Georgia climate ranges from oceanic (Köppen climate classification Cfb) in the extreme northeast to humid subtropical (Köppen Cfa) in the rest of the state. Summers are humid and range from warm to cool, while winters are short and mild to cold. Georgia lies in the southeastern corner of the United States. South Carolina to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, Florida to the south, Alabama to the west, Tennessee to the northeast, and North Carolina to the northwest, share borders with the state. The proximity to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean mainly influences the climate.
Georgia, the Peach State, has an elevation ranging from sea level in the southeast corner to 1458 meters at its highest point of Brasstown Bald. The Blue Ridge Province in the northeastern part of the state has forest-covered mountains and narrow valleys. The Valley and Ridge Province in the northwest consists of flat valleys separated by steep wooded ridges. The Piedmont Plateau has steep hilly terrain in the north that changes to rolling hills in the south. The Fall line separates the plateau from the coastal plain and is the head of navigation of major rivers. The Coastal Plain ranges from rolling hills to level land, with marshy and densely wooded areas. Sandy to clay loam soils yield much of the state's agricultural produce.
Summers are warm and humid, with average high temperatures from 72°F (22.2°C) in the northeast hilly region to 82°F (27.8°C) in the south. Southern Georgia is relatively warmer with high temperatures in the 90°F (32.2°C) to 100°F (37.8°C) zone during the summer that occasionally touches 110°F (43.3°C). Winter temperatures vary from north to south and day to day in all parts of the state. Freezing temperatures range from 110 days annually in the north to 10 days along the coast. Day temperatures during the winter are above freezing in the southern three-fourth, even during the coldest conditions. Autumn is the driest season, along with late spring in April and May. The mild and sunny weather in the autumn is ideal for the harvest of crops.
The average annual rainfall in Georgia is 48" (1219.2mm) and varies from 45" (1143mm) in the central and eastern parts to 53" (1346.2mm) in the south, and 75" (1905mm) in the northeast. The distribution of rainfall is highly variable in different sections of the state, with two maxima and two minima annually. Winter and early spring constitute one maximum and midsummer the other. The relative humidity is high and drops from 85% in the morning to 55% in the afternoon during the summer. Snowfall is light in the majority of the state and up to 5" (127mm) in the northern mountains. The average annual sunshine lasts for 2756 hours in Georgia.
Louisville recorded the highest temperature in Georgia of 112°F (44.4°C) on July 24, 1952, while the coldest temperature on record is -17°F (-27.2°C) in northern Floyd County on January 27, 1940.
The best time to visit Georgia
The best time to visit Georgia is during the autumn when the weather is mild and sunny. Additionally, the driest period of the year occurs in the fall season, with pleasant outdoor conditions. The storm season is over, the mornings are beautiful, and the evenings tend to be breezy. There are colorful hues all over the landscape, and the weather is fit for hiking the mountain trails. Northern hilly areas tend to be colder than the rest of the state. Fishing and hunting are popular with plenty of sunlight during the mild days.
The worst time to visit Georgia
The worst time to visit Georgia is during the oppressive heat of summer during July and August. It is also the time of heavy rainfall due to the frequent occurrence of thunderstorms. The southern sections of the state often experience temperatures north of 100°F (37.8°C), and the high humidity makes the conditions uncomfortable. Tropical storms moving from the Gulf of Mexico are frequent during spring and extend to midsummer. Summer vacations draw crowds everywhere, and it is a good idea to visit Georgia after the end of the summer.
Georgia is prone to thunderstorms, floods, droughts, and tropical storms. Thunderstorms are frequent in the summer due to the moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. Rainfall is mainly due to storm activity in the summer, which keeps the afternoon heat tolerable. Americus registered a 24-hour record rainfall of 21.1" (535.9mm) during the tropical storm Alberto on July 5, 1994. Floods are common during winter and early spring. Droughts occasionally occur in the east-central portions where the rainfall is typically low. Irregular rainfall distribution is damaging to crops in some parts every year. Eighteen tornadoes occur on an average annually, with the highest frequency in spring.
Weather in January
January is usually the coldest month of the year in Georgia, with occasional freezing nights. The temperatures differ significantly between the northern mountains and the coastal regions in the south. Day to day temperatures varies considerably in different sections of the state. The average low temperatures are between 25°F (-3.9°C) to 34°F (1.1°C) in the north and 36°F (2.2°C) to 42°F (5.6°C) in the south. Atlanta, the capital registers temperatures in the 33°F (0.6°C) to 54°F (12.2°C), with six to eight sunny days in the month. Snowfall is absent or light in the majority of the state except for the high mountain slopes. However, there is no shortage of artificial snow to enjoy the winter, and there are many ice rinks for skating enthusiasts. Cold fronts occasionally invade the state from the north and push down the temperatures. The end of the storm season generally augurs well, and wind speeds are moderate. Many tourists from the cold American north enjoy the New Year in January in Georgia.
