The AJC will update game-time and postgame weather developments every 30 minutes this afternoon. Link for expanded Atlanta weather radar.
Updates by Helena Oliviero and Ben Brasch
Update 6:32 p.m. As fans leave the Georgia Dome, there’s a good chance of heavy rains and scattered thunderstorms. By 7 p.m. chance of rain near the Georgia Dome will be 60 percent. By 9 p.m., the chances of rain goes up to 70 percent and by 9 p.m., the chances of rain is 90 percent.
At other MARTA stops: Thunderstorms and windy conditions are also forecast for other parts of metro Atlanta including Decatur, Dunwoody and Chamblee. In College Park, cloudy and windy conditions are forecast but only a 15 percent chance of rain at 8 p.m.
Watches and warnings: A tornado watch remains in effect until 8 p.m. in the Atlanta area and includes Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett and DeKalb counties. Risk for tornado is low for areas close to Georgia Dome (and is higher for areas south of the city). Watch for tornado warning signs such as dark, greenish clouds, large hail, a roaring noise, a cloud of debris or funnel clouds. If a tornado warning is issued and someone is outside, the Red Cross recommends hurrying to a basement of a nearby sturdy building. If they cannot get to a building, they should get in a vehicle, buckle in, and drive to the closest shelter.
Update 6 p.m.: Storms continue to the west of Atlanta, but rain has stopped around the Georgia Dome. By 7 p.m., the forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms and windy conditions. Chance of rain at 7 p.m. is 60 percent
Update 5:30 p.m.: Heavy rains. It’s been on-and-off rain in downtown Atlanta throughout the game. But after the second half, when the rain has been on, it’s been really on. The intensity of the bands has ramped up when they’ve come through. Some folks decided it was a good time to duck into the CNN food court for a quick bite. Note: Atlanta remains under a tornado watch until 8 p.m
UPDATE 5 p.m. Dark Skies, Quiet Streets. Heavy rains. Thunderstorms likely. A few storms may be severe. Winds at 10 to 20 miles per hour. Chance of rain 90 percent. Heavy rain started downtown just before the drive that ended in a touchdown, putting he Falcons up 24 to zip. There may be a break between rain storms in the next few minutes downtown.
UPDATE 4:30 p.m. Heavy rains. Thunderstorms likely. A few storms may be severe. Winds at 10 to 20 miles per hour. Chance of rain 90 percent. Heavy rain started downtown just before the drive that ended in a touchdown, putting he Falcons up 24 to zip. Folks on the rooftops near Stats sports bar on Marietta Street started splitting as the rain began, but the folks inside are staying right where they are. Down three touchdowns and a field goal, some Packers fans ran through the rain with jackets over their heads.
UPDATE 4 p.m. Just a sporadic drizzle outside the Georgia Dome. City sidewalks seem to have more puddles than people with just a few minutes left until halftime. Marietta Street was quiet with the occasional driver lingering at a fresh green light to check their phone or adjust their radio. People everywhere cheered inside the Dome and outside on sidewalks when the Falcons went up 17 to zip.
UPDATE 3:30 p.m. With game underway, the streets are wet and mostly empty in downtown Atlanta. Thunderstorms expected by 4 p.m. Chances of rain at 4 p.m. is 100 percent.
UPDATE 3 p.m The streets are mostly cleared out in downtown Atlanta. Most folks are where they’re going to be to watch the historic game. The only ones walking around are disappointed fans who didn’t realize bars by the stadium might be really busy for a big playoff game.
UPDATE 2:30 p.m. A light drizzle started around the Georgia Dome about 2:15 p.m. just as a wave of fans headed into the NFC Championship game. It’s a shame Packers fans came this weekend because Atlanta’s skyline, anywhere you choose to view it at the moment, is obscured by fog