If you think it’s been hot this week, just wait until Memorial Day weekend.
North Georgia will potentially break records Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Each day should peak in the low to mid-90s, Channel 2 Action News chief meteorologist Glenn Burns said.
“We are roiling here,” he said. “It’s hot, and it’s going to stay hot.”
Atlanta is expected to peak at 94 Saturday and Sunday, while hitting 96 on Monday, according to the latest Channel 2 forecast. This would topple the records Saturday (93) and Monday (95), while tying the record Sunday (94).
The heat wave is due to two big factors: lack of rain and high pressure. From Friday to Monday, not even a drop of rain is in the forecast for North Georgia.
The high pressure is thanks to the state being straddled by two cold fronts. The one running along South Carolina isn’t creating major weather disturbances, but the one over the Midwest is creating the severe thunderstorms and tornadoes that have been ravaging Oklahoma.
Burns said the heat is being forced into Georgia by those fronts and all that hot air is being compressed, trapping the air and heating it up further.
“(It’s) just a mountain of sinking air sitting over us,” he said. “It sinks, it compresses, and when it compresses it gets really hot.”
That also means the air quality will continue to deteriorate as the same hot air stagnates. Channel 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan said North Georgia could see its first Code Orange air quality alert of the year as early as Friday. During a Code Orange, air quality index values jump to the 101-150 range.
While low air quality is never a good thing, a dry and warm holiday weekend is, especially for those planning on traveling.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is ceasing all scheduled construction-related lane closures on metro Atlanta interstates and primary state routes near tourist attractions and recreation centers. That will last from noon Friday until 5 a.m. Tuesday.
The I-75 South express lanes will also have an early reversal Friday at 9 p.m., and the northbound express lanes will reverse midday Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Those planning on flying to their Memorial Day destinations should expect a busy Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Nearly 2 million passengers are expected to pass through the airport between Thursday and Tuesday, according to officials.
» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.
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