'Code Red' Air Quality Alert issued for Atlanta for first time in 1,500 days

(Source: WGCL)

A "code red" air quality alert has been issued for Atlanta Wednesday for the first time in more than 1,500 days. The last time Atlanta saw a "code red" day was July 1, 2012.

The rare alert was issued due to smoke blowing in from wildfires in north Georgia.

What does it mean?

Unlike the "code orange" days Atlanta typically has during the summer months, a "code red" day is different because the risk of bad air includes everyone, vs. the "code orange" days, which tell us the air will be unhealthy for some groups of people, typically including children and the elderly.

If you're in Atlanta, you should avoid being outdoors for a long period of time on Wednesday.

"Code red" is rare

A "code red" air quality day is rare in Atlanta. In addition to not having one in more than four years, there has only been three "code red" days out of 55 total air quality alert days in Atlanta in the past five years -- that's only 5 percent.

Late in the year

Air quality alerts in Atlanta are typically associated with the warm summer months. This year marks the latest Atlanta has seen an air quality alert over the past five years. Of course, the alert isn't associated with heat, but is due to

smoke blowing in from wildfires in north Georgia

.

Number of Days with Air Quality Alerts in Atlanta

2016 - 23 days 2015 - 5 days 2014 - 12 days 2013 - 1 day 2012 - 14 days

Latest Air Quality Alert in Atlanta over the past 5 years

2016 - Nov. 16 2015 - Sept. 2 2014 - Aug. 29 2013 - Sept. 7 2012 - Aug. 22Copyright 2016 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Digital Content Producer

Recommended for you