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Climate of Georgia (U.S. state)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Köppen climate classification types of Georgia
Köppen climate classification types of Georgia

The climate of Georgia is a humid subtropical climate with most of the state having short, mild winters and long, hot summers. The Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of Georgia and the hill country in the north impact the state's climate.[1] Also, the Chattahoochee River divides Georgia into separate climatic regions with the mountain region to the northwest being cooler than the rest of the state, the average temperatures for that region in January and July being 39 °F (4 °C) and 78 °F (26 °C) respectively.[2] Winter in Georgia is characterized by mild temperatures and little snowfall around the state, with the potential for snow and ice increasing in the northern parts of the state. Summer daytime temperatures in Georgia often exceed 95 °F (35 °C). The state experiences widespread precipitation. Tornadoes and tropical cyclones are common.

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  • ✪ Florida and Georgia Compared
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  • ✪ Texas for Kids | US States Learning Video
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Georgia and Florida Two bordering southern states in these United States. Two of the fastest growing states in the country right now. Both are similar in size. Florida is just slightly bigger. Both are two of the most ethnically diverse states in the country. 25.6% of those living in Florida identify as either Hispanic or Latino. 32.2% of those living in Georgia identify as African American. The largest cities in both are about the same size. Atlanta, in Georgia has a metropolitan population of about 5.9 million, and Miami, Florida, has a metro population of about 6.2 million. According to Forbes magazine, both have promising economic futures. The unemployment rate in both states is about the same. Top industries in Florida include tourism, agriculture, and international trade. Top industries in Georgia include agriculture as well, energy, and film. Huh? Yep, they film a lot more TV shows and movies in Georgia due to tax incentives. In fact, the only two states in the country that produce more big budget movies and TV shows is California and New York. Georgia will give 20% tax credits for big budget films...30% if the show or film shows its logo at the end of the credits. Both have similar percentages of citizens who got at least a bachelor’s degree or higher. Both are two of the oldest states in the country. However, Florida was settled by Europeans long before Georgia was. Most of the American Indian nations who resided historically in Florida and Georgia were wiped out due to disease brought over by the Spanish. Speaking of the Spanish, they had much more of a presence in Florida, controlling it off and on until 1819, after the United States basically just said, yeah it’s ours now. In 1565, the Spanish established St. Augustine in Florida, which today still exists and is the oldest city in the United States. In the 1700s, different American Indian tribes, notably the Muscogee, aka Creeks, moved into Florida. Over the years a new nation formed of these groups called the Seminole. The Seminole were well known for their resistance to American encroachment on their lands. The most notable American Indian nation in Georgia was the Cherokee, who lived fairly peacefully with Georgians until several of them wanted their land. Yeah, just like the Seminole, most of the Cherokee were eventually kicked out of Georgia, many sent via the infamous Trail of Tears. But about 100 years before that, Georgia was one of the original 13 British colonies and a place where American Indian land was actually respected. Founded by General James Oglethorpe in 1732, he wanted Georgia to be a place where English citizens who were imprisoned for debt, as well as “the worthy poor,” could start over. He was pretty strict with his rules in those early years, banning alcohol and even banning slavery. Yeah but that slavery ban was eventually lifted. By the time Georgia and Florida became states, they had plenty of slavery. Both states would eventually leave the United States and join the Confederate States of America, fighting to keep the institution of slavery in the American Civil War. After the the Confederates lost the Civil War, both states were readmitted into the Union in 1868. Their economies both struggled after the war. After the Reconstruction period, Jim Crow laws enforcing racial segregation went into effect in both states. Later, though, it would be Georgia where the Civil Rights Movement really took off. During the later half of the 1800s and first half of the 1900s, it was mostly Georgia that grew in population. However, that all changed with the invention of the air conditioner. After the air conditioner, people could go inside and escape the heat and humidity! In 1950, Florida had less people than Georgia. By 1990, it had more than double the amount of people as Georgia. In recent decades, both Georgia and Florida have become more diverse, but politically Georgia still remains more conservative than Florida. The last Democratic President Georgia elected was the fellow Southerner Bill Clinton in 1992, and before that Jimmy Carter, who used to be Governor of Georgia. Florida, meanwhile, is what we call a swing state, meaning people’s votes go back and forth between the two major political parties and their votes actually count in presidential elections. Woah! Republican Donald Trump edged out Democrat Hillary Clinton there in 2016. Democrat Barack Obama won the previous two elections, and Republican George W. Bush won the two elections before that. Bush won Florida by just a few hundred votes in 2000, which literally was the reason why he won that race that year. Oh yeah, check out my many videos about that election. While researching this video, I was bit surprised on all the differences between the two states. There are a lot. Florida is less religious than Georgia. Of those who identify as religious in both states, Christianity of course is the dominant religion, with the largest sect in Georgia Baptist and Catholic in Florida. Florida has more foreign born residents. About 1 out of every 5 residents is an immigrant. Most of these immigrants are from nearby Cuba. Yeah, Florida has, by far, the most Cuban Americans in the country. Many Cubans first came to Florida after Fidel Castro took over in 1959. More than 27% of Florida residents speak a language other than English. Mildly fun fact. Miami is closer to Havana, Cuba than it is to Tampa. For being so close to each other, the geography of both states is pretty different. For starters, Florida just sticks right out there and is mostly surrounded by water. It’s what you call a peninsula. There is the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the west, and the Straits of Florida to the south. As I referenced earlier, Florida is pretty close to Cuba, but it’s also freaking close to the Bahamas. As such, Florida has some of the busiest cruise ports in the world. Well PortMiami is the largest passenger port in the world. But leaving and arriving to Florida? More like going to Florida. With its beaches and attractions like Disney World, tens of millions of tourists go on vacation to Florida each year. Georgia is just not known for tourism like Florida is. Florida is swampier than Georgia. It’s also generally much flatter, and while there are some hills in the central and northern parts of the state, Florida is barely above sea level when it’s not actually at sea level. Um, yeah, that last part. Miami and other parts of the state are some of the most vulnerable in the world when it comes to rising sea levels due to climate change. Speaking of climate change, Florida has many more hurricanes than Georgia. Usually, by the time hurricanes end up getting to Georgia, they have turned into tropical storms, which still can be pretty brutal. The Sunshine state? Yeah, right. Florida may have that nickname, but it gets lots of rain, more than any other state as matter of fact. It also gets more lightning than any other state. While it’s pretty darn warm and muggy much of the year, it’s pretty darn nice in the winter. Georgia, being further north, of course gets a little cooler than Florida, but its higher elevations also accelerate that. In the northwestern part of the state, it has freaking mountains, part of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians. Ok I know, the locals pronounce it AppaLATCHuh. The hilly Piedmont Plateau region stretches across central Georgia. While Florida has a straight up tropical climate at its southern edge, most of it is classified as humid subtropical and warm oceanic climate. Georgia is also generally humid subtropical, but of course the mountains and Atlantic Ocean like to shake things up a bit. Florida is in two time zones, Georgia just one. So take that, Georgia. Woah sorry, Georgia. I don’t know where that came from. (Atlanta clip) How's your parents? Good, good. They're driving to Florida right now to visit my uncle who's dying. Oh, Florida, huh? Make sure you tell 'em to watch out for Florida Man. What's Florida Man? It seems that Florida is notorious for weird stories coming out of the state. You know, like the story about that dude from Gainesville who got mad at his girlfriend an grabbed an alligator out of his bathtub to swing around at her as a weapon? Speaking of alligators, Florida has a lot more than Georgia. Or the story of the lady who thought she was a mermaid and got in trouble for wearing her mermaid costume in a community pool because it violated a “no fins” policy? So why do all these stories come out of Florida? Are Florida residents just weirder? Is it because Florida just has a lot of people so the odds are greater? Well, it’s more likely that we just HEAR about the crazy stuff more because Florida law lets the media have basically unlimited access to police reports in the state. Florida appears to have more crime than Georgia. Florida is more expensive than Georgia, mostly due to housing. Georgia has a higher poverty rate than Florida, despite having a higher GDP per capita than Florida. Georgia spends more money per student on education, although both states are below the national average in that category. Florida is known as the number one place for retirees to um, retire to. When you go there...there’s just old people everywhere, dude. So yeah, Georgia is a lot younger than Florida. Most of the rest of the country is, too, but surprisingly Florida isn’t the state with the oldest population. Florida has less taxes overall than Georgia. However, Florida has more boy bands who originated there. Georgia has more rappers. Well, decent ones at least. Ok, once I realized that I was looking up how many boy bands came out of both states, I knew it was about time to wrap this up. Despite a heated college football rivalry between Bulldogs and Gators, these two states don’t seem to hate each other that much. Maybe that’s because they ain’t got to. They both have bright futures, well unless we don’t get that whole climate change thing figured out. (Ace Ventura clip) Oh...there is just one more thing, lieutenant. If you live in Florida. Watch out for those pythons. This video was suggested by my Patreon supporter TheNobleYoshi. Thanks for the great suggestion! So, what do you think? Oranges or peaches? Which state do YOU like better? What else should I have included in this video? What did I get right? What did I get wrong? Which two states should I compare next? Ok that’s a lot of questions. I’m sorry about that. Thanks for watching!



Most of Georgia has a sub-tropical climate, with hot and humid summers, except at the highest elevations. Weather conditions in various localities of Georgia depend on how close they are to the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico, and their altitude. This is especially true in the mountainous areas in the northern part of the state, which are farther away from ocean waters and can be up to 4,500 feet (1,400 m) or higher above sea level. The areas near the Florida-Georgia border, extending from the Atlantic Ocean westward to the Chattahoochee River, experience the most subtropical weather, similar to that of Florida: hot, humid summers with frequent afternoon thunderstorms and mild, somewhat drier winters. The USDA hardiness zones for Georgia range from zone 6a (-10°F to -5°F) in the mountains to zone 9a (20°F to 25°F) along the coast.[3]

Despite having moderate weather compared to many other states, Georgia has occasional extreme weather. The highest temperature ever recorded is 112 °F (44 °C),[4] while the lowest ever recorded is −17 °F (−27 °C).[5] Heat waves with temperatures over 100 °F (38 °C) have often been recorded.


Average annual precipitation for Georgia
Average annual precipitation for Georgia

The entire state, including the North Georgia mountains, receives moderate to heavy rain, which varies from 45 inches (1,100 mm) in central Georgia[6] to approximately 75 inches (1,900 mm) around the Northeast part of the state.[7] Georgia has had severe droughts in the past, especially in 2007. Tropical Storm Alberto in July 1994 looped across central Georgia, leading to 24-hour rainfall amounts exceeding 20 inches (510 mm) across central sections of the state.[8] It also became the wettest tropical cyclone on record for the state of Georgia, eclipsing the record set in 1929.[9] Snowfall, which occurs in most winters, increases in frequency and average amounts per year to the north.


Image of March 1993 Storm of the Century
Image of March 1993 Storm of the Century

Southern and southeast areas of the state experience snow much less frequently than other parts of Georgia. The Georgia Piedmont, sometimes referred to as the Blue Ridge province,[10] is somewhat cooler in winter than the coastal areas. The Southern areas of Piedmont may receive snow every other year, while areas close to the foothills get snow a couple of times a year averaging anywhere from a trace up 2" of annual snowfall. The biggest winter threat to the northern piedmont is freezing rain which is rain that freezes on contact. The mountains of Georgia have the coolest climate and most frequent snowfall in the state, although snowfall is less than any other part of the Appalachian Mountains. The exception to this is the mountain areas of Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, White and Rabun Counties, and surrounding counties which average 3 to 8 inches of snow annually. Mountains, however, can average anywhere from 4-18 inches annually. Elevations over 4000 feet, can have some brutal winters with some storms blanketing the mountains with over a foot of snow. [11]The mountains above 3,500 feet or parts of the Appalachian trail average 10-25 inches of snow in one season. The highest mountain in Georgia, Brasstown Bald (4,784 feet) averages 30-40 inches of snow per season. Heavy snow in the extreme northern counties is considered 5 inches (13 cm) or more of snow in a 12-hour period or 7 inches (18 cm) or more of snow in a 24-hour period". Watches for heavy snow are issued when a 50 percent or greater chance of 2 inches (5.1 cm) or more of snow falling in a 12-hour period, or 4 inches (10 cm) or more in a 24-hour period is expected.The Deceptive Killers], Accessed December 11, 2007 [12][13]

Winter weather watches are issued when there is a "50 percent or greater chance of significant and damaging accumulations of ice during freezing rain situations"; these watches are normally issued 12 to 48 hours in advance. A winter storm warning for an ice storm means that icy conditions are "occurring, imminent, or have a very high probability of occurring". These warnings are usually issued when there is an 80 percent or greater chance of meeting ice storm conditions.[14]

Blizzards in Georgia are rare. The last blizzard the state had was in March 1993.[15][16]

Winter in South Georgia, which lasts from December to January, is much more mild. Daytime highs range from approximately 50 °F (10 °C) in the northernmost interior areas to near 70 °F (21 °C) along the coast and in the extreme south.[17]

Winters in Georgia are determined by the Pacific Ocean. During El Niño, the jet stream is located along the Southern U.S., allowing for colder and wetter conditions with greater snowfall. The opposite phase, La Niña, keeps the jet stream further north, thus winters are warmer and drier across Georgia.


Weather during springtime in North Georgia and the mountains changes from day to day and year to year.[18] Early spring in the North Georgia Mountains can be very chilly during the day; average highs are near 62 °F (17 °C). The weather can be highly variable with temperatures ranging between 75 °F (24 °C) and 40 °F (4 °C). The rainiest time of the year is normally April, which can also be a windy month where daytime temperatures can rise to near 75 °F (24 °C) and evening temperatures fall to around 40 °F (4 °C).


Summers are hot and humid with temperatures in the afternoons that reach, on average, to near 90 °F (32 °C). Overnight lows fall to near 68 °F (20 °C) [18] and there is usually an 8 °F (4 °C) difference in temperature between the mountains and Atlanta. While humidity in North Georgia, especially in the mountains, can be high it is not as high as it is in South Georgia. Summer thunderstorms add to the humidity in the area by providing 4.5 inches (110 mm) to 5.5 inches (140 mm) of rain during the summer months.

Tropical cyclones

Tropical Storm Alberto (1994) moving into Georgia
Tropical Storm Alberto (1994) moving into Georgia

Although Georgia experiences many tropical cyclones,[19] it only rarely experiences a direct hurricane strike due to its fairly small coastline. The last hurricane to directly affect the Georgia coastline was Hurricane David in 1979. The last major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) to hit the Georgia coast directly was in 1898. More common are hurricanes which strike the Florida Panhandle, weaken over land, and bring tropical storm or hurricane-force winds and heavy rain to the Georgia interior (especially the southwestern areas), as well as hurricanes that come close to the Georgia coastline, brushing the coast on their way up to hit the Carolinas.


Image of a tornado
Image of a tornado

Georgia is one of the leading states in incidents of tornadoes though they are rarely stronger than F1 .[20] Southwestern and northern sections of the state have historically reported the largest amount of tornadoes.[21] The areas closest to the Florida border report F0 and F1 tornadoes associated with summer afternoon thunderstorms. However, tornadoes of F3 intensity or greater within Georgia are uncommon, with three events reported on average each year.[22]


Georgia's autumns are normally sunny and cool.[23] September and October, the driest months of the year, qualify as "Indian Summer" weather with temperatures that are near 78 °F (26 °C) during the daytime. At night, the temperature drops to near 50 °F (10 °C). It is much cooler in November with an average high of 62 °F (17 °C) and low of 36 °F (2 °C). The first freeze of the year normally falls within November, except in the northern mountains, where it occurs in October.[18]

