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Smoky southeastern US to have brief opportunity for rain this weekend

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Smoky skies will continue across portions of the southeastern United States with no rain in sight through the end of the week.

"The weather certainly will remain dry for much of the fire region through Friday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey said.

A haze hovers over the downtown skyline from a wildfire burning in the Northwest part of the state, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Continuous dry weather since the beginning of October has led to extreme drought conditions. Some locations haven't seen any measurable rainfall since September.

This contributed to several fires breaking out from eastern Kentucky and western Virginia to northern Georgia.

The Tellico and Rough Ridge fires are the largest fires currently across the area, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center.

The Tellico fire in Macon County, North Carolina, has burned over 13,000 acres and is 68 percent contained as of early Tuesday. The Rough Ridge fire in Fannin County, Georgia, has burned nearly 20,000 acres and is 20 percent contained.

While no rain is expected for the immediate future, winds will assist in firefighters trying to contain blazes.

"Winds are expected to remain tame through Friday, which will aid firefighters during the daytime as fires will largely be predictable," Duffey said.

However, the lack of wind flow has led to hazy, smoky skies across the area, lowering visibility at times near the ground.

This image taken from the MODIS Satellite shows a large area of smoke (seen in gray) covering the sky across portions of the Southeast on Monday, Nov. 14, where fires are occurring. (Image/NASA)

"High pressure will be a problem for fire suppression activities during the overnight as the stable air will trap smoke low to the surface," Duffey said.

Those with respiratory problems should refrain from being outside for extended periods of time.

A storm pushing across the nation this week will approach the East Coast this weekend. This may bring an opportunity for rain in some portions of the Southeast.

"The best chance for measurable rainfall will be to the west of the Appalachian Mountains where it is most desperately needed, but the amount of rain forecast will not be enough to reverse drought conditions," Duffey said.

Showers may break out for a brief time across Memphis, Nashville, Birmingham, Alabama, and Jackson, Mississippi. The last time Birmingham received measurable rainfall was on Sept. 18.

How much rain, if any, reaches locations east of the Appalachians is not known at this time.

The main concern for firefighters will be the increase in winds behind this storm.

"There will be a significant threat of variable and faster winds, creating very dangerous conditions or wildfire crews," Duffey said.

"Wind shifts can quickly change where the fire is heading."

Following the storm from this weekend, the next chance for some measurable rainfall may not arrive until around Thanksgiving.