The King and Queen Buildings were shrouded in smoke from Georgia wildfires Thursday. BRIAN O’SHEA / BRIAN.OSHEA@AJC.COM

Smoky haze to hang out Friday, affect air quality


Today: Patchy smoke, then sunny. High: 70

Tonight: Clear. Low: 43

Tomorrow: Sunny. High: 72

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

A smoky haze hanging over the Atlanta area isn't going anywhere and it isn't likely to be affected by an incoming cold front Friday, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Atlanta temps are forecast to reach 72 degrees before the day’s end Friday. But as temps increase, more smoke is expected to blow in with northwest breezes.

“A cold front moving through tomorrow will reinforce our NW wind direction, which will continue to blow the smoke from the fires into metro Atlanta," Channel 2 meteorologist Brad Nitz said. 

Air quality hit Code Red at a level of 157 Thursday and schools in the area may keep students indoors for recess.

The smoke will hang around until Saturday, when a shift to an easterly wind is expected to blow the smoke out of the metro area, Nitz said. 

Meteorologist Brad Nitz has the details

The Georgia Forestry Commission said smoke, which was visible Wednesday in Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties, is not the result of new, local wildfires. Instead, it is the result of winds pushing smoke from existing wildfires in the North Georgia mountains south to metro Atlanta.

Fire has burned through more than 6,400 acres in North Georgia and also torched land in Tennessee, North Carolina and Alabama.

Smoke hangs over the new State Farm headquarters Thursday at Hammond Drive and Perimeter Center Parkway. BRIAN O’SHEA / BRIAN.OSHEA@AJC.COM

Similar to metro Atlanta, Athens is also getting wafts of smoke drifting south from North Carolina fires, police told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The smoke will affect the Athens area throughout the day.

Meteorologist Katie Walls says exceptional drought is the worst level of drought that exists.

“The dry air sticks around,” Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said. “We get no relief, and it does stay very dry.”

Temps were 55 degrees in Atlanta, 40 in Blairsville and 42 in Griffin just after 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Georgia Forestry Commission said smoke, which was visible Wednesday in Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties, is not the result of new, local wildfires. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM