Friday ended what weather watchers call the meteorological summer. Despite getting off to a sizzling start that included all-time high temperatures, it wound up being a pretty average summer across Middle Georgia.
Its about par for a summer, said Robert Garcia, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City. We definitely had a warm start. Not as much rain, but now weve picked up more tropical moisture and its helped us kind of keep more temperate.
The summer, climatically speaking, began June 1, and by then temperatures observed in Macon had already climbed into the upper 90s on several days. Macon later tied all-time record highs of 108 on June 30 and July 1, then stayed above 90 for almost the entire month of July, according to the weather service. That gave way to a more moderate -- and moist -- August.
Thanks in part to spinoff showers this week from Hurricane Isaac -- which brought almost three-quarters of an inch of rain -- Macon has recorded 12.51 inches of rainfall since June 1, about a half-inch below the 30-year average of 12.98 inches.
Last year, for the same time of year, you guys only got 8.33 inches, Garcia said.
Another means of calculating the summers heat is cooling degree days, a unit monitored by utilities that measures the days temperature to the energy demands of air conditioning. Each degree above 65 is counted as one cooling day, Garcia explained.
This summer, Macon recorded 1,389 cooling days, compared to the average of 1,418 and the 1,698 recorded last year.
Youre basically around normal, slightly cooler than normal for the summer average, Garcia said.
Looking ahead to the coming fall and winter, the only safe bet is a good chance for rain, with the remainder of hurricane season and an El Niño weather pattern looming in the Pacific Ocean.
We still have to finish the hurricane season. Thats always a big player into what our fall may look like, Garcia said. Typically our falls will be toward the rainy side.
As far as the winter, were starting to shift into that El Niño, so well have to see what that brings us. Typically, that can mean a wetter winter. But its kind of hard to say for our area what the impact will be.
A new season usually brings a caution from the weather service to be ready for just about anything.
The winter is going to be a hard call right now, Garcia said.
To contact writer Rodney Manley, call 744-4623.