Thursday July 18th, 2024 7:30AM

Unusual tropical storm warning to bring dangerous winds to region just in time for Thursday morning rush hour

By B.J. Williams

Typically, the National Weather Service doesn't need to issue a tropical storm warning for North Georgia, but this is 2020, and it seems nothing is typical this year.

Forecasters have been tracking Hurricane Zeta in the Gulf of Mexico and once the storm makes landfall, the remnants are expected to make a rapid trip through Alabama and into North Georgia. The track of the storm will bring with it rain and strong winds, thus prompting a tropical storm warning for a large swath of the region. 

AccessWDUN meteorologist John Wetherbee said the strongest wind gusts will begin after midnight By 2 a.m., gusts will build to 11 mph and then quickly escalate.

"By 3 o'clock, we've got a 15 mph wind gusting up to 20, gusting up to 28 by 4 o'clock, gusting to 32 by 5 o'clock, gusting to 50 mph by 6," Wetherbee said. While the winds will taper after that, Wetherbee still expects strong gusts through the lunch hour. 

Those high winds will make for dangerous driving conditions, according to Wetherbee and other forecasters, and in light of that prediction, the Hall County School District has decided Thursday will be a virtual learning day. 

"Thursday October 29th will be a School-from-Home day for students that are typically in-person," Superintendent Will Schofield said in an email statement. "Virtual learning will continue as normal. These plans are dependent upon electricity and internet capacity. A decision about any Thursday afternoon/evening activities will be made by noon tomorrow. 12 month employees should contact their immediate supervisors in the morning for direction."

Jackson EMC officials said crews are prepared to handle any power outages that may result from high winds and downed trees. Co-op officials are asking residents to make storm preparations at home

In addition to dangerous winds, Zeta is expected to douse the area with as much as three inches of rain, increasing the chances of flooding across the region.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Jackson EMC, storm preparation , high winds, Hurricane Zeta, Tropical Storm Warning , school closings
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