First week of May was fifth-coldest on record

A break from mild spring temperatures won’t last long, as more rain and below-normal temperatures could return to the Augusta area, weather forecasters said.

“Keep your jacket handy. You aren’t going to be 90 degrees and hot yet,” said Bill Murphey, Georgia’s state climatologist.

The first seven days of May were the fifth-coldest on record, Murphey said. The average temperature was 62.2 degrees, or 5.1 degrees below normal.

Cloudy skies, a dip in the polar jet stream and a low pressure system that brought cool air from the Northeast combined to create below-normal temperatures, Murphey said.

“We’re just in this transition period where we get big swings in temperature,” he said. “No, we’re not going back to winter.”

In the past two weeks, more than 3 inches of rain fell in Richmond County, with parts of the area receiving up to 5 inches, Murphey said. Augusta Regional Airport has measured 3.84 inches more than normal precipitation since Jan. 1.

So far in May, average temperatures were three to 10 degrees below normal, said Mike Cammarata, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in West Columbia, S.C. No record temperatures were hit.

High temperatures Thursday through Saturday will reach the low- to mid-80s, which is about normal, Cammarata said. More rain is possible this weekend as a storm system with cold air moves across the area.

The start of next week could see below-normal temperatures again, he said.

Milder spring temperatures aren’t a positive indicator of cooler summer months. The three-month weather outlook predicts normal to above-normal temperatures, Murphey said.

“I’m still anticipating a hot July and August like we normally do,” he said.

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