Another outbreak of chilly air is moving into the Southeast this weekend, and it could bring temperatures near or below freezing to northern and higher elevation areas of Georgia and North and South Carolina on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The National Weather Service has issued frost and freeze warnings for Thursday night into Friday morning for higher elevations in North Carolina and Rabun County in northeast Georgia, and these are likely to be expanded for the next two nights as the colder and drier air filters in and winds die down. Fruit trees in that region are likely to be affected by the cold temperatures, which could reduce yields in some areas. If you live in that area and were eager to start your spring gardens and have tender plants out, you should cover them if possible to protect against frost damage. Even in areas that are not warned, frost and freeze damage can occur in low-lying areas where the coldest air drains. Fortunately, the more recent model runs have been trending a little warmer, which means less frost damage is likely than previous thought. Note that Sunday morning is likely to be the colder of the two weekend mornings, so don’t let your guard down after Saturday. This will probably the last chance for frost in the area until fall.
Here’s the Atlanta forecast from Wednesday from Chris Robbins at iWeatherNet.com. He is a trusted forecaster that I believe has a good handle on the weather that is likely to be experienced. I will post any updates he provides this weekend.
Atlanta/Georgia [Wednesday April 6 noon]
***Freeze Saturday night***
***Frost as far south as Macon***
◙ A series of spring cold fronts will bring much cooler & drier air into Georgia by the weekend. I have been watching the evolution of this airmass in the model data for several days, and the time has come to go ahead and predict a very late-season freeze for the northern 1/3 of Georgia. This is an extremely rare event and Georgia’s freeze climatology certainly causes a forecaster to examine the data a little longer.
◙ Locations north of the pink link, including the Atlanta metro, Carroll, Douglas, Fulton, and Dekalb Counties northward, should see temperatures fall below freezing Saturday night/Sunday morning.
◙ Areas south of the 32º isotherm will likely see a frost (as far south as Macon).
◙ Frost and Freeze Warnings will likely be issued within the next 48 hours (for Saturday night).
◙ If you have sensitive vegetation, start to think about precautionary measures.
◙ I prepared this graphic yesterday evening, but decided to wait until noon today to post it. I will post further updates, as needed, with future data.
Chris Robbins, Meteorologist, M.S., iWeatherNet.com/atlanta-weather