Ware Mechanical Weather Center: Record heat in Rome, Cartersville today. Smog alert Friday for Cartesville, metro Atlanta.

Ware Mechanical Weather Center: Record heat in Rome, Cartersville today. Smog alert Friday for Cartesville, metro Atlanta.

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THE LATEST

In Rome: 99 degrees today with a heat index of 102. Record for today was 98 set in 1953.

In Cartersville: 98 degrees; heat index of 99. Record for today was 97, also reached in 1953.

Smog alert Friday for Cartersville, metro Atlanta: The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division has issued a Code Orange (Unhealthy for sensitive groups) Air Quality Alert for Atlanta for Friday September 13. Under Code Orange conditions, the outdoor air quality is likely to be unhealthy for some people. Children, people who are sensitive to ozone, and people with heart or lung disease should limit prolonged outdoor exertion during the late afternoon or early evening when ozone concentrations are highest.

OUTLOOK

Above normal temperatures will persist through the end of the week. The combination of temperatures in the 90s coupled with high humidity will result in heat indices in the upper 90s to around 100 degrees. Try to avoid overexposure to outside activities and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Isolated to scattered, mainly afternoon and evening thunderstorms will be possible through Friday. By this weekend, there is the potential to see more widespread thunderstorms. A few strong storms are possible with brief gusty winds, locally heavy rain, and frequent cloud-to-ground lightning.

FORECAST

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 96. Heat index values as high as 99. Calm wind becoming northeast around 5 mph.

Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 70. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Friday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 96. East wind around 5 mph.

Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70.

Saturday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 92.

Saturday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70.

Sunday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 89.

Sunday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70.

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