Temperatures were close to normal across Georgia last month. But rainfall varied greatly, ranging from wetter than normal in the north to significantly below normal along the coast.
In Atlanta, the monthly average temperature was 54.6 degrees F (1.2 degrees above normal), in Athens 53 degrees (0.3 degree above normal), Columbus 57.4 degrees (0.7 degree above normal), Macon 55.1 degrees (normal), Savannah 58.4 degrees (0.3 degree below normal), Brunswick 61.8 degrees (0.2 degree above normal), Alma 58.5 degrees (2.2 degrees below normal), Valdosta 60.5 degrees (1.5 degrees above normal), and Augusta 54.9 degrees (0.5 degree above normal).
A few daily record-high temperatures were set or tied in November. Alma experienced a record high of 82 degrees Nov. 23, breaking the old record of 80 degrees set on that date in 1958. Brunswick set a record high of 83 degrees Nov. 26, breaking the old record of 80 degrees set that date in 1973.
The first severe frost of fall hit much of the state the first week of November.
Northwestern Georgia received near-normal to above-normal rainfall. However, the southeastern half of the state, especially the coast, was well below normal, and drought expanded in that region.
The highest monthly total rainfall from National Weather Service reporting stations was 5.48 inches in Atlanta (1.38 inches above normal). The lowest was in Savannah at 0.31 inch (2.09 inches below normal). Athens received 4.91 inches (1.20 inches above normal), Brunswick 0.72 inch (1.77 inches below normal), Valdosta 1.15 inches (2.18 inches below normal), Columbus 3.82 inches (0.15 inch below normal), Macon 2.61 inches (0.62 inch below normal), Alma 0.67 inch (1.90 inches below normal), and Augusta 1.30 inches (1.38 inches below normal).
The highest single-day rainfall from Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network stations was 3.81 inches near Dillard in Rabun County Nov. 30. That same day, an observer at Rabun Gap reported 3.24 inches, and another observer east of Helen reported 3.11 inches. The highest monthly total was 6.11 inches at the same Dillard station.
The only severe weather in November occurred on the last day of the month, when numerous reports of wind damage to buildings and trees were received with the passage of a strong squall line and cold front through the state. Localized flooding occurred along several rivers in north and central Georgia.
Two tornadoes were reported. An EF-2 tornado damaged 56 houses in the Buford area in Gwinnett County, destroying one and heavily damaging 12 others. A weaker EF-0 tornado was reported in Henry and Butts counties, damaging four homes and 200 trees along its 2.5-mile path. One fatality occurred in Gwinnett County during the storm when a tree fell on a car traveling near Stone Mountain.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced in late November that all 159 counties of Georgia were eligible for disaster relief following the hot and dry conditions of the past few months. USDA estimates that 30 percent of Georgia crops this year were lost due to detrimental weather conditions.
(Pam Knox serves as University of Georgia Agricultural Climatologist with UGA Department of Crop and Soil Science.)