Weekend forecast calls for 100-degree weather in CowetaBy SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
It’s definitely going to be hot this weekend. Exactly how hot depends on who you ask.
The National Weather Service is predicting a Newnan high of 93 today, and highs of 97 on Friday, 99 on Saturday and 98 on Sunday.
The Weather Channel forecast for Newnan is for highs of 98 today, 103 on Friday, 105 on Saturday and 103 on Sunday.
The NWS forecast temperatures had been even lower, but they were revised Wednesday afternoon.
Either way, it’s likely that the temperatures will break some records.
“For the 30th, the record high for Atlanta is 98 ... we’ll probably break that record,” said Trisha Palmer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.
“For Sunday the record is 99, so we may break that record too,” she said.
It’s not unusual for there to be a difference in weather forecasts put out by NWS and the Weather Channel.
“The Weather Channel has four or five people doing the entire country,” Palmer said. “We just do north and central Georgia.”
However, “with that said, it does look like it will be hotter than what our current forecast is ... we’ll be increasing the temperatures, for sure,” she said Thursday.
The temperatures likely won’t be as miserable as they could be because humidity will be lower than normal.
“Today and tomorrow ... we do have the ‘dry heat,’” Palmer said. But winds will be shifting, and will start to “bring in additional moisture for the weekend.”.
“It will still be hot and muggy,” Palmer said. Even with lower humidity, “that is going to be hot, possibly even dangerously hot.”.
Anyone who is out in the extreme heat needs to take precautions, including making sure you drink plenty of fluids, staying in the shade and avoiding alcohol.
But most importantly, “do not leave kids or pets in the car,” Palmer said. “Not even for a minute. Just don’t do it. We can see deaths of children in cars when the temperatures are in the 80s.”
The current heat wave is being caused by an “upper level high” pressure area, Palmer said.
“When you have a high in the upper atmosphere, you have a lot of sinking motion, and sinking motion will warm the atmosphere,” she said.
Things will cool down – by a few degrees – early next week
The NWS forecast is for a high of 97 Monday and 94 on Tuesday.
The Weather Channel forecast is for 100 on Monday and 99 on Tuesday.
“The upper high goes a little further to the west by the middle of next week, so it may not be quite as hot, but still hot,” Palmer said. “As the upper high moves further west, we may have an increased chance of an afternoon showerâ ¦ which might bring some relief.”
Palmer said the weather service has been looking into heat-related fatalities and has found that, when a heat advisory is issued, there are fewer fatalities and illnesses than there are at temperatures and heat indices just below the heat advisory criteria.
“I think that is because when we issue a heat advisory, people know this is serious, that they need to stay inside and take precautions,” she said.
Heat advisories are issued when there is a forecast “heat index” of 105 for two or more days, and the nighttime low is forecast to be 75 or greater.
The heat index is based on the temperature and relative humidity.
“Without a heat advisory ... people may still get out in the afternoon and they may overexert themselves. That is something we are starting to see is happening,” Palmer said.
There has been some discussion of changing the criteria for a heat advisory.
No final decisions have been made, according to Palmer.
“We’re going to rely on public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control to kind of get their input,” Palmer said.