Atlanta hits 99 degrees, shatters record set in 1900

ATLANTA — Atlanta smashed a century-old heat record Thursday as temperatures soared to 99 degrees.

Today is the third consecutive day with record heat in Atlanta.

The previous record of 94 degrees was set in 1900, according to Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brad Nitz. ​​​​​ The average high temperature this time of year is 84 degrees.

On Wednesday, we tied a record high of 96.

[DOWNLOAD: WSB-TV's Weather App for alerts on when the next cool-down is coming]


Channel 2's Lori Wilson was in Clayton County, where the district has suspended or canceled all regular outdoor activities and afterschool outdoor practices until Friday for a fifth day in a row.

The district is still investigating the death of Elite Scholars Academy student Imani Bell, who died last month after collapsing during basketball practice during extreme heat.

The district sent out a statement that said, in part:

"As a precaution and based on the National Weather Service Forecast, which indicates a Heat Index of 97 degrees...the school district is making sure that the aforementioned temperatures and humidity levels reported does not create heat-related conditions that could adversely affect our students and staff."   

After-school games like football and softball are still on.

Wilson contacted the Georgia High School Athletic Association, which said that when it comes to high school games, coaches are responsible for making sure lots of water is available and that students are well hydrated.

Channel 2's Christian Jennings is in Gwinnett County, where the school system is working hard to keep children safe in the extreme heat.  Different schools have chosen to handle things differently.

At Burnette Elementary School, principal Kim Reed instructed teachers not to take kids outside after 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Teachers were told to make sure children drank plenty of water before, during and after.

"Obviously, the heat is a great concern for us," Reed said "We watch the heat index and then we also got an email from our health and P.E. department to keep us abreast."

Reed said that when officials recommend there is going to be an extremely high heat index, she'll make the decision to allow kids outside for a short period of time with the rest of recess held inside.

"I let the teachers know ahead of time that they can take their kids out for a quick walk around the playground exterior and then come in, but no one can go outside after 11," Reed said.

When temperatures rise, students with certain medical conditions have to stay inside.

"They are keeping an eye out for these students... to know which students might have asthma," Reed said.

The school system is also making sure that its bus drivers are protected, providing them with water daily to get them through their long routes.

"We also have provided our bus drivers with evaporative bandanas that can help them cool off," Reed said.