Less heat, more lightning for South Georgia

File photo

VALDOSTA — South Georgia will see a few degrees shaved off daytime highs as the classic “late afternoon summer thunderstorm” pattern settles in, say forecasters.

Valdosta’s daytime highs have been running as much as 10 degrees above normal for this time of year, with highs over the past week approaching 100, said Brett Rossio, a meteorologist with the private forecasting firm AccuWeather.

A high pressure ridge sitting over the region had been holding storms out and keeping things hot, but the ridge should start to move east, said Katie Nguyen, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Tallahassee, Fla., office.

“With hot air rising and moist air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico, a ‘sea breeze front’ could form,” bringing late afternoon storms, she said.

The resulting storms will be scattered but locally intense, producing brief bursts of heavy rain, Rossio said. The heaviest rains could come during midweek, he said.

The stormy weather will also help cool South Georgia slightly, with Valdosta’s daytime highs sliding down to the low 90s, he said.

Asked about the chances for severe weather, Nguyen said powerful downdraft winds would be possible with some of the storms, while Rossio said the greatest threat would be flash flooding over the weekend.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.

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