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Cooler temps wont hang around
Mary Ann Cummings tends to her flowerbed Monday at her Forrest Avenue home in Gainesville. Milder temperatures are forecast for the rest of the week.

It may feel like autumn this week, but summer hasn’t had its last hurrah yet.

The high temperature on Monday was just 73 degrees — well below the high of 81 this time last year and the average high of 80 for September.

“It doesn’t mean that our warm and even milder days are over,” said Bill Murphey, chief meteorologist and state climatologist with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. “It doesn’t mean that we’re going to break straight into fall temperatures.”

The cold snap comes at the end of a cooler-than-usual summer, but Murphey said he expects the air to warm up by next week.

Temperatures for June through August were the 12th coolest on record, with a mean average temperature of 74.2 degrees, Murphey said.

“A yo-yo pattern is possible,” he said. “You could warm up fairly quick, then get a front, and it goes back down again.”

He said the lower temperatures are caused in part by a front that has displaced cooler air into our region.

This type of weather pattern, often referred to as “the wedge,” is a high pressure system in the Northeast that pushes the cooler air south along the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains. This process is called cold air damming and is responsible for many of the cold snaps felt in North Georgia.

“The wedge is currently eroding, and so that ought to bring temps back up for North Georgia,” he said.

However, there are other factors at play that could extend the cooler temperatures toward the end of the week, and although summer warmth may return before the end of the season, Hall County can expect a break for the remainder of this week.

Murphey said a possible secondary push of cold air on Wednesday means temperatures may remain cooler than average and there’s a chance skies will remain overcast to the end of the week.

He said a varied temperature gradient across the state, with temperatures ranging from the low 70s in Northeast Georgia to the 90s and high 80s in South Georgia, could also contribute to a variance in local temperatures for the rest of the season.

He said there’s not a strong likelihood of rain this week, and rainfall was slightly above normal for June through August.

For the coming three months, Murphey said, there’s a “slightly higher probability of above-normal temperatures,” and a continued yo-yo effect.

“Behind the cool air you can sometimes warm back up,” he said. “It keeps on happening until we kind of break into a cooler pattern.”

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