Code Purple smog alert: Stay indoors through sunset

Code Purple smog alert: Stay indoors through sunset

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A Code Purple smog alert was issued Friday evening. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

The Air Quality Scale used in Atlanta:

“Good” AQI is 0 to 50. Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.

“Moderate” AQI is 51 to 100. Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people. For example, people who are unusually sensitive to ozone may experience respiratory symptoms.

“Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” AQI is 101 to 150. Although the general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, people with lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone, whereas persons with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.

“Unhealthy” AQI is 151 to 200. Everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects, and members of the sensitive groups may experience more serious effects.

“Very Unhealthy” is AQI is 201 to 300. This would trigger a health alert signifying that everyone may experience more serious health effects.

“Hazardous” AQI is greater than 300. This would trigger a health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.

LEARN MORE: Smog alerts in Atlanta: Understanding code red, code orange air quality warnings | Check today’s Air Quality Index for Atlanta

Summer travel, construction and the intense heat has brought the air quality to its most dangerous level yet this year, Channel 2 Action News chief meteorologist Glenn Burns said.

A Code Purple smog alert was issued Friday evening.

The weekend weather will continue be hot and humid.

Highs are expected to reach 92 degrees Saturday, 93 degrees Sunday and 94 degrees Monday in Atlanta — making them some of the warmest temps yet in 2016.

Temperatures were 92 degrees in Atlanta, 87 degrees in Blairsville and 93 degrees in Griffin just before 6:45 p.m.

And humidity may not be the only form of moisture the metro area gets.

A slight chance of rain will go into effect Saturday and remain through Monday, but the best chance of storms isn’t until Tuesday.

Little rain and 90-degree weather, though seemingly pleasant for those anxiously awaiting summertime temps, may not be the best news for the region.

Metro Atlanta is experiencing a moderate drought, and drought conditions are more severe in northwest Georgia — not to mention air quality issues that often come with the heat — Channel 2 meteorologist Katie Walls said.

Smog alerts have been increasing over the last few months because temperatures have been on the increase. Smog forms when certain pollutants combine with heat and sunlight.

“Just as we hit that code orange [alert] yesterday, once again the Georgia Environmental Protection Division has issued a code orange again for the metro,” Walls said. “That means air quality this afternoon will be unhealthy for sensitive groups.”

The alert, one of several smog warnings this year, warns children, teenagers, elderly adults and people with lung disease or asthma to reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.

“Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath,” according to a post from the Environmental Protection Agency.

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