The calendar shows fall arrived at 10:21 a.m. Thursday.
Temperatures are expected to remain above average through the weekend, with highs of at least 90 degrees forecast for Saturday and Sunday in Macon.
Across Middle Georgia you can hear people grumbling about the persistent heat.
“Everybody has just had enough. They’re ready for a break,” meteorologist Kent Frantz said.
Macon has not seen many high-temperature records broken in the summer, but it has been consistently above normal.
“That really accumulates your average,” Frantz said. “That 3 or 4 or 5 degrees each day just adds up.”
With 82 days of at least 90-degree temperatures in June, July and August, it’s been the fourth-hottest summer in Macon’s recorded history.
Climatologists study those three months as the summer season, although autumn officially arrives in the third week of September.
Lack of abundant rainfall created drought conditions in many parts of the state.
Over the past week, extreme drought conditions expanded in the northern third of the state, while patches of severe drought stayed about the same in south Bibb and northern Houston counties and into Twiggs, Wilkinson and Baldwin counties.
Macon had its seventh-driest summer season on record.
The rainiest day was Aug. 19 when only .71 of an inch of rain fell.
Through fall and December, the trend will still be below normal rainfall, Frantz said.
“That’s unfortunate, but that can change,” he said. “Any drought that you have begins to mask itself. It kind of hides itself because you are not dealing with high temperatures and you have less evaporation and vegetation goes dormant.”
The real test of dry conditions will be in the spring at the start of the growing season.
“As long as we get adequate rain in the winter months, which we’re expecting, things should be OK by spring,” said Frantz, who is also a hydrologist.