Smoky sunsets ahead but no record heat

Meteorologist Ben Cathey foresees the smoke lasting through at least Saturday afternoon.
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 4:53 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2021 at 5:30 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - From wildfire smoke to local burn bans – the weather story is a little different this week. As for the actual forecast: it’s warm and almost totally dry for the next week.

While we’re exceptionally hot Friday through Sunday and again late next week, it’s not going to send us to record territory.


Much of the WVLT is under a ‘Code Orange’ for air quality. That comes from the US EPA. While this was for ozone levels earlier this week, the Code Orange is now for PM 2.5. That’s smoke. Smoke and haze are very noticeable but the EPA says it’s not yet dangerous or hazardous for most. Still, if you’re susceptible to smoky air, you may want to limit your time outside in the heat of the day.

The smoke should actually peak again tonight right around 8:00-10:00 p.m. That will give the sunset and moonrise a vibrant red/orange color! Plus, the moon becomes full Friday night so it’s very noticeable.

Some years never quite get this hot
Some years never quite get this hot(WVLT)

Friday brings the warmest high temps of the year – and the hottest temps since July 21st of 2020 (more than a calendar year)! It’s still pretty far from a record high, however. There’s no active weather Friday, just lots of sunshine.

There is only a very minute chance of rain Saturday or Sunday – and it’s WAY up high in the National Park. We’re just as hot Saturday and Sunday. Both existing records are no-gos. We’d have to hit 101 degrees to even tie them!


Rain chances climb marginally Monday but the heat remains. Tuesday has a few more clouds and that will keep us only slightly cooler. Soon, we’ll be heading back into the middle 90s! That quickly cuts off most of the rain – though we’re tracking a north-to-south cold front on one weather map.

Hopefully by that point the smoke will be in the past!

We also have custom forecast videos for you in the WVLT weather app for iPhone or Android.

Forecast from WVLT
Forecast from WVLT(WVLT)

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