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FRIDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Severe afternoon thunderstorms expected to envelop Georgia

ATLANTA FORECAST

Friday: High: 87

Friday night: Low: 72

Saturday: High: 88

» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.

Nasty weather is on the way for Atlanta and North Georgia on Friday afternoon, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz said.

Most of Middle Georgia and all of North Georgia is at risk of isolated strong thunderstorms, while far northwest Georgia is at the greatest risk for prolonged thunderstorms, Nitz said.

He said there’s two things to blame: heat and a cold front.

“As this cold front approaches from the northwest and as we heat up (Friday) afternoon, that will trigger some afternoon showers and thunderstorms,” Nitz said.

The latest data I’m looking at this evening supports heavy rain and strong storms. A few severe storms with 60+ mph gusts are possible. I’ll have the latest on @wsbtv live at 11 pm. pic.twitter.com/HUWfhnO1tA

— Brad Nitz (@BradNitzWSB) June 22, 2018

The morning should be more moderate with only a few isolated showers, but the afternoon predicted high of 87 degrees will provide plenty of fuel for the storms. The average high for this time of year is 88.

Those storms have the potential to produce winds of up to 60 mph, hail, lightning and heavy downpours, Nitz said. And the rain will continue over the weekend, albeit less severely.

Saturday has a 40 percent chance of rain and Sunday has a 20 percent chance, Nitz said. A chance of rain is predicted for every day for the rest of June.

That could rain on the parade of some Georgia Department of Transportation construction efforts Friday.

Road work will continue on Memorial Drive, between Pearl Street and Chester Avenue, which will be shut down until Saturday, GDOT said. Roadwork to repair two sinkholes on Venture Drive in Gwinnett County might also carry over into Friday. The road is closed between Steve Reynolds Boulevard and Pleasant Hill Road, which is located near Gwinnett Place in Duluth.

MORE: Sinkholes open near Gwinnett Place Mall, closing street

The rain also could affect the Braves’ game against the Baltimore Orioles at 7:35 p.m. at SunTrust Park. At the very least, traffic should be worse nearby leading up to first pitch.

» For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.

» Download The Atlanta Journal-Constitution app for weather alerts on-the-go.

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