First day of summer in the city: What to expect between now and Labor Day

Isannah Brightwell, 5, frolicked in the water at Rodney Cook Sr. Park in Historic Vine City on June 15, 2023. (John Spink /

Credit: John Spink

Credit: John Spink

Isannah Brightwell, 5, frolicked in the water at Rodney Cook Sr. Park in Historic Vine City on June 15, 2023. (John Spink /

Thursday marks the first day of summer, and you know what that means in Atlanta: Hot weather, potential storms and the opportunity for fun in your downtime. Whether you’re hitting the road or staying put, here is everything you need to know to get through summer (which officially goes through Sept. 22) in the A.

The start of summer is marked by the summer solstice, the moment when Earth’s Northern Hemisphere is closest to the sun, which happens Thursday at 4:50 p.m.

How hot will it get?

Real hot. We can expect sizzling conditions, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The National Weather Service warns that much of metro Atlanta and North Georgia will see extreme heat on Monday. The state and most of the country are in for above-average temperatures through August.

Already, the metro area has had days with temps teasing the triple-digit mark, which is out of the norm even for mid-summer.

While highs often flirt with 100 degrees and feels-like temps sometimes exceed triple digits when factoring in humidity, Atlanta’s actual air temperature has not reached 100 since 2019, according to NWS data.

NOAA predicts a damp season, which is welcome news as much of the metro area and parts of Central Georgia are under abnormally dry conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. That is not quite a drought, but it is the precursor.

Hurricane season preview

Hurricane season lasts through the end of November, and the NOAA predicts an extremely active season.

Up to 25 named storms are possible. That’s the most storms the agency has ever predicted and is well above the average of 14 storms per season over the last 30 years.

Tropical storm Alberto has already formed in the Gulf of Mexico and has brought heavy rain and strong winds to southern Texas and northeastern Mexico, according to NOAA.

Of this year’s projected storms, 13 are forecast to become hurricanes, four to seven of which could become major hurricanes with sustained winds of at least 111 mph.

Last year’s hurricane season was also very active. While only one major hurricane — Idalia — hit the U.S. coast, the season ended with the fourth-most named storms on record since 1950.

Hurricane Idalia made landfall on Aug. 30 in Florida’s Big Bend Region as a Category 3 storm before pushing into rural South Georgia, uprooting trees and destroying farms. One death and seven injuries were attributed to the storm.


Whether you’re driving or flying, travel costs are down, according to AAA and NerdWallet.

Gas prices this month have been down compared to last year, AAA reports. While the downward trend could change, experts predict prices will either continue dropping or stay about the same this summer, so long as there are no major unexpected interruptions to production.

The best news? It’s possible that we could see the national average price at the pump below $3 in the fall, according to analysts.

Airfares and hotel prices have also been falling compared to last year, NerdWallet found. Airline tickets are down by about 6%.

Overall, May’s cost of travel is down by 2% from the same month in 2023. However, it’s still up by 12% compared with pre-pandemic trends.

“In short, expect the same trip taken this year to cost slightly less than it did this time last year, but more than it would if you had taken the trip before the pandemic,” NerdWallet reports.


Atlanta has been ranked the best summer travel destination for those on a budget, so staycationers are in luck.

The city came out on top thanks to inexpensive flights from major cities, diverse attractions and its late “last call” time of 4 a.m., according to a WalletHub study that compared the country’s 100 largest cities.

Taste-testing at the World of Coca-Cola, watching whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium, a walk on the wild side at Zoo Atlanta or a stroll through the Atlanta Botanical Garden or Centennial Olympic Park are great ways to play tourist in your own town. Other top destinations:

Show time!

