WEATHER-TRAFFIC UPDATE: Heat ties 2018 high; tough commute backs up interstates

ATLANTA FORECAST 

Wednesday: High: 94

Wednesday night: Low: 74

Thursday: High: 90

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

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Temperatures peaked at 93 degrees in Atlanta, tying Tuesday’s high and the high for this year so far.

Hope your vehicle’s air conditioning works because roadways are heavily congested across the metro area.

An overturned vehicle in Gwinnett County on I-85 North near Old Peachtree Road is causing heavy delays, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center

A stalled vehicle on the I-75 North ramp to North Marietta Parkway in Cobb County is also causing delays, the Traffic Center reported. Most of the Northern Perimeter and Downtown Connector are seeing heavy congestion.

Those out and about this afternoon and evening will also have to contend with construction on several Atlanta roadways, including the I-285 Outer Loop at Paces Ferry Road, I-75 South through Bartow County at Emerson-Allatoona Road and Ga. 316 West at Hi Hope Road.

Memorial Drive, between Pearl Street and Chester Avenue, closed at 7 a.m. and will remain shut down through Saturday, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. A right lane of Ga. 14 near Dunlap Avenue is closed in both directions and is not scheduled to reopen until 3 p.m.

It was so hot today that a Code Orange air quality alert was issued for metro Atlanta and a heat advisory began at noon for other parts of Georgia.

RELATED: Code Orange air quality alert in effect for Atlanta

MORE: Heat advisory begins at noon for parts of Georgia   

  

“The very hot weather continues and it feels like the middle 90s, too,” Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said. “Now we do have slightly drier air over us here, it’s a little higher as you get out toward Putnam County areas and down into southeast Georgia, where heat index levels will be over 100 degrees for this afternoon.”

The temperature reached a heat index high of 96 in the afternoon in Atlanta.

“If you have health issues ... you may want to avoid being outside because the air is going to be in such a state that it will be uncomfortable, maybe even dangerous, for you to be out there,” Minton said.

 

MORE: What is a Code Orange? Smog alert issued for Atlanta

The skies were mostly clear at least, with only scattered threats of storms and showers in the most northern parts of the state. The chance of rain is down to 10 percent, which will go up to 40 percent Thursday and 60 percent Friday, Minton said.

 

The lull in the rain is thanks to an area of high pressure over Alabama, which is preventing storms from forming.

“With high pressure still fairly strong over us, it is weakening somewhat,” Minton said. “We'll see some moisture beginning to move into far north Georgia, and in those locations a better chance for some scattered showers and storms than in metro Atlanta.”

Minton said she can’t rule out storms in the metro area because it will be so hot, but any rain will dry out as the sun goes down. 

That could complicate evening traffic when Atlanta is inundated with MLS fans ahead of the U.S. Open Cup match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta United will take on Chicago at 7:30 p.m.

» 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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