Scorching heat and dry conditions have been the norm for recent Augusta summers, but with the beginning of the season today forecasts indicate the opposite could be true this year.
The hottest three consecutive summers the U.S. has experienced since 1895 occurred from 2010 to 2012. Last summer was slightly cooler than normal in Augusta, but still a hot one that broke records one week after its official start.
Temperatures rose above 100 twice in June and six times in July. The last two days of June saw temperatures hit 106, breaking the previous record of 105. On July 1, the high temperature was only slightlylower, at 104.
“We haven’t had that brutal heat like normal,” Bill Murphey, Georgia’s state climatologist, said of current conditions.
Temperatures have instead been lower than normal, making March to June the seventh-coolest period on record for Augusta.
Mild temperatures are expected to continue the next three months. Rainfall, however, is predicted to be above normal by about 40 percent, according to meteorologist Tim Hawks of the National Weather Service.
The upper two-thirds of Georgia has a high probability of increased rainfall. Chances decrease farther south.
The Augusta area received about 7.7 inches of rain the first 19 days of June. That’s more than 4 inches above normal, making it the fourth-wettest June on record. Rainfall totals for the year are 1.6 inches above normal.
Murphey said moist, unstable conditions are expected most of the summer.
“That will tell you temps will probably not be kicking up as much as they normally do,” Murphey said. “That’s not to say we can’t have some warm spell though.”
Really hot weather is not in the foreseeable future.
The high today is expected to reach about 87 degrees with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon.
Chances of thunderstorms will increase throughout the weekend to about 40 percent on Sunday. Highs will remain in the upper 80s, several degrees below the normal high of 90.