July 2015 was warm across the state of Georgia, with departures of slightly over 1 degree F across the region.  The warmest areas were generally also the driest.  Precipitation varied from 3.4 inches below normal near Macon to 5.1 inches above normal near Brunswick.

Temperatures across the state were above normal almost everywhere.  In Atlanta, the monthly average temperature was 81.3 degrees F (1.1 degrees above normal), in Athens 82.0 degrees (1.4 degrees above normal), Columbus 83.7 (1.2 degrees above normal), Macon 83.8 (2.0 above normal), Savannah 83.7 (1.1 above normal), Brunswick 82.8 (0.0 above normal), Alma 83.0 (1.0 above normal), Augusta 83.6 (2.0 above normal), Albany 83.7 (1.3 above normal), Rome 81.1 (1.5 above normal), and Valdosta 83.1 (1.7 degrees above normal).   Macon was the 8th warmest July in 119 years of record.

jul 2015 temp dep

One daily temperature record was broken this month.  In Alma the station broke its high minimum temperature on July 21, falling to just 78 F.  The previous high minimum on that date was 76 F set in 1995.  Several other high and high minimum temperatures were tied in July.

jul 15 precip

The highest monthly total precipitation from National Weather Service reporting stations was 10.08 inches in Valdosta (3.45 inches above normal) and the lowest was in Macon at 1.56 inches (3.39 inches below normal).  Atlanta received 5.01 inches (0.26 inches below normal), Athens received 5.08 inches (0.61 inches above normal), Columbus 2.24 inches (2.52 below normal), Savannah 5.36 inches (0.24 below normal), Alma 5.48 inches (0.15 above normal), Brunswick 9.22 inches (5.14 above normal), Albany 4.53 inches (0.93 below normal), Rome 3.12 inches (1.20 below normal), and Augusta 3.52 inches (0.81 inches below normal).

jul 15 precip dep

Columbus was the 8th driest July in 114 years of record and Macon was the 10th driest in 119 years of record according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center’s Perspectives tool at https://www.sercc.com/perspectives?user=true.

One daily rainfall record was set in July.  Brunswick received 2.18 inches on July 25, breaking the old record of 1.58 inches set in 1983.

The highest single-day rainfall from CoCoRaHS stations was 4.75 inches near Colbert in Oglethorpe County on July 3, followed by 4.25 and 4.20 inches received by two observers on Tybee Island in Chatham County on July 24. The highest monthly total rainfall was 11.95 inches, observed south of Savannah in Chatham County.  Several other observers in the same area received monthly totals in excess of 11 inches this month, including the two Tybee observers with the high daily totals.

Severe weather was observed on 24 out of 31 days during the month.  All of the reports were for scattered wind damage except for reports of hail on July 2 and 14.

The outlook for August shows a slightly increased chance of warmer conditions in southeastern Georgia extending south into Florida.  There is no projection for precipitation toward higher or lower than normal amounts in either August or August-October. The temperature and precipitation pattern is expected to continue through October.  Precipitation is typically difficult to predict in the summer and using climatology is recommended in this situation for planning purposes.

The Drought Monitor shows that drought increased across the state in July.  Drought conditions in southern Georgia are expected to be reduced by rainfall in the first week of August but drought in the central part of the state may get worse as that area get missed by the rains falling farther south.

july 31 drought projection

The rainfall across the state was mostly welcomed by farmers, although frequent showers in some areas hampered hay production.  Heavy irrigation was evident in the driest areas as crops hit their peak water needs in many areas.  Rain in north Georgia caused construction delays for the Cleveland bypass early in July.

For more information please see the “Climate and Agriculture” blog at https://site.extension.uga.edu/climate/  or visit our new web page at https://www.gaclimate.org.  Please feel free to email your weather and climate impacts on agriculture to share on the blog to pknox@uga.edu.

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