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Outdoor Air Quality Code Orange in Atlanta Sunday

A haze hovers over the midtown skyline from a wildfire burning in the northwest part of the state in 2016. Atlanta is under a code orange air quality alert Sunday because of a Saharan dust cloud that's moved over Georgia in recent days.
A haze hovers over the midtown skyline from a wildfire burning in the northwest part of the state in 2016. Atlanta is under a code orange air quality alert Sunday because of a Saharan dust cloud that's moved over Georgia in recent days.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

Atlanta saw a code orange air quality alert for parts of Sunday because of a Saharan dust cloud that’s moved over Georgia in recent days.

Zachary Handlos with Georgia Tech says the dust clouds move across the Atlantic every year but generally they are not as big as this one.

Zachary Handlos, PhD, Research Area Dynamics of Weather & Climate Research Interests. (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Handlos added, “Maybe Atlanta locally will have a little more issues just because of being a big city with the summer heat and the urban heat effect. I think most of this will disburse over the next 24 to 48 hours and we’ll go back to sort of normal air quality summer conditions for this part of the county.”

Handlos said COVID-19 patients and people with enhanced preparatory issues are encouraged to remain inside and to take precautions by limiting outdoor activities.

The Georgia Department of Public Health issued an advisory for people with respiratory issues to limit outdoor activity and to protect themselves from dust from the Saharan cloud as it moves over Georgia.

Handlos added that individuals should limit exposure to the dust and take precautions to protect their health.