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Normally in January, if we’ve gone into weather panic mode as our friend Wendy Davis likes to call it, usually is because of a French toast forecast.
That is, snow and or ice are expected and people, in turn, wipe out the milk and bread aisles. Surprisingly, no one ever mentions the beer aisle but empties quicker than a six-pack as well.
Rarely do we crank up the severe weather panic this early in the year. Usually that comes around in late February as the storm season is generally March 1 through May 30.
But as we’ve seen in Rome, with a tornado that rumbled through Shorter Avenue a few days before Christmas a few years ago. Six years ago in Adairsville and Gordon County, an F-3 tornado pummeled the area. Tornadoes don’t make much respect for calendars.
If the conditions are right – and ripe – then they’re coming.
Tornadoes are listed as a possibility in the rough weather due here on Saturday. The weather service is pumping out updated forecasts, storm tracks, expected hit times, sheltering advice, ready kit advice and just about everything else you expect in late February prior to severe weather season.
Is it hype or weather panic? Neither. They’re trying to prepare us and hopefully saving lives if we get tornadoes mixed in with gusts that likely will top 50 mph on Saturday afternoon and evening.
There’s always a chance that the hype might be worse than what we actually experience. Just remember there’s also a chance one of us could hit those magic six lottery numbers and immediately join a few other Romans relocating to Florida to save on the taxes.
No, the weather folks are serious this time – and every time. The potential for rough weather will be here, especially with afternoon highs of 72 degrees expected. Our normal high for this time of year: maybe 52 at best.
And even if we do miss the more violent storms, we’re likely due for large-scale power outages. Recent rains and another inch due with Saturday’s storms mean wet soil. High winds and wet soil mean trees down – and usually there’s a power line or three nearby as those trees fall.
The best bet is to keep all those digital toys at full change and have a few bags of ice around for freezer storage just in case.
What’s a bit odd is that the weather will clear quickly on Sunday with a spring-like day due – sunny skies and upper 60s. But if the current forecast holds, this same front will hit reverse and return to North Georgia and this time “park” over us for several days, bringing constant and flooding rainfall. At least two to three inches if not more.
So does that denote weather panic? That’s your call. Our advice: Stay in touch with whatever weather service or station or newspaper or website you trust to bring you the latest weather updates. Sign up for Code Red. Basically, stay in touch.
We’re in for a very bumpy Saturday in Northwest Georgia. Get ready and stay safe.
As for Ms. Davis and “weather panic:” We need to remind her that she’s the one named “Wendy.”