WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Atlanta topples century-old record by 5 degrees; wreck clogs I-20

It’s safe to say it’s been a sweltering September.

Monday fell just short of breaking a record, while Tuesday’s heat broke a record and Wednesday’s heat tied another.

For more than a century, the record for Sept. 12 had held strong — until this afternoon.

Atlanta hit 99 degrees earlier Thursday afternoon, shattering the previous record of 94 set in 1900, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz said. This time of year, temperatures should reach only 84 degrees on average.


 

Under lots of sunshine and mainly dry conditions, temps were able to climb quickly. Several atmospheric conditions are factoring into the heat, including an area of high pressure that is running the show.

The record high is also in jeopardy Friday, Channel 2 reported.

“Through today, through tomorrow, into Saturday, still showing this strong high pressure in control,” Channel 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan said. “That’s going to mean really hot temperatures across North Georgia.”

The weather isn’t the only thing hot in metro Atlanta. Activity on I-20 in Douglas County warmed up quickly after a wreck blocked nearly all eastbound lanes at Lee Road, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.

At 5:30 p.m., the crash was cleared, but delays span into Cobb County.


Speaking of Cobb, a tractor-trailer diesel spill is blocking two right lanes of I-285’s inner loop exit ramps to I-75, according to the Traffic Center. That is causing delays on the Perimeter back to I-20.


The rain chance Thursday is slim, so don’t expect a shower to quell the heat, Monahan said.

“If we squeeze out a shower, it will be in the northeast Georgia mountains. Otherwise through tonight, mainly clear and quiet,” Monahan said. “Tomorrow morning, we start warm and dry. It’s going to be another hot Friday across North Georgia.”

Temps are eventually coming down, he said. A tropical wave over eastern Cuba on Thursday morning has the potential to bring rain into North Georgia and help tamp down the heat.

The wave of storms has two possible tracks, one that brings the wave into the Gulf of Mexico and another that sends it along the eastern coast of Florida. 

“You want a break in the heat? You need to root for this to head to the Gulf of Mexico,” Monahan said.

The system now has an 80% chance of developing into a tropical storm and would be called Humberto.


 

By Sunday, metro Atlanta should break its 90-degree streak, according to Channel 2. The projected high is 89. 

“That’s when we start to watch that tropical wave that does have the potential to bring us some more rain clouds and cooler temperatures by next week,” Monahan said. 

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

» For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter. 

» Download The Atlanta Journal-Constitution app for weather alerts on-the-go.

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