Weather in February
February is mildly cold in Georgia, with the average temperatures in the 28°F (-2.2°C) to 65°F (18.3°C) range. Savannah in the south is milder between 39°F (3.9°C) to 64°F (17.8°C) compared to Helen in the extreme northeast between 29°F (-1.7°C) to 54°F (12.2°C). Cabin rental rates are at the lowest at the peak of winter, with spectacular mountain views in Helen and Dahlonega. The coast is in limits during the winter season as the cold rarely penetrates deep in the south. Trekkers find thrill to conquer the peaks of Brasstown Bald and Springer Mountain when the cold is at its peak. The weather warms steadily by the third week of February, and there is a short window of calm weather before the storm season commences in spring. Wildlife is active without the need for hibernation as in the American north. The daily sunlight of 6 to 7 hours brings welcome warmth, as the daylight increases significantly. February sees the end of the winter in Georgia.
Weather in March
March is warm and wet with the arrival of the spring season in Georgia. The majority of the state receives 4" (101.6mm) to 6" (152.4mm) of rainfall from 8 to 10 rainy days in the month. Snow is rare even in the mountains as bright sunshine descends over the landscape. The average high temperatures are between a lovely 60°F (15.6°C) to 73°F (22.8°C), with Columbus in the central region in the 46°F (7.8°C) to 70°F (21.1°C) zone. The average low temperatures in the meanwhile, lie in the mild 34°F (1.1°C) to 50°F (10°C) in the state. Early spring is the period of blooming flowers and a charged atmosphere. The freshwater in the lakes provides grounds for fishing activities, and the moderate breeze appeals to all living beings. The state parks see increased tourist footfall with the arrival of warm weather in the spring season. Carry a rain jacket, especially while outdoors or in the mountains. Watch out for heavy rain and thunderstorms in March in Georgia.
Weather in April
April is part of the beautiful spring season in Georgia, with plenty of sunshine and a significant dip in rainfall. The precipitation usually lasts for 6 to 8 days in the month and rarely accumulates above 4" (101.6mm). Day temperatures are in the warm 68°F (20°C) to 79°F (26.1°C), and see a beeline for the coast. The beaches witness crowds of enthusiastic visitors, and the mild waters add to the frenzy. Rivers, lakes, and streams are full of fresh water, and the high waterfalls are particularly breathtaking. The spring weather is luscious but faces the danger of frequent storms. Thunderstorms are common, while tropical storms from the south, as well as tornadoes, make their distinct mark. The fishing and hunting season is in full swing, and it is a prudent idea to wear bright colors for the purpose. Carry a light jacket to protect from sudden rain during the day. Keep an eye on the weather for storms in April in Georgia.
Weather in May
May is sunny at the end of the spring season in Georgia. However, it is also the time of stormy weather, which can hamper vacation plans. The temperatures increase rapidly as the nights transition from mild to warm. The average high temperatures are in the warm 75°F (23.9°C) to 86°F (30°C) range, and there is little chance of a cold snap. August, in central Georgia, registers warm temperatures between 57°F (13.9°C) to 85°F (29.4°C), while Brunswick on the coast is between 65°F (18.3°C) to 85°F (29.4°C). The wild flora and fauna are evident throughout the land as parks and reserves wear a crowded look. Fishing, canoeing, and kayaking attract the attention of the adventurers as spring break sees crowds everywhere. The precipitation is to the tune of 2" (50.8mm) to 4" (101.6mm) and is chiefly during periods of storms. Be alert for storms during the afternoon that strike out of the blue. Expect the temperatures and humidity to rise with each passing day in May in Georgia significantly.
Weather in June
June is the start of the hot and humid summer season in Georgia, with long days amid soaring heat. Day temperatures are in the hot zone of 82°F (27.8°C) to 92°F (33.3°C), while nights are warm between 59°F (15°C) to 72°F (22.2°C). Clayton in the north is between 59°F (15°C) to 83°F (28.3°C), while Waycross in the south registers in the range of 69°F (20.6°C) to 92°F (33.3°C). The sun is not a friend with its powerful rays at the peak during the afternoon. The northeast mountains welcome a large number of visitors who intend to escape from the scorching heat. The southern two-thirds of the state is much warmer than the extreme north, while the coast offers little respite from the heat. Mornings and evenings are tolerable on the beaches, which become barren by afternoons. Sunglasses and sunscreens find peak usage with the increase in heat. Georgia summers are vulnerable to tropical storms and tornadoes, so keep an eye for storm alerts in June in Georgia.
Weather in July
July is peak summer in Georgia, with average temperatures soaring to a high of 92°F (33.3°C). The southern regions touch the 100°F (37.8°C) mark at the height of summer, as the heat becomes unbearable due to the additional factor of high humidity. Midsummer is the time of the second maxima of rainfall when the state receives 5" (127mm) to 7" (177.8mm). Moist air from the Gulf of Mexico is often responsible for thunderstorms in the afternoons in the southern parts. Lakes and swimming holes are most sought for, in the summer, while beaches receive maximum footfall in the mornings and evenings. Camping grounds and mountain lodges are rarely vacant. Nature trails are ample, and activities like hiking, biking, and bird watching, among many others, attract considerable interest during the summer. Although hurricanes rarely strike directly due to the small coastline, Georgia is home to a large number of tornadoes in July. Avoid north and southwestern sections of the state if a visit is due in July.
