Middle Georgia bakes, but this summer not record-breaking

Macon’s high temperature Tuesday was a thermometer-busting 103 degrees, but weather officials say the summer of 2015 is not likely to go down in history as one of Middle Georgia’s hottest.

Carly Kovacik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, said Macon didn’t break any records Tuesday. In fact, she said the weather patterns lately are pretty normal for June and July.

“2015 is not in the top five (years) with consecutive days of over 90-degree temperatures,” Kovacik said. The most recent of the top-five years came in 2010 and 2011, she said.

However, Macon has been plagued with highs of at least 90 degrees for 49 days this spring and summer, according to meteorologist Ryan Willis at the National Weather Service.

So far in 2015, the number of heat advisories that include Middle Georgia stands at 12. A heat advisory requires either a forecast of a heat index of 105 degrees or higher, or a forecast temperature of at least 103 degrees.

National Weather Service forecasters say it’s likely another heat advisory will be issued Thursday.

Kovacik said the high temperatures over the past two weeks have been caused by an upper level ridge, or an upper level high pressure system, that has settled over the Southeast.

When air swoops down from upper level heights, it causes higher pressure systems, which result in hotter temps, she said.

“It’s more common in the summertime,” Kovacik said. “The (weather) pattern looks like it’s still going to persist until the end of the month.”

David Unger, a climate forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center -- a branch of the National Weather Service -- said there is about a one-in-three chance that August will have above average temperatures, based on long-term trends.

With high temperatures, Kovacik emphasized that precautions are necessary “because it’s not going to go away,” she said.

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said to stay hydrated and avoid alcohol and heavy foods. He also said it’s important to never leave children or pets in a car and to check on the elderly and neighbors, he said.

In the heat, a lot of plants undergo stress and dehydration, said Tim Rozier, who has worked at Johnson’s Garden Center in Macon more than 20 years.

Just like people need water, plants get thirsty and need water, too, he said.

Most importantly, Kovacik of the National Weather Service said, remember that “summer’s not over yet.”

To contact writer Conner Wood, call 744-4489.