Record-breaking dryness likely in Atlanta

ATLANTA FORECAST

Today: Sun and clouds. High: 73

Tonight: Mostly clear. Low: 52

Tomorrow: Sunny and cooler. High: 65

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

It’s been more than a month without rain, and Friday Atlanta is poised to break a record for the dry spell.

Despite a slight rain chance overnight Wednesday, Atlanta recorded 39 consecutive days without measurable rainfall Thursday, according to Channel 2 Action News. That means the city tied a record set in 1884.

Don’t expect a significant rain chance until next week.

There is a 10 percent chance of rain Monday and a 60 percent chance Tuesday.

Weather conditions have been so dry, 52 counties are under stiff new watering restrictions.

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.

But aside from dryness, weather conditions will be unseasonably pleasant.

Temperatures were 54 degrees in Atlanta, 41 degrees in Blairsville and 45 degrees in Griffin just before 8 a.m.

According to the latest forecast, temperatures are expected to reach 73 degrees in Atlanta. The average high this time of year in Atlanta is 60 degrees.

“You’ll want to dress for spring this afternoon,” Channel 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan said.

And in more good news, the smoke metro Atlanta has been getting from North Georgia wildfires failed to lead to any air quality advisories Friday.

The Air Quality Index was at a moderate 81 at 7 a.m. Friday, 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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