Today: Breezy and cool. High: 59
Tonight: Clear. Low: 33
Tomorrow: Sunny and warm. High: 64
» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.
Metro Atlanta had a chilly start Monday and will end on a cold note.
Atlanta’s forecast high of 59 degrees for Monday falls below the average of 62 for this time of year, according to Channel 2 Action News.
Temperatures were 48 in Atlanta, 32 in Blairsville and 45 in Griffin just before 9 p.m.
Temps are expected to dip into the 30s through midnight, but stay above freezing overnight, Channel 2 meteorologist Brad Nitz said.
For the rest of the week, expect highs in the mid-60s.
The next chance of rain is a 20 percent chance Wednesday night, but any rain will clear by morning.
That’s not good news amid a historic drought in Georgia. Weather conditions have been so dry that 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.
Dryness and wind also fanned flames in the North Georgia mountains that sent smoke billowing into metro Atlanta early last week. The smoke died down later in the week but picked up in some areas again Monday.
“You’ve got the clear skies, but you also have some smoke coming down here from the North Georgia mountain fires,” Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said. “So that should probably smell from time to time.”
However, it isn’t expected to impact air quality too severely.
The Air Quality Index was at a moderate 76 at 8 p.m. Monday, 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.