Weather in August
August is a hot and humid summer month in Georgia, with the state in the grip of the intense sunshine. The average temperatures are in the warm 72°F (22.2°C) to hot 91°F (32.8°C) range, with oppressive heat due to the highest humidity of the year. August receives 6" (152.4mm) to 8" (203.2mm) of rainfall and is prone to thunderstorms and tropical storms. Toccoa in northern Georgia averages between 68°F (20°C) to 87°F (30.6°C), Macon in the central portion is between 70°F (21.1°C) to 91°F (32.8°C), while Albany in the south registers in the 72°F (22.2°C) to 92°F (33.3°C) range. State parks and reserves receive many visitors during the golden 8 hours of daily sunlight. Early morning and night are the best periods to spot movements of wild animals. The hunting season offers plenty of game, as does the fishing. Light sweatshirts with sunglasses and hats are sufficient for the heat, but the precipitation is often heavy and needs a jacket or umbrella. Expect temperatures to decline steadily by the end of August in Georgia.
Weather in September
September is the start of the beautiful autumn season of Georgia, with a steady drop in temperatures. The average high temperatures are in the warm 78°F (25.6°C) to the hot range of 87°F (30.6°C), while the average low temperatures are in the comfortable range of 61°F (16.1°C) to 71°F (21.7°C). Athens in the north registers between 63°F (17.2°C) to 84°F (28.9°C), while Savannah in the south is warmer in the range of 68°F (20°C) to 86°F (30°C). The countryside dazzles with shades of yellow, orange, red, and golden as the leaves change colors. The bright sunlight lasts for a daily 7 hours, and it is better to employ mornings and evenings or enjoying the beaches and ocean waters. The apple season is at its peak, and plenty of pumpkin patches and corn mazes spring by Halloween. Precipitation is to the tune of 4" (101.6mm) to 5" (127mm) statewide and usually limits to 10 days in the month. The decline in storm activity is excellent news for kite lovers as wind speeds are moderate at best. The clear September skies offer fantastic stargazing opportunities in Georgia.
Weather in October
October lies in the middle of the autumn season in Georgia, with pleasant temperatures and is usually the driest part of the year. Precipitation registers between 2" (50.8mm) to 4" (101.6mm) with a decline in storm activity. The average temperatures are between a beautiful 58°F (14.4°C) to 78°F (25.6°C), with gentle breezes in the evening. The fall foliage peaks in October and the colors are at their best. Biking through the scenic trails or boating on the calm rivers are apt ways to explore the beauty of the landscape during the period of nature's festivities. The sunrise and sunset in the natural settings of rivers, lakes, and mountains are a treat to watch. Light jackets are suitable for the evenings, while the days are warm enough for regular wear. Camping and building bonfires are popular activities in the fall season. Hunting and fishing are in full swing due to the abundant number of quail, wild turkey, deer, bear, fox, and mountain trout. October is one of the best times to visit Georgia.
Weather in November
November brings mild fall weather to Georgia, with average temperatures in the 48°F (8.9°C) to 71°F (21.7°C) zone. The days are still long in the south, and the sunshine lasts for 6 to 7 hours. Augusta in central Georgia registers mild to warm temperatures between 41°F (5°C) to 69°F (20.6°C), with occasional cold nights. The air is crisp, and mornings and evenings are particularly pleasant. November sees moderate rain to the tune of 3" (76.2mm) to 5" (127mm), with few incidences of storms. Full moon hikes are popular in the state parks with the night temperatures in the comfortable zone. Wear jackets or sweaters during outdoor expeditions during the night. Horse riding on the narrow trails or kayaking in the rivers is enjoyable, with the weather rarely playing spoilsport. Expect temperatures to decrease steadily with the end of the fall season. November is a wonderful time to be in Georgia when the American north sees the invasion of the cold winter.
Weather in December
December is the beginning of the mild to the cold winter season in Georgia, with average temperatures in the 34°F (1.1°C) to 65°F (18.3°C) range. Eight to ten sunny days occur in the month, and the temperatures are comfortable in the coastal areas. Freezing nights rarely occur in the northern hilly areas, while the majority of the state experiences mild temperatures. Precipitation is moderate to the tune of 4" (101.6mm) to 8" (203.2mm), with the highest in northern Georgia. Dalton in the extreme north registers temperatures in the 33°F (0.6°C) to 55°F (12.8°C) range. Snow and frost are rare due to the proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. Tourist footfall continues in the mild winters with a wide range of options, from beaches to mountains in the state. A jacket is handy to keep the cold and rain in check. Expect the temperatures to drop further with the advance of the winter. The weather is comfortable in December in Georgia, with plenty to cheer during Christmas time.