[7:45 p.m.]: The severe thunderstorm warning for Fayette County has expired.
[7:23 p.m.]: A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Fayette County until 7:45 p.m. by the National Weather Service.
[7 p.m.]: The severe thunderstorm warning for Cobb, Douglas and Paulding counties has expired.
UPDATE [6:37 p.m.]: A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Cobb, Douglas and Paulding counties until 7 p.m. by the National Weather Service.
ORIGINAL STORY: Spotty downpours have developed around metro Atlanta. And if you’re caught in the rain, it won’t move anywhere fast.
Channel 2 Action News chief meteorologist Glenn Burns said the storms are moving at only about 5 mph to the southeast, so some places could accumulate rainfall.
“In case you didn’t notice, it’s a bit muggy outside,” Burns said. “That mugginess is contributing to some storms in some spots, and those storms are moving so slow that some areas may pick up an inch or two of rain in just a couple of hours time.”
Those storms are developing just in time for peak Fourth of July holiday travel, which the Georgia Department of Transportation predicts will last until 7 p.m.
The express lanes in Henry and Clayton counties are running north through Friday night to accommodate the travelers headed back from the beach. The lanes will reverse to flow southbound at 10:30 p.m., according to GDOT.
An earlier crash that blocked all but one southbound I-75 lane near Hudson Bridge Road began the afternoon on a sour note, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center. While the crash has been cleared and all lanes have reopened, delays remain heavy back to the merge with I-675.
In Forsyth County, two right lanes of Ga. 400 are blocked by a crash near McFarland Parkway, the Traffic Center reported.
The break from roadwork continues Friday. GDOT has suspended all construction projects until 10 p.m. Sunday.
There is a 60 percent chance of widespread showers and storms until 9 p.m., according to the latest Channel 2 forecast. Burns said the rain could develop anywhere in North Georgia.
“These things are very hard to predict, where and when they’ll pop up,” he said. “It’s not a system moving into Georgia, but it’s just showers popping up here and there.”
Temperatures have climbed into the low 90s. Factoring in the high humidity, the heat index is pushing the “feels like” temperature up to the mid-90s. Earlier in the afternoon, it felt like it was almost 100 degrees in Atlanta.
Burns said the severe threat will stay low Friday, but an isolated strong storm cannot be ruled out. The active weather will carry North Georgia well into the evening.
The rain may not bode well for travel or Friday night activities, but it could help a little with the heat.
“It’s still going to be a very warm afternoon, but many of us will be cooled down by those showers and storms,” Channel 2 meteorologist Katie Walls said.
Scattered storms remain in the picture for the weekend, especially Sunday.
“If you’re making outdoor plans, Saturday will be your better bet, since we’re forecasting more widespread showers for your Sunday,” Burns said.
A typical July pattern of heat and afternoon storms continues into next week, according to the latest forecast.
» For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.