Chilly start, above average temps in Atlanta’s forecast

ATLANTA FORECAST

Today: Sunny. High: 64

Tonight: Mostly clear. Low: 34

Tomorrow: Late night isolated shower. High: 65

» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.

Get ready for a cool Tuesday, metro Atlanta.

Temperatures were 40 in Atlanta, 24 in Blairsville and 28 in Griffin just before 6:30 a.m., according to Channel 2 Action News.

Lows were about the same early Monday, but the wind chill made it feel as if temperatures dropped below freezing.

It was milder early Tuesday.

“Your temperatures are going to be above average by a few degrees, not many,” Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said.

The average high for this time of year is 61 degrees. According to the latest forecast, temperatures are expected to reach 64 degrees by 3 p.m. and 58 degrees by 6 p.m. in Atlanta.

Wednesday is expected to bring a 20 percent chance of rain in the evening.

“It’s in the middle of the night when we have a chance for some isolated showers that pop up,” Minton said. “This is mainly north of I-20.

“Don’t expect much.”

Any rain will clear by Thanksgiving Day, when temperatures are expected to reach the 70s.

That’s not good news amid a historic drought in Georgia. Weather conditions have been so dry, they triggered stiff new watering restrictions in 52 Georgia counties last week.

The restrictions, which limit outdoor watering to two days a week, also ban power-washing homes and watering at outdoor fountains and car washes. They affect most of metro Atlanta and North Georgia.

Dry conditions and wind sent smoke from fires in the North Georgia mountains to parts of metro Atlanta on Monday. Southerly breezes should bring relief on Tuesday and push the smoke away from metro Atlanta, according to Channel 2.

The Air Quality Index was at a moderate 74 at 6 a.m. Tuesday, according to AirNow, which keeps track of air quality changes.

» 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 range, people with lung disease, older adults and children are at 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 warning of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.

» Here are tips from the Georgia Department of Public Health:

Pay attention to local air quality reports and news coverage related to smoke.

Keep indoor air as clean as possible, keeping windows and doors closed.

Run an air conditioner, and keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean.

Avoid activities that increase indoor pollution such as vacuuming, burning candles or using fireplaces or gas stoves.

Do not rely on paper dust masks, which will not protect your lungs from the small particles found in wildfire smoke.

Follow the advice of your doctor or other health care provider if you have asthma or another lung disease.

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