Thursday: High: 80
Thursday night: Low: 46
Friday: High: 55
» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.
It was a historically hot winter day in Atlanta on Thursday.
The city blew past the record high of 72 degrees by lunchtime and topped out at 80 degrees, which is more than a week earlier than Atlanta has ever reached that temperature, according to Channel 2 Action News.
The earliest Atlanta had ever reached 80 degrees was Feb. 15, 1989, Channel 2 meteorologist Brad Nitz said in a tweet. An earlier report said the city reached 81 degrees, but Nitz said that was a small rounding error.
It had also been more than 80 years (1937) since Atlanta set the record high (72) for this date. The average temperature is 55 for the second week of February.
Atlanta wasn’t alone. Rome, Athens, Griffin, LaGrange, Eatonton and many other Georgia cities also broke 80 degrees.
Things have returned to being slow for the evening commute, but the interstates aren’t as messy as they were in the morning.
Authorities reopened a section of I-285 in south Fulton County after repairing a sinkhole. The repairs shut down all lanes of I-285 West at Old National Highway overnight before completing the work about 10:30 a.m, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.
Near Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Northside Drive was closed because of a wreck that left a car and motorcycle both on fire, the Traffic Center reported. Atlanta Fire Rescue said in a tweet that the motorcyclist was taken to a hospital, but his condition was not provided.
At least one left lane of I-20 East near Candler Road is also blocked by a DeKalb County crash, according to the Traffic Center.
In Midtown, all but one southbound lane of Peachtree Street has reopened near Emory University Hospital Midtown after Wednesday morning’s underground explosions. The street was shut down between Linden Avenue and Pine Street.
Authorities briefly reopened some lanes Wednesday, but repair work on an underground transformer prompted authorities to close it again Thursday morning until shortly after noon.
In addition to being unseasonably hot, Atlanta was windy. The breeze picked up Thursday afternoon, with the southerly wind helping to boost temperatures.
And the pollen count remains high. The count for Thursday was 244 pollen particles per cubic meter of air.
“Last year we did not reach high pollen until Feb. 13 with 167,” Minton said on Twitter.
Beyond Thursday, big changes are on the way. North Georgia is forecast to go from record-setting temps Thursday to below-average temps Sunday, Monahan said.
A cold front moving in Thursday night could bring some rain, but Monahan said models suggest the showers will diminish as they push into North Georgia. By 10 p.m., rain will be over northwest Georgia, then the system “kind of falls apart as it moves into metro Atlanta,” he said.
There is a 40 percent chance of rain for Friday morning, according to the latest forecast.
“There may be a few sprinkles around before sunrise (Friday), but overall it’s drying out through the afternoon and temperatures are crashing,” Monahan said. “By the evening, we’ll be down in the 40s across North Georgia, with some 30s possible before midnight on Friday.”
Saturday looks to be the driest day of the weekend. There is a good chance of some showers developing late in the day Sunday, Monahan said, and temperatures are not expected to get out of the 40s.
» 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.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.