Thursday: High: 80
Thursday night: Low: 46
Friday: High: 55
» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.
Atlanta has blown by the record high at lunchtime, and temperatures are expected to keep climbing Thursday afternoon, according to Channel 2 Action News.
It’s 74 degrees at noon, two degrees warmer than the previous record high of 72 degrees. Channel 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan said Thursday could be even warmer than expected. He upped the projected high from 78 degrees to 80.
“If we hit 80 degrees, that will be the earliest date in Atlanta’s history to be this warm,” Monahan said.
After a mess of a morning commute, things are looking up. Authorities have 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.
MORE: Sinkhole repairs close I-285 on the Southside
There are still some tough delays on I-285 in DeKalb County. A crash on the outer loop is blocking two right lanes past Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, the Traffic Center reported. Delays start back at Spaghetti Junction.
In Midtown, Peachtree Street remains closed in both directions near Emory University Hospital Midtown after Wednesday morning’s underground explosions. The street is shut down between Linden Avenue and Pine Street.
Authorities briefly reopened some lanes Wednesday, but repair work on an underground transformer continues. According to Channel 2, three of four lanes are expected to open during the noon hour.
RELATED: 10 ‘very large explosions’ send smoke into the air, shut down major Midtown streets
It had 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.
Wind speeds are also expected to climb Thursday. The breeze will start to pick up in the afternoon, Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said, with gusts of 10 to 15 mph possible at times. That southerly wind will help to boost temperatures.
And the pollen count remains high. The count for Thursday is 244 pollen particles per cubic meter of air.
RELATED: Springlike temps causing pollen counts, allergy symptoms to increase early
“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.
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