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Another big coastal storm takes aim at Atlanta; impact expected this weekend

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Hurricane season 2017 is making the landlocked ATL seem tropical.

A tree down, blocking a road.
Damage from Tropical Storm Irma in Reynoldstown last month.
Curbed Atlanta

Atlantans are used to the occasional weather-related inconvenience: spring thunderstorms have been known to produce hail and the occasional tornado, and in the winter, a bit of snow (while rare) can bring the city to its knees.

But 2017 has revealed an even more troubling threat—tropical storms—despite the fact that Atlanta is anything but coastal.

A disconcerting tropical depression has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, just off the coast of Nicaragua. The first projected track had the storm strengthening to a hurricane—to be called Nate—and making landfall in the Florida panhandle, then hustling up to Atlanta. Basically a direct hit.

Forecasts put the storm track passing straight through Atlanta over the weekend, with tropical storm force winds reaching the metro sometime on Sunday.

The projected path of Tropical Depression 16—predicted to become Hurricane Nate—as of 11 p.m. Wednesday.
NHC

Since last night, the storm track has progressed to the west, pushing landfall toward New Orleans and the track of the eye through Alabama.

However, Atlanta still falls in the cone of probability, and Atlantans should remain up-to-date on the forecast over the next few days. The city could still experience tropical storm force winds by Sunday morning with the new path, forecasters say.

Of course, if the forecasts hold true, this would be the second storm of the season to affect Atlanta, which would be unprecedented.

Last month, Hurricane Irma swirled into Georgia, causing more than $330 million worth of damage, according to 11 Alive. Across Atlanta, tropical storm force winds brought down trees and power lines, causing some to lose power for days. Weeks later, the cleanup continues.

Time to move farther inland?

The storm’s projected path as of 8 a.m. Thursday.
NHC