Statistics for selected cities

Climate data for Savannah, Georgia (Savannah/Hilton Head Int'l), 1981–2010 normals,[c] extremes 1871–present[d]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 84
Mean maximum °F (°C) 76.3
Average high °F (°C) 60.4
Average low °F (°C) 38.6
Mean minimum °F (°C) 21.7
Record low °F (°C) 3
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.69
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 9.0 8.1 7.7 6.8 7.0 11.9 12.3 13.5 9.6 7.1 6.8 8.4 108.2
Average relative humidity (%) 69.6 67.0 66.8 65.4 70.1 73.6 76.0 78.6 77.7 72.9 72.3 70.8 71.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 175.5 181.0 232.0 275.6 288.9 276.0 271.3 245.8 214.3 228.6 193.5 174.2 2,756.7
Percent possible sunshine 55 59 62 71 67 65 62 60 58 65 61 56 62
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)[28][29][30]

See also


  1. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  2. ^ Official records for Atlanta were kept at the Weather Bureau in downtown from October 1878 to August 1928, and at Hartsfield–Jackson Int'l since September 1928.[24]
  3. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  4. ^ Official records for Savannah were kept at downtown from January 1871 to April 1945, Hunter Field from May 1945 to September 1950, and at Savannah/Hilton Head Int'l since October 1950. For more information, see ThreadEx.


  1. ^ Archived January 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
  2. ^, Accessed December 10, 2007
  3. ^ "Georgia USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map". plantmaps. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  4. ^ USA Today (August 2006). "Each state's high temperature record". Gannett Co, Inc. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
  5. ^ USA Today (August 2006). "Each state's low temperature record". Gannett Co, Inc. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
  6. ^ The Weather Channel (2009). "Monthly Averages for Macon, GA". Weather Channel Interactive, Inc. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
  7. ^ The Weather Channel (2009). "Monthly Averages for Clayton, GA". Weather Channel Interactive, Inc. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
  8. ^ David M. Roth (2007). "Tropical Storm Alberto Rainfall Page". Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
  9. ^ William H. Haggard; Thaddeus H. Bilton; Harold L. Crutcher (1973). "Maximum Rainfall from Tropical Cyclone Systems which Cross the Appalachians" (PDF). Journal of Applied Meteorology. 12: 50–61. Bibcode:1973JApMe..12...50H. doi:10.1175/1520-0450(1973)012<0050:MRFTCS>2.0.CO;2. Retrieved 2007-07-16.[dead link]
  10. ^ John B. Jensen; Carlos D. Camp; Whit Gibbons (2008). Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia. University of Georgia Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-8203-3111-9.
  11. ^ "AT Snowfall Maps - weathercarrot". Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  12. ^ "Winter Storms...The Deceptive Killers". Archived from the original on March 26, 2008. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  13. ^ Heavy Snow, Accessed December 11, 2007 Archived March 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Icing Conditions. Retrieved on 2007-12-11.
  15. ^ Wind Chill & Extreme Cold. Retrieved on 2007-12-11.
  16. ^ Winter Weather Precipitation Types. Retrieved on 2007-12-11.
  17. ^ Climate Archived 2008-09-14 at the Wayback Machine, Accessed December 11, 2007
  18. ^ a b c What's Typical in North and Central Georgia? Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  19. ^ Roth, David M; Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. "Tropical Cyclone Rainfall in the Southeastern United States". Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Point Maxima. United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  20. ^ "2007 North Georgia Regional Development Center Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  21. ^ Jonathan Atwell (2009). "Number of Tornadoes per County: 1950–2008". National Weather Service Forecast Office, Peachtree City, Georgia. Retrieved 2009-08-28.
  22. ^ Thomas Grazulis (1999). "Georgia Tornadoes". The Tornado Project. Retrieved 2009-08-28.
  23. ^ Climate Archived November 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Accessed December 14, 2007
  24. ^ ThreadEx
  25. ^ "Station Name: GA ATLANTA HARTSFIELD INTL AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  26. ^ "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  27. ^ "WMO Climatological Normals of Atlanta/Hartsfield INTL AP, GA". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  28. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  29. ^ "GA Savannah INTL AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  30. ^ "WMO Climate Normals for SAVANNAH/MUNICIPAL, GA 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2016-09-05.
This page was last edited on 11 November 2019, at 14:14
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