Published on 10/03/12

Fall starts with uneventful weather

By Merritt Melancon

Georgia made it through September without much dramatic weather.

Temperatures across the state were normal, but rainfall was light. The areas that received the most rainfall were affected by the remains of Hurricane Isaac in the first week of September.

In Atlanta the average temperature for the month was 74.2 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees above normal). Across the state, average temperatures ranged from 72.6 degrees in Athens (0.7 degrees below normal), to 76.8 degrees in Columbus (0.2 above normal), to 75.3 degrees in Macon (0.8 below normal), to 77 degrees in Savannah (0.1 above normal), to 79.1 degrees in Brunswick (1 above normal), to 77.4 degrees in Alma (0.3 above normal) and 73.8 degrees in Augusta (0.8 below normal).

No temperature or precipitation records were set during September.

Most of September’s rain was tied to the remains of Hurricane Isaac, which made landfall in Louisiana on August 28. The center of Isaac moved slowly north, up the Mississippi River valley over the following week, which continued to bring warm moist air into Georgia and spawned some bands of heavy rain. When Isaac entered the Ohio River valley, it split into two circulation centers. A small piece of Isaac then moved south towards Georgia, sparking additional isolated showers for the next few days.

The highest monthly total precipitation reported by National Weather Service stations was 4.88 inches in Athens (0.94 inches above normal) and the lowest was in Atlanta with 1.37 inches (3.1 inches below normal). Savannah received 2.86 inches (1.72 inches below normal), Columbus received 3.6 inches (0.54 above normal), Alma received 2.19 inches (1.45 below normal), Augusta received 1.84 inches (1.38 inches below normal), Macon received 2.71 inches (0.88 below normal) and Brunswick received 2.86 inches (2.9 below normal).

The highest single-day rainfall reported by Community Collaborative Rain, Snow and Hail Network reporters was 3.9 inches observed 5 miles southwest of Valdosta in Lowndes County on September 21. Two other nearby observers reported 3.8 and 3.23 inches at their respective locations. One of the Valdosta stations also had the highest monthly total of 8.88 inches. Other high monthly totals included 8.86 inches observed northeast of Dillard in Rabun County and 8.49 inches in Trenton, Ga., in Dade County.

Severe weather was reported on six out of 31 days in August. All of the reports were for widely scattered wind damage.

Drought conditions stabilized in September, with only slight changes over the month. Rain impeded harvest in some locations, while in other areas farmers were hoping for more rain to improve pasture conditions.

Merritt Melancon is a public relations manager with UGA's Terry College of Business and previously served as a public relations coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Extension.

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