Apparently, wherever I go this summer will have record heat. I'm just back from vacation in Colorado Springs, where the temperature was in the high 90s almost every day, and now has topped 100 degrees. Now those highs will reach us in metro Atlanta starting on Thursday.
- According to the Weather Channel, the high temperature in the north metro area will reach 102 degrees on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
- AccuWeather.com says the high Friday will reach 101, with Saturday "dropping" down to 100 degrees.
- The National Weather Service's Peachtree City forecast center says it will be "cooler," which is a relative term since it predicts a high of 99 degrees.
- WSB Radio meteorologist Kirk Mellish wrote in his weather blog that he expects temps to be 96 to 101 Friday through Monday in metro Atlanta in what he called possibly the hottest stretch of weather in five years.
Unfortunately the big drop in relative humidity–down to 20-25 percent has increased the danger of fires. Just look back to my brother's hometown of Colorado Springs and see what happens with these high temperatures and no rain–forest fires. They've got 24 square miles burning since Sunday with 32,000 people forced to evacuate. And that fire outside of Fort Collins, Colo., is much bigger. Add to the low humidity the also low moisture of fuel–the dry grass, pine needles, brush and even trees themselves–and gusty winds and the danger of fire is high.
Even Wednesday was a Code Orange air quality day in metro Atlanta. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources said the outdoor air is likely to be unhealth for some people. Children, people who are sensitive to ozone and those with heart or lung disease should limit long periods exerting themselves outside during the late afternoon or early evening when ozone concentrations are highest.
No matter which weather forecast you believe, it's gonna be the hottest weather of the year beginning Friday. We may be used to stifling heat mixed into our summers, but this is ridiculous.
Last year’s official hottest day for Atlanta was 99 on Aug. 26 (Weather Underground says it was 100 on Aug. 3 at Peachtree-DeKalb Airport, however). Mellish wrote that the last time Atlanta officially reached triple digits was in August 2007, when we had nine days over 100.
And to make matters worse, the same high-pressure ridge that will keep us hot under the collar also will prevent Tropical Storm Debby from bringing us beneficial rain.