A tornado watch is in effect for much of Northwest Georgia and is expected to last until 9 p.m. tonight, according to the National Weather Service.
High winds and heavy rains are expected this afternoon and evening as an unstable weather front pushed through this area. We can expect high winds with wind gusts up to 45 to 50 mph.
The potential exists for severe weather in the Rome area Saturday afternoon and local emergency responders, as well as Georgia Power personnel, are on stand-by in case their services are needed.
A line of strong to severe thunderstorms is expected to cross the state from the west. The unseasonably warm temperatures, near 70 degrees, will create an atmosphere that will be highly unstable and further fuel the storms by the time the front reaches this area.
The storm system has the potential to drop up to two inches of rain with winds that could gust up to 40 miles per hour. Localized flooding, standing water on area roads, downed trees, downed power lines and resulting power outages are very possible.
Jason Deece, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Peachtree City, said that lower level winds will start from the south to southeast than swing around to the southwest as the frontal system approaches.
Upper level winds are coming out of the west which can create wind shear which coupled with the unstable atmosphere, could result in severe weather.
“You guys are gonna get it up there first,” Deece said. The line of storms could enter Northwest Georgia anywhere from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
“It’s going to be a fairly quick hitter,” Deece said, indicating that the worst of the weather should move through the area quickly.
Floyd County Emergency Management Agency Director Tim Herrington said residents should to stay abreast of what could be rapidly changing weather conditions throughout the late morning hours and into the early afternoon.