Repeated blasts of cold air in December and a rare January snowstorm are helping to shape Augusta’s winter as the fourth-coldest on record.
“It is definitely colder than average, but still not anywhere near an all-time record-setting winter,” said Pam Knox, Georgia’s assistant state climatologist.
According to National Weather Service data collected at Augusta Regional Airport since 1942, the period since Dec. 1—the beginning of winter recordkeeping for climatologists—has yielded below-average mean temperatures each month.
In December, when two low-temperature records were set, the mean monthly temperature of 39.4 degrees was 7.5 degrees below average.
“Augusta also set two record lows in December,” Knox said. A Dec. 8 record low of 16 degrees broke the 18-degree record low set in 1954; and a low of 10 degrees Dec. 4 broke the old record of 15 degrees, set in 1960.
No low temperature records have been set in January or February, she said, but a snowstorm, capped with ice across much of the state, helped keep temperatures lower than average.
“We’ve had snow on the ground over a lot of the state and that makes it easier to get sustained colder temperatures,” she said. “The combination of having really cold air and a thicker than usual snow cover, and then ice on top of that, keeps things colder for longer.”
The mean temperature in Augusta in January was 41.7 degrees, or 3.1 degrees below normal. February values—so far—also show a mean temperature that is 3.1 degree below average.