Originally created 07/09/98

Augusta ranks hottest



The grass had good reason to be thirsty Wednesday.

At 101 degrees, Augusta was the hottest place in Georgia, said National Weather Service officials. Although many Georgia cities hovered near 97 degrees, only Waycross, at 99 degrees, came close to reaching the Garden City's mark, said Jim Blair, a meteorologist for the weather service's Peachtree City station.

The high was only 3 degrees shy of Augusta's record-high July 8 temperature of 104, set in 1977, said Dave Schuetrum, a technician for the weather service's station in West Columbia, S.C.

Augustans won't find much respite from the heat today. Temperatures should reach a high in the upper 90s, with a 30 percent chance of rain, according to a National Weather Service forecast.

Wednesday's triple-digit temperature was Augusta's latest in a monthlong streak of heat. Since June 8, thermometers have reached 90 degrees or more on 29 days and hit 95 degrees or more on 21 days, Mr. Schuetrum said.

Highs reached 100 or more on five days since June 8, according to weather service statistics. Most of those days came during a particularly brutal stretch from June 21 to July 1. During that span, highs never dipped below 95 degrees and peaked at 103 degrees from June 28 to June 30.

Since June 21, Augustans have had only one day with a high below 95 degrees -- July 2, when the high was 90 degrees.

"That's quite a heat wave," Mr. Schuetrum said.

Besides high temperatures, Augustans also have had to contend with low rainfall and soaring heat indexes -- measures that account for humidity, which makes temperatures seem hotter than they actually are.

Wednesday's heat index was 110 degrees, which was about average for the past week, Mr. Schuetrum said. But Augusta has had only one significant rainfall, 1.01 inches on June 9, during all of June and July, according to weather service statistics.

The city had only 2.31 inches of rain during June, almost two inches below the norm of 4.13 inches, according to the service. Augusta has had only traces of rain during July, the service reported.

BYLINE1:By Brandon Haddock

BYLINE2:Staff Writer

The grass had good reason to be thirsty Wednesday.

At 101 degrees, Augusta was the hottest place in Georgia, said National Weather Service officials. Although many Georgia cities hovered near 97 degrees, only Waycross, at 99 degrees, came close to reaching the Garden City's mark, said Jim Blair, a meteorologist for the weather service's Peachtree City station.

The high was only 3 degrees shy of Augusta's record-high July 8 temperature of 104, set in 1977, said Dave Schuetrum, a technician for the weather service's station in West Columbia, S.C.

Augustans won't find much respite from the heat today. Temperatures should reach a high in the upper 90s, with a 30 percent chance of rain, according to a National Weather Service forecast.

Wednesday's triple-digit temperature was Augusta's latest in a monthlong streak of heat. Since June 8, thermometers have reached 90 degrees or more on 29 days and hit 95 degrees or more on 21 days, Mr. Schuetrum said.

Highs reached 100 or more on five days since June 8, according to weather service statistics. Most of those days came during a particularly brutal stretch from June 21 to July 1. During that span, highs never dipped below 95 degrees and peaked at 103 degrees from June 28 to June 30.

Since June 21, Augustans have had only one day with a high below 95 degrees -- July 2, when the high was 90 degrees.

"That's quite a heat wave," Mr. Schuetrum said.

Besides high temperatures, Augustans also have had to contend with low rainfall and soaring heat indexes -- measures that account for humidity, which makes temperatures seem hotter than they actually are.

Wednesday's heat index was 110 degrees, which was about average for the past week, Mr. Schuetrum said. But Augusta has had only one significant rainfall, 1.01 inches on June 9, during all of June and July, according to weather service statistics.

The city had only 2.31 inches of rain during June, almost two inches below the norm of 4.13 inches, according to the service. Augusta has had only traces of rain during July, the service reported.