Originally created 09/27/03

Experts predict drier, cooler fall

With the official return of fall this week, forecasters say Augustans should expect normal weather during the new season.

That means less rain and cooler temperatures.

"Typically, fall is the driest part of the year," said Jeff Linton, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in West Columbia, S.C.

This year is expected to be no different, with forecasters calling for near-normal precipitation - about 3.20 inches in October, 2.68 inches in November and 3.14 inches in December.

It's a drastic change for a year that's become known for its above-average rainfall. Already, the Augusta area has gotten 47.31 inches of rain - 12.63 inches above normal rainfall through August and 6.53 inches more than the entire yearly average.

At one point, there was even talk that this year could be the wettest on record for Augusta.

The most annual rainfall registered in Augusta since records began being taken at Augusta Regional Airport in 1948 was 66.04 inches in 1964. Before Augusta Regional started taking measurements, the record was 73.82 inches in 1929.

Now that fall is here, Mr. Linton says, drier conditions should hinder the possibility of setting a record.

Temperatures also should be normal this fall, with highs in the high 70s in October and lows around 50.

In November, high temperatures are expected to stay in the high 60s with lows in the low 40s. The high will average about 59 in December with a low around 35, Mr. Linton said.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3904 or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.


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