around 5-15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. High near 81°F.

Tuesday’s Forecast

We may hit the 80°F mark on Tuesday. Image Credit: GFS via Weatherbell

We should wake up to partly skies in the morning. We shouldn’t have a problem seeing plenty of sunshine during the morning and early afternoon hours. Temperatures may reach the upper 70s around the Athens area, although we have a decent chance at seeing 80°F or above. The record high for tomorrow is 84°F, so that will be something to watch. Clouds should start to build in more after we hit noon EDT Tuesday.

Severe weather outlook for Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Image Credit: Storm Prediction Center (SPC)

A cold front will be approaching the Peach State from the north. Air ahead of the front will be lifted higher into the atmosphere, which creates showers and thunderstorms. The graphic above is a severe weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). It has Athens in the dark green “marginal” risk, which is a threat level 1 out of 5. This means that isolated severe thunderstorms are possible, but they will probably probably be limited in coverage, duration, and intensity. Meanwhile, just to our north, the rest of north Georgia is under a “slight” risk, which is a threat level of 2 out of 5. They have the greater chance at seeing severe weather. Here are the main risks.

  • Large hail (quarter-sized or above)
  • Damaging wind gusts with thunderstorms
  • No tornado worries at this time due to lack of wind shear (change of wind speed/direction as you go higher in the atmosphere)

Timing

7 p.m. EDT Tuesday

North Georgia may see some strong to severe storms starting around 7 p.m. EDT. Image Credit: NAM 4km via Weatherbell

After 4 p.m. EDT, north Georgia in general may see a small scattered drizzle or shower. However, the action should really start around 7 p.m. EDT, according to the latest short-term forecast models. The northwestern counties could expect moderate-to-heavy rain, frequent lightning, hail, and damaging winds. Athens may see a few showers at this time, but the main risks shouldn’t be affecting us quite yet.

11 p.m. EDT Tuesday

Athens could really be seeing some storms around 11 p.m. EDT Tuesday. Image Credit: NAM 4km via Weatherbell

Best chance for Athens to see strong or severe storms is 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday night to midnight EDT Wednesday. I’m expecting places to our north and west to see the worse weather, because the sun will still be up at those times. As it nears Athens, the sun will be setting, which helps reduce the energy needed to support thunderstorms. However, I would still be on the lookout for rain, lightning, hail, and damaging winds. Be sure you have a way to receive weather notifications. We’ll keep up with this on all of our social media outlets.

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About Ian Boatman

Ian graduated from the University of Georgia on May 5, 2017, with Bachelor of Science degrees in Atmospheric Sciences and Geography. Ian has always had a great interest in the weather, starting from the ripe old age of 6. Ian has returned to UGA, where he's working on his Master of Science in Geography. His graduate research covers thunderstorm-related asthma epidemics, which is under the direction of Dr. Andrew Grundstein. Ian is also the Graduate Representative of the UGA student chapter of the American Meteorological Society (UGAAMS). Ian has previous on-air experience, as he has done TV forecasting for WUGA-TV and Grady Newsource. Outside of his moments of being a Weather Geek, you'll probably find Ian wearing red and black, as he is arguably the biggest UGA fanatic you'll ever meet in your life, so much so that he spent all four years of his undergraduate career as a dedicated member of the UGA Spike Squad.

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