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Temps above normal, rain below normal in May | News

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Temps above normal, rain below normal in May
Temps above normal, rain below normal in May

ATLANTA - Temperatures across the state of Georgia were above normal for the fourth straight month in May, according to the state climatologist's office.

In Atlanta, the average temperature was 1.1 degrees above normal, while elsewhere in the state, the difference was more pronounced with temperatures in Valdosta running has high as 2.7 degrees above normal. This made this spring the ninth warmest in Atlanta since 1878, when such records began being kept by officials.

Rain has been scarce across the state - so much so, that according to the state climatologist's office, a drought, which had been previously confined to the southernmost portions of the state, expanded northward. The south-central and southwestern portions of the state were the driest areas.

Much of the rain that did fall, came in the form of scattered thunderstorms, and the amounts that fell, were, much like the storms they came from, were varied and scattered.

In Atlanta, the National Weather Service reported that 2.93 inches of rain fell, which is more than an inch below normal. The differences were even more pronounced in other areas, with Macon receiving 2.32 inches below normal, and Columbus getting more than 2.9 inches below their normal amount of rain. May was the third driest in Columbus since records began being kept there in 1948, and the fifth driest in Macon since 1892.

Severe weather was reported on six days of May in Georgia, but as opposed to the major severe weather outbreak in April, no tornadoes were reported across the state. There were reports of scattered wind and hail damage across portions of the state - which led to three people being killed in Metro Atlanta due to falling trees.

A large forest fire consumed more than 230 square miles of forest and swampland in May, most of that in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Georgia. Officials said that fire was apparently sparked by lightning April 28, and is the largest since Georgia's last drought in 2007, when over 500,000 acres burned.

The drought has expanded across much of the state during the month of May, with more than 50 percent of the state in the extreme drought category, according to the state climatologist's office.