Sprinkling of rain contrasts to other metro areas

By Bob Paslay

Residents of Clayton County worked in the warm outdoors all day Tuesday with an eye on the cloud-covered sky, waiting to see just how much of a downpour they would get.

When the skies opened up, not much rain fell compared to some areas of the country.

"We definitely dodged a bullet," said Mike Leary, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Clayton County, .15 of an inch fell when the skies did open late in the afternoon.

Compare that to parts of the Atlanta Metro Area where the weather service said they received as much as 1.6 inches of rain by about 7 p.m.

Some more rain was forecast for late Tuesday night and Wednesday night. Just how much Clayton County will get will depend since the scattered thunderstorms can drop heavy rain in one area and much less a few miles away.

Several factors like southerly winds coming off the Gulf warmed up Clayton County to the high 70s on Tuesday, but the weather service said to expect temperatures to drop some to match this time of the season. The normal highs of 62 to 64 will be the pattern today through the weekend, Leary said.

"It should be pretty dry. There shouldn't be any problems for the weekend," Leary said. "We don't expect any big winds either."

Rain drenched the nation's midsection and South on Tuesday, while much of the West remained quiet and windy.

Across the Mississippi River Valley, the Midwest, and into the Great Lakes heavy rainfall dominated. Some areas saw more than two inches, like Greenville, Miss., which picked up the nation's highest rainfall at 2.57 inches.

Isolated reports of flash flooding occurred across parts of southern Illinois early Tuesday, and flash flooding was a major concern further south.

Severe weather struck the Tennessee Valley and Gulf Coast, with high winds and apparent tornadoes reported in western Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and southeastern Louisiana. The East, however, remained dry with cloudy skies.

In the West, conditions were mostly quiet across the Rockies, the Great Basin and into California. Meanwhile, moderate rain fell across the Northwest with some heavy, high elevation snow. Winds across western Montana and northern Idaho were gusty; a 100 mile-per-hour gust was reported across Browning, Mont.

Scattered thunderstorms and strong winds hit the Ozarks, and into southeastern Kansas and central Oklahoma. The rest of the central and northern Plains remained clear and dry.

Temperatures in the lower 48 states Tuesday ranged from a low of 6 degrees in Big Piney, Wyo., to a midday high of 86 degrees in Brownsville, Texas.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story).