Fall is just about here and officially arrives at 4:22 am Wednesday morning September 23rd. So what can we expect as we head into October, November and December? Rain has been hard to come by since August, and many spots across north and central Georgia are entering certain stages of drought. The hardest hit areas are from Macon to Augusta with severe drought showing up just south of Augusta. Abnormally dry conditions have increase the most from just under 6% of the state at the beginning of the year to 42% currently.
Rain totals here in Atlanta have fallen off in September after a wet summer that saw above normal rainfall for June and August, and near normal rainfall in July.
As we head into October there is a very good chance that the dry pattern that has established itself so far this September will continue.
Warmer than normal temperatures are also expected for October which combined with the dry conditions would further elevate the drought conditions across the state. This could all be changed by a few late season tropical systems, but with a moderate to strong El Nino firmly in place that scenario is not likely.
Our prospects for alleviating the drought start to look better as we enter November and December. Above normal rainfall is expected for the period of October through December along with near normal temperatures.
All indications point to the El Nino lasting into next spring, and historically this leads to a wetter than normal winter period. Therefore if for some reason we end up with a drier than normal fall, we should be able to pick up the slack over the winter months. As for temperatures they typically run slightly below normal, not because of Arctic outbreaks but because of a more active southern branch to the Jetstream that leads to more clouds and rain.