Feel like 2022 has been hotter than normal in Atlanta? You’d be right

New data shows that January to June has been among the hottest starts to a year the city has seen since 1930.

Atlanta is no stranger to heat, but the first half of 2022 was one of the hottest starts to a year in the city’s recorded history.

And if current projections hold, more warmer than average temperatures are likely on the way.

New federal data shows that the months from January to June 2022 were the 4th hottest such period for Atlanta in 93 years of record-keeping. According to analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, temperatures so far this year have averaged 2.1 degrees above what was considered normal between 1981 and 2010.

The globe just experienced its third hottest June on record, and for Atlanta and much of Georgia, it was also an abnormally hot month. In Atlanta, this past June was the 17th hottest on record, with average temperatures 2.3 degrees above normal. And statewide, last month was the 12th hottest June Georgia has experienced since 1895.

On June 15, Atlanta toppled a 70-year-old daily temperature record when it hit 99 degrees. Days later, the city tied another daily record when it hit 98 degrees. Many other cities and towns, especially in southern and central Georgia, broke or tied daily temperature records in June’s oppressive heat waves.

Combined with stifling humidity, those kinds of temperatures are not only unpleasant — they can be dangerous or even deadly for certain groups, like the elderly, young children, people with chronic medical conditions and those who work outside.

Georgia also saw scant rain in June, with the month ranking as the state’s 12th-driest on record.

A persistent La Niña pattern — which typically brings warm, dry weather to the southern half of the U.S. — is partly to blame for the heat and lack of rainfall, NOAA has said. But the high temperatures are also a telltale sign of climate change, and are in line with long-term global warming trends driven by greenhouse gas emissions from human activity.

There is little heat relief in sight for Georgians, but areas affected by drought in the state could get some needed rain in the weeks and months to come.

According to NOAA’s latest three-month forecast, the rest of summer is likely to be warmer and wetter for Georgia and most of the East Coast.

A note of disclosure

This coverage is supported by a partnership with 1Earth Fund, the Kendeda Fund and Journalism Funding Partners. You can learn more and support our climate reporting by donating at ajc.com/donate/climate/

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