On May 8th, 2018 at 3:00 PM, a few isolated showers popped up over the Atlanta area. Normally, springtime showers like this aren’t a big deal, but when they show up over the airport they can cause headaches for flights taking off and landing for the few minutes until they pass. With a short-lived event like this one, blocking off an hour to let the storm run its course may be an overreaction. The shower only lasted a matter of minutes, after all.
If you had been watching conventional radar, you’d have seen the storm coming overhead at 3:00 PM. The rain didn’t actually start until almost 10 minutes later, which could have been enough time for another flight or two to disembark before the weather hit.
Climacell’s technology (below) showed that the shower was still east of the terminal at 3:00 PM, even if Radar had it directly overhead. It didn’t show rain over the terminal until 15:09, which coincided exactly with the observation.
The cell quickly moved southeast off of the airport, and only lasted about 20 minutes. Here’s how the cell played out in real time: