As the final hours of 2022 tick away, it’s fun to look back at the weather headlines of the year and remember what took place over the past several months.
Atlanta’s average snowfall in the month of January is 1 inch, and while we did not receive 1 inch of snowfall this year, as much as 0.5 inches fell over the course of two weekends.
One of the snowmakers occurred late Friday night, January 16th, when 0.3 inches fell. The other snowmaker occurred the during the weekend of the Martin Luther King Junior holiday, when 0.2 inches was registered at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.
The month of February featured above average rainfall as 5.29 inches of rain fell throughout the city. While morning lows dipped to 29 degrees on February 5, they climbed to 78 degrees on February 24.
A cold weather system swung through Metro Atlanta on March 13, bringing blustery winds and snow flurries, as well as a morning low of 25 degrees. Wind chills dipped to the teens that Saturday morning, but just a few weeks later, the temperature climbed to 83 degrees on March 30.
April showers are supposed to bring May flowers, but April featured wide stretches of dry weather. While the April finished with 4.37 inches of rainfall — approximately 75% of the monthly rainfall fell within a 48 hour timespan on April 5 and 6.
On average, the first 90 degree day in Metro Atlanta occurs around Memorial Day, but in 2022, the first 90 degree reading occurred on May 19.
As the heat began to build, rainfall tapered off. The monthly rainfall for May 2022 checked in at 2.43 inches, roughly 1 inch below average.
In the tropics, Hurricane Agatha formed in the Pacific Ocean, and it dissipated before crossing over the Yucatan Peninsula. However, the same storm cluster associated with Agatha was renamed into Tropical Storm Alex in the Gulf of Mexico on May 1.
Hartsfield Jackson International Airport registered the hottest temperature of the day for 2022 on June 15 when thermometers climbed to 99 degrees. Heat index values that week reached the 105-110 range, marking the first time the National Weather Service in Peachtree City issued an Excessive Heat Warning for Metro Atlanta in ten years.
The holiday week of the Fourth of July featured blazing hot temperatures! Atlanta experienced a solid week with temperatures above 90 degrees, and July 6 through 8 registered three straight days with a high of 94 degrees.
August 2022 was marked by near-daily rainfall that added up to 6.79 inches of rain, approximately 2.5 inches above average. While the rainfall marked for dreary summer afternoons, it was helpful in erasing a severe drought that developed in Metro Atlanta.
As wet as it was in August, by the time the calendar flipped over to September, the rain practically dried up! Only 0.99 inches of rain was registered in the month of September, and it fell within 12 days — over half of September was marked by dry weather.
In the tropics, all eyes were on Hurricane Ian as it made landfall near Fort Myers, Florida as a high end Category 4 Hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. As many as 115 people died in Florida, and recovery efforts are still ongoing.
As dry as the month of September was for Metro Atlanta, October was even drier! Rain was recorded for only 6 of the 31 days in October, though it showed up just in time for trick-or-treating Halloween weekend.
Traditionally, November 30 marks the end of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, and Tropical Storm Nicole developed in the Caribbean during the first week of the November.
On November 10, Nicole made landfall as a Category 1 Hurricane near Vero Beach, Florida with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. It then moved west and made landfall again over Florida’s Big Bend that afternoon. Nicole brought very little rainfall to Metro Atlanta, but it did bring coastal flooding to Savannah.
Atlanta registered a dramatic temperature change during the month of December as thermometers reached 78 degrees on December 8 and then dropped to 8 degrees the morning of Christmas Eve.
And the temperature change on Christmas Eve morning itself was very dramatic! At midnight, the thermometer at Hartsfield Jackson Airport registered 51 degrees, but by 8am, the thermometer had dropped to 17 degrees!
The temperature continued to drop to 8 degrees on Christmas Eve evening. Winds were gusting as high as 30 mph, producing wind chills as low as 10 degrees below zero.
Atlanta registered a Top 10 coldest Christmas Days on record and the next day, a tenth of an inch of snowfall was registered at the Atlanta Airport as an Alberta Clipper System swung through the region.
And as dramatically as the cold air surged in, the warmer weather returned! Just three days after the snow fell over Metro Atlanta, afternoon temperatures climbed to 66 degrees.
What will 2023 have in store? We’ll just have to wait and see!
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