'Violent' tornadoes, damaging winds possible Wednesday

ATLANTA — A warm front is expected to bring in a strong storm system to north Georgia Wednesday that will produce severe storms, hail and the possibility of tornadoes. It is expected to be an all-day event.

"Be prepared for the worst. We will have tornadoes and damaging winds. There will be damage. There will be widespread power outages," Severe Weather Team 2 Chief Meteorologist Glenn Burns said.

Watch Channel 2 Action News this Morning starting at 4:30 a.m. for the latest forecast updates.

Burns said we will see waves of showers and strong, powerful and severe thunderstorms across north Georgia.

“You need to be weather aware all day long. It is a severe weather alert day for you all day tomorrow,” Burns said.

Severe weather threat Wednesday could include:

  • Several tornadoes
  • Widespread damaging wind gusts
  • Large destructive hail
  • Flash flooding

The Storm Prediction Center has put all of north Georgia in a moderate risk for a severe storm, which is the second-highest risk level.

[READ: Understanding severe thunderstorm risk categories]

That means there is a high possibility of damaging winds, medium to high risk of a tornado, plus a high risk for lightning and damaging hail in excess of 1-inch in diameter.

Burns says there is a high probability of power outages from the storms as well.

How to prepare for the storms:

  • Have a safe plan in place about where to go in case of a tornado
  • Find a flashlight and extra batteries
  • Charge your mobile devices ahead of the storm
  • Take your smart phone off of silent so you can hear any severe weather alerts


The first wave of storms is expected to move in south of the metro beginning around 7 a.m. as a warm front moves through.

“These are super cell thunderstorms I believe we’re dealing with,” Burns said.

By noontime, the storms are expected to be over the north Georgia mountains.

About midday, there will be a lull in the storms as a cold front gets ready to approach.

Weather App

Around 9 p.m. that cold front will have started to move in across northwest Georgia.

“The cold front, no doubt, will generate more storms across northern Georgia through the evening,” Burns said.

Burns said a squall line will develop over the Atlanta metro by about 11 p.m. Wednesday.

School Closings:

Griffin-Spalding and Meriwether County schools have canceled classes for Wednesday ahead of the storms. Putnam County schools will release students early. Head Start will be released at 10:45, the primary, elementary and high schools at 11:00 and the Middle School at 11:10.

[SCHOOL CLOSINGS: Full list of closures here]

The University of West Georgia announced they will cancel daytime classes for all their university locations.

Looking ahead

There is going to be a noticeable change in temperatures as the cold front moves through, dropping temperatures into the mid to high 50s on Thursday and Friday.

By the weekend, temperatures will rebound a bit, with plenty of sun and 74 by Sunday.

What you can only get from Severe Weather Team 2:

  • Updated hour-by-hour cloud and rain forecast showing the timeline for showers and storms pushing into Georgia
  • Updated hour-by-hour storm energy forecast highlighting the potential for severe weather; where the risk is highest
  • Updated Storm Prediction Center Outlook and Storm Threat graphics

Monday's storms 

Severe weather also moved through on Monday, causing a ground stop at Atlanta's airport and damage in parts of the state.

Channel 2's Tom Regan was in Carrollton, where the National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday that an EF-1 tornado slammed the area on Monday, with winds of 90 mph knocking down trees, damaging houses and blowing the roof off a fire station.

As many as 20 tornadoes touched down in Georgia on Monday, NWS told Regan.