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Why we have a series of Air Quality Alert days in Atlanta

This will be the third Air Quality Alert day in a row for Atlanta

ATLANTA — Another Code Orange Air Quality Alert was issued for the Atlanta area for Friday, June 30. This will be the third Code Orange alert in a row for the metro and parts of north Georgia.

A heat dome has been sitting over the south and is expanding east into Georgia. Underneath the center, there's a lot of sinking motion and a lack of winds. Under this heat dome, we get a build up and recirculation of pollutants each day. This is the haze you see in the sky. When we have sunshine, ground-level ozone is also created in a chemical reaction with particulate matter.

RELATED: First heat wave of the season is upon us | When it will feel like the 100s in Atlanta

Credit: WXIA

Our skies became particularly hazy Thursday thanks to wildfire smoke from the fires in Canada. Although this is generally higher up in the atmosphere, under our heat dome, some of this has filtered further down.

Georgia's State Climatologist Bill Murphy, who issues each day's Air Quality Forecast, said this smoke event is denser than the one parts of north Georgia experienced earlier in June. The smoke is most dominant up in the north Georgia mountains. 

This haze and poorer air quality will stick around in the coming days with the heat wave -- unless we get a few more dominant storm complexes to clear out our atmosphere.

Forecasts are put out daily during the warm months of the year, focused on predicted levels of particulate matter and ground-level ozone.



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