WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Chilly start before nice afternoon warmup

Thursday may start out chilly, but North Georgia is in for a big warmup later this afternoon.

Temperatures in the 40s and 50s across the region will make it up into the 70s Thursday, according to Channel 2 Action News. Some areas of metro Atlanta could see afternoon highs in the upper 70s.

Channel 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan said even warmer weather is in the forecast for the days ahead. It won’t feel much like the end of the March by this weekend, he said.

“June warmth, that’s going to build,” he said. “Not so much today. The average high is 66, and we'll be a bit above that today. But by Friday afternoon, we’ll be in the mid-80s.”

A projected high of 86 degrees Friday would tie for the hottest March 27 on record, according to Channel 2.

North Georgia is not there yet. Those headed outside Thursday morning may want to layer up, Monahan said.

“You need a jacket. It’s chilly out there,” he said. “Underneath that jacket, I’d have the short sleeves. You will want that later today as we warm up.”

With lots of sunshine and dry conditions in the forecast the next few days, Monahan expects pollen counts to rise. Wednesday’s count was in the high range for tree pollen, and Thursday’s count of 3,697 is considered extremely high.

Trees like oak, pine, hackberry, juniper and mulberry are the top contributors, according to Atlanta Allergy and Asthma, the organization that tracks the daily pollen count. Grass pollen is also in the high range.

The highest count in 2019 was 6,575 on April 13.

For those looking for some allergy relief, Monahan said it is best to get outside before dawn.

“That is the best time, because the moisture in the atmosphere kind of settles the pollen near the ground, and you may not suffer as much from those allergies in the early morning hours before the sun comes up,” he said.

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Traffic conditions remain lighter than normal Thursday with less drivers commuting to work and Georgia schools closed amid the coronavirus crisis.

There are no major delays on metro Atlanta interstates at 8 a.m., according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.

In Cherokee County, a fallen tree has shut down Upper Bethany Road at Land Road. Drivers can use Ga. 108 as an alternate route, the Traffic Center reported.

» 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. 

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