If you’re into live entertainment, here are some options:

  • June 21-23: Atlanta Shortsfest at Limelight Theater, noon to 11:45 p.m. $12 per screening, $25 day pass, $40 all access. Limelight Theater. Check out a bevy of international short films highlighting a diverse mix of thousands of filmmakers. Each film is 45 minutes or less, giving you the flexibility to watch as many submissions as you have time for over the three-day event. Expose yourself to up-and-coming filmmakers and those who excel in the shorter film format while experiencing cinematic talent from across the globe.
  • June 21: Outlaw Fest at Ameris Bank Amphitheater, 5:30 p.m. to 11: 30 p.m. Ticket prices vary. Start your summer by listening to some classic music with performances by Willie Nelson & Family, Bob Dylan, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, John Mellencamp and more. Outlaw Fest will jog your musical memory, offering a show of talented musicians whose songs span decades. This legendary lineup makes this year’s festival one of the biggest yet. Get a group together and enjoy the music from the lawn, or indulge in VIP access to get some free merchandise and sit in the first 20 rows.

Looking for some laughs?

  • June 21-22: Brian Regan at Buckhead Theater, 8 p.m. Ticket prices vary. With humor that spans generations, Brian Regan’s shows offer sophisticated writing and physicality. This tour comes on the heels of his own Netflix special as well as his role in the comedy-drama “Loudermilk.”
  • June 24: Mike Birbiglia: “Please Stop the Ride” at the Tabernacle, 7 p.m. Tickets prices vary. Actor, author, filmmaker, podcast host and comedian, Mike Birbiglia takes his latest comedy act on tour nationwide. With performances known as “shouting comedy,” Birbiglia fills his shows with different voices to liven things up. An award-winning comedian, his humor is best enjoyed by adults, and his dry sense of humor should get you laughing.

Ready to rock?

Headliners stopping in the city this summer include:

July 13: Def Leppard and Journey at Truist Park, 6 p.m.

July 15: Jhene Aiko at State Farm Arena, 7 p.m.

July 21: Janet Jackson at State Farm Arena, 8 p.m.

July 23: Olivia Rodrigo at State Farm Arena, 7:30 p.m.

July 27: Missy Elliott at State Farm Arena, 7 p.m.

Aug. 8: Future and Metro Boomin at State Farm Arena, 8 p.m.

Aug. 14, 16: Usher at State Farm Arena, 8 p.m.

Aug. 17: Luke Bryan at Truist Park, 6 p.m., time TBD

Aug. 28: Green Day at Truist Park, 6 p.m.

Amanda Gutierrez-19 (left) and her brother, Mateo Gutierrez-17 (right) shade themselves in the heat as they wait for the doors to open at 7PM at the Buckhead Theatre located at 3110 Roswell Road NE in Buckhead on Friday June 14, 2024 after arriving at 9:30 am to see D4VD My House is not a Home Tour. Saturday is forecast to be 97 degrees, and Sunday, Father’s Day will see 95 degrees. (John Spink/AJC)

Credit: John Spink

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Credit: John Spink

Devonte Tucker Jr.-6, a kindergartener with Wesley International Academy enjoyed the spray of cool water at the splash pad at Rodney Cook Sr. Park in Historic Vine City as he and his classmates enjoyed a field trip to the park while Georgia Milestone testing continues at the school. Metro Atlanta is looking for rain showers over the weekend. ÒPretty much every day all the way through the next week is going to have at least some chance for some scattered to isolated showers and storms,Ó Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brian Monahan said. ÒAlmost kind of a summertime pattern.Ó Temperatures will feel more like the start of summer, too. WeÕll take a dip into the upper 70s for a high on Saturday, but weÕll climb back into the low to mid 80s by Sunday and gradually increase each day next week. By Wednesday, projected highs will be in the upper 80s. (John Spink/AJC)

Credit: John Spink

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Credit: John Spink

Fernando Rosales with RJH electrical contractors worked on installing an electrical box on Northside Drive near I-75 as he wiped away the sweat from the oppressive heat in metro Atlanta on Aug. 14, 2023. (John Spink/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: TNS

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Credit: TNS