Meteorologists say heavy rainfall over the next few days could put a real damper on Fourth of July holiday plans.
Mark Ressler, lead meteorologist with The Weather Channel, said communities across metro Atlanta will see scattered showers starting Tuesday and on Wednesday and Thursday. Any holiday plans could be a washout.
Rain or shine — but depending on whether there’s thunder and lightning — the city of Marietta still plans to hold its annual “Let Freedom Ring” parade, festivities and fireworks program Thursday.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday in front of Roswell Street Baptist Church, marching its way down Roswell Street to the Marietta Square.
“We will make the decision about it on the morning of,” said Maggi Moss with the parks and recreation department. “As of right now though, everything is still a go.”
Moss has never known the events to be canceled in her 13 years with the city.
If called off, Moss said they will notify people on Facebook and Twitter and through local media outlets and the police department.
The anticipated rainfall is the result of a weather system in the Mississippi Valley area and in the Atlantic Ocean coming together and bringing storms to states along the eastern seaboard, Ressler said.
“It’s hard to get pretty persistent, all-day rain events this time of year, but it’s sort of been conspiring,” he said. “We could get anywhere from an inch in some areas to as much as 4 or 5 inches before this week is all done.”
Nate Mayes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, said the percentage of expected rainfall will increase from 30 percent today to 80 percent on Independence Day.
The chances for rainfall will fall to about 50 percent on Friday then to 30 percent on Saturday and 20 percent on Sunday.
With a weather pattern like this, Ressler said flash-flood warnings will increase and some storms could bring gusty winds.
“Both days look like they will be very wet days and that’s when everybody wants to be outside,” he said of the holiday. “This is one time that I hope the forecast is off because I too have Wednesday and Thursday off.”
As far as the temperature over the next few days, it’ll settle around the mid- to-upper 80s through the week, which Ressler said is much better than this time last year when an all-time record high of 106 was recorded.
“Last year’s weather was scorching hot at this point,” he said. “This is a far cry from that.”
Humidity levels will sit between 70 and 80 percent, which is very high for the daytime period, he said.
Ressler also said rainfall like this could cause problems because of the ground being saturated from large amounts of rainfall in 2013.
“The area is already fairly saturated, so it won’t take a lot of rain to cause problems at this point,” he said. “We are usually fairly dry at this point. We have a wet June leading into a wetter July.”
Compared to last year, Cobb has already had as much rain in the last six months as it did in all of 2012.
“Across the area, rainfall is approaching 40 inches for the year,” Ressler said.
Robert Quigley with Cobb County government said they will be staffed at normal levels every day except Thursday but crews will be on call.
“If conditions develop that need more resources, we can call more crews in to assist,” he said.
For anyone traveling during the holiday weekend, Ressler anticipates the major interstate systems being fairly safe but for drivers on back roads or for anyone living near bodies of water, be cautious of water on the road, he said.
“The most important thing for people to do if you come to water over the road, is don’t go through it,” Ressler said. “Go around it because you’re not sure how deep the water is or if the road is washed out under it.”