WEATHER-TRAFFIC UPDATE: Atlanta falls 2 degrees shy of record

ATLANTA FORECAST

Tuesday: High: 71

Tuesday night: Low: 58

Wednesday: High: 72

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

The calendar says February, but it feels like April in Atlanta. The city reached 74 degrees briefly Tuesday afternoon — just 2 degrees shy of the record.

That record of 76 degrees was set in 1957. It has since dropped into the low 70s, but the average temperature for this time of year is 55 degrees.

 

“It is so hard to believe a week ago we were tracking some snow up in the mountains, and it was white on the ground,” Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brian Monahan said. “And today, instead of our air coming from the arctic, it’s coming from 3,000 miles away, from the Pacific Ocean.”

Like the weather, traffic is also heating up, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center

Only one left lane was moving earlier on I-575 North near Sixes Road in Cherokee County because of a wreck, according to the Traffic Center. 

A car fire on Ga. 400 South near Holcomb Bridge Road blocked two right lanes, adding to delays on the Northside, the Traffic Center reported. In addition, there was a southbound crash before Haynes Bridge Road.

A crash on the Inner Loop before I-85 in DeKalb County had a left lane blocked, according to the Traffic Center. 

A gas leak has shut down Green Street from the Conyers post office to Old Covington Highway, according to police. The section of road should be shut down for “several hours.”

 

Downtown, several streets remain closed after the Super Bowl.  

Martin Luther King Jr. Drive between Northside Drive and Centennial Olympic Park Drive, and Andrew Young International Boulevard between Marietta Street and Centennial Olympic Park Drive are closed until Thursday. Mitchell Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Elliot Street, and Mangum Street between Markham and Foundry streets will also be closed until Thursday.

Baker Street between Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Luckie Street is closed until Friday.

 

However, Spring Street is back open after a shooting investigation shut down the street in front of the Varsity, police told AJC.com. All lanes of Spring Street between Ponce de Leon and North avenues were reopened by 9:40 a.m. 

RELATED: Shooting investigation shuts down Spring Street outside the Varsity

 

Atlanta will likely get close to a record high again Wednesday, and Monahan said chances are good we will smash the record Thursday. Thursday’s projected high is 77 degrees, 5 degrees warmer than the high of 72 set in 1937, according to Channel 2. 

“It’s going to be T-shirt and shorts kind of weather on Thursday afternoon,” he said. 

 

The warm air and moisture from the Pacific are creating the right conditions for a few showers this week. There is enough moisture for a 20 percent chance of rain Tuesday and Wednesday, Monahan said. 

 

“Rain chances (are) on the low side the next couple of days,” he said. “... Maybe just pack that umbrella. Likely not going to need it over the next couple of days.”

Monahan said there has already been some rain and light drizzle Tuesday across parts of North Georgia. 

For most, Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said Tuesday afternoon will be cloudy.

“There's upper 60s, a lot of clouds around (and) peeks of sunshine,” Minton said. “May be that little isolated sprinkle or shower possible, but it’s certainly not going to be a washout today.”

 

Pollen counts are already on the rise. On Monday, the count was at 1. It jumped to 64 for major pollens Tuesday, according to Channel 2. 

“It took until just before Valentine’s Day last year to get our first triple-digit pollen count,” Monahan said on Twitter. “Think we’ll get it earlier than that this year.”

 

After Thursday’s expected high near 80 degrees, Monahan said an approaching cold front is going to bring a higher 40 percent chance of rain and a return to average temperatures by the end of the week.

“Reality is returning,” he said. 

A system of showers is expected to weaken as it moves into Georgia on Thursday night and Friday morning, Monahan said, “but the cold air that’s coming, that’s not going to weaken.”

North Georgia is forecast to drop back into the 40s by Friday morning and into the 30s Saturday, with afternoon highs in the 50s that day, according to Channel 2. 

» 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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