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Wildfires are literally saying "FU" to metro Atlanta

That smoky haze you've been seeing in the air lately is a literal FU.

No kidding - that's official aviation code for smoke in the air, according to the National Weather Service's Aviation Weather Center.

Some abbreviations are more intuitive than others. Drizzle is DZ, rain is RA and snow is SN. Others are a little less obvious. A pilot experiencing GR is flying through hail. If it’s misty, that’s BR.

Here's a look at some common codes. (Be thankful we're not experiencing VA this week).

The FU isn't meant to be an expletive. It's derived from the French word for smoke, fumée.

By the way I had no idea until I heard Atlanta's Morning News host Scott Slade and meteorologist Kirk Mellish discussing this on News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB, then checked it out. Thanks fellas!

Georgia Forestry Commission spokeswoman Wendy Burnett said metro Atlanta is seeing the effects of at least 133 wildfires that have been burning in Paulding and Polk counties as well as in Tennessee, North Carolina and Alabama. Ongoing dry weather isn't helping.

State and federal climatologists say the Chattahoochee and Flint river basins, stretching from North Georgia to Florida, are in a “historic” drought.



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Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for