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Too hot now? Forecasters say enjoy it while you can
El Nio may bring colder, wetter winter than normal
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Rainiest winters

1957-58: 31.92 inches
1972-73: 40.51 inches
1982-83: 34.76 inches
1997-98: 37.81 inches
Average: 29.14 inches

Source: State Climatologist Bill Murphey

Steamy hot may not be comfortable now, but folks might be longing for it in six months or so.

Much of the forecast in the next week sounds like a broken record: highs in the 90s and a chance of thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

But national forecasters are calling for a strong El Niño, which could mean a winter that is colder and wetter than normal in the South.

Georgia’s state climatologist, Bill Murphey, said he’s leaning toward that forecast.

It’s “not that unreasonable to say” it could be one of strongest El Niños in 50 years, he said, adding it’s still a little early to determine impacts.

El Niño is a warming of a portion of the Pacific Ocean, with “impacts ... typically most noticeable during the colder months,” according to The Weather Channel.

Murphey is quick to note, however, that “not all El Niños bring the same conditions.”

“It’s probably safe to say typical strong El Niño events for the Southeast can lead to more severe weather outbreaks for South Georgia and Florida during the winter and spring,” he said.

That doesn’t mean North Georgia won’t get soggy.

The historical average for October-April rainfall for the Atlanta area is 29.14 inches and the average rainfall during the four strongest El Niños on record is 36.25 inches, Murphey said, citing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data.

The good news is that El Niño “will likely contribute to a below normal Atlantic hurricane season,” according to the weather service.


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