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More heat and smoke from wildfires today

Chief Meteorologist Heather Haley also tracks much needed rain for some ahead.
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 4:56 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2021 at 11:04 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The hottest weather since 2012 is here on Thursday. There’s also some wildfire smoke from the Pacific Northwest rolling into town Thursday, so air quality could be an issue. We’re tracking some rain chances for Friday, and again later this weekend.

WHAT TO EXPECT

The smoke adds to a hazy view at times, and a few clouds are moving through. That view change from yesterday is still on track, so looking more partly cloudy.

We’re heating up to around 98 degrees, just a few degrees shy of the record. It does feel a few degrees hotter, thanks to the humidity, so be sure to stay hydrated. That heat and the smoke in the air can create some air quality issues, but we do have a little more wind today. The Southwesterly breeze between 5 and 10 mph may help to keep smoke from hurting our air quality, and it can help to wick that sweat off you at times.

Pollen counts are also high, with quite a bit of dust in the air. Grass is at a moderate level, and ragweed is starting to grow.

Tonight becomes mostly cloudy, and a few showers roll in from the Northeast. The best chance of this rain is along the Kentucky and Tennessee border, along with the Tri-Cities. It does look to break up a bit as it drops south, with a 40% coverage at the peak in the early morning hours. We’ll cool to around 73 degrees by Friday morning.

LOOKING AHEAD

Friday starts with a few showers and is looking to gradually become partly cloudy again in the afternoon, with spotty rain chances. The high will be around 94 degrees, but still very humid and feel like it’s in the upper 90s still.

Saturday has a few clouds but only a stray rain chance. It’s cooler, but still looking at a high near 90 degrees.

We’re still on track for more scattered rain and some storms Saturday night through Sunday, with a 60% coverage of our area at the peak and then gradually tapering off Sunday afternoon. This leaves Sunday in the low 80s.

Temperatures are reset for next week, thanks to that front. We’ll still see a spotty pop-ups and a few more showers at times, for example Monday night, and Tuesday night. Highs will be back in the 80s!

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