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The Climate of the State of Georgia

Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

Learn about the hot, humid climate of Georgia, in the southeast United States. Discover how the state is affected by extreme weather like hurricanes and tornadoes.

The Climate of Georgia

Georgia state, found in the southeast of the USA. It was one of the original 13 colonies, and was first settled in 1732. It is bordered by Florida in the South, Alabama in the West, South Carolina in the East, and Tennessee and North Carolina in the North.

The climate of Georgia is similar to many states that surround it: it can be described as humid subtropical, experiencing mild winters and hot humid summers. It's a warm area found in the American South, and little snowfall is seen across most of the state. Georgia does reach the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are colder than the rest of the state and receive yearly snowfall.

USA climate map. Georgia is categorized as Cfa - humid subtropical.
USA climate map

In the winter, the average temperatures tend to be between 50 and 60°F, where as in the summer the average temperatures are in the low 90s. The temperatures are milder in coastal areas, where the presence of the sea keeps the winters milder and the summers cooler. Rainfall is heavy in this wet climate. Storms don't happen all the time, but when they do they tend to be relatively severe, and heavy thunderstorms are common.

Georgia rainfall map. Darker green indicates more rainfall.
Georgia rainfall map

Extreme Weather

Georgia is also home to some extreme weather. Most commonly hurricanes (also known as tropical cyclones), and tornadoes.

A hurricane is a storm with violent rotating winds and a low-pressure center that produces heavy rain. Hurricanes form over large bodies of warm water, like those found in the Caribbean and South Atlantic. Georgia can experience hurricanes on occasion, though it is less affected than the states around it. The reason is that it has relatively little coastline compared to other states nearby, and it is buffered by the states that surround it. When a hurricane passes onto land, it loses its power. So by the time a hurricane reaches Georgia, it may no longer be classed as a hurricane at all.

However hurricanes do make it to Georgia. The last was hurricane David in 1979, and a major hurricane hit Georgia in 1898. But the remnants of hurricanes reach Georgia regularly in the form of tropical storms.

A tornado is a fast-moving vortex of violent rotating winds that forms a funnel-shaped cloud that reaches to the ground. Tornadoes are much smaller than hurricanes, and form over land in windy conditions, usually underneath storms higher up in the atmosphere. Tornadoes also last mere minutes compared to hurricanes, which can last for many days.

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