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Habersham County, GA

Last Updated on Sep 24 2017, 5:55 pm EDT

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2015 Weather Year in Review

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2015 was a crazy year for weather. From a snowy February to an extremely warm December, it was certainly one for the record books. All the data below was compiled from the Greenville NWS’s NowData which can be accessed here. I used the Cornelia station.

It was characterized primarily by two extremes: really, really cold and really, really warm. January and February both brought extreme cold outbreaks, with single digits reported on multiple days, then now in November and December things have been quite warm and wet.

We set only 3 record highs, March 17th, April 10th and December 16th. This is somewhat surprising, especially considering December is the warmest on record by a pretty wide margin, but the warmth this year was more general and consistent compared record breaking on a daily basis. To put the December warmth into perspective, the average temperature for the month was 54.7º at Toccoa (the nearest complete records to Habersham), a full 1.2º above the previous record set in 1956. Incredible, to say the least.

We set only 2 record lows, February 19th and 20th, with recorded temps of 8 and 9 respectively. No months were even close to the coldest on record as a whole.

Total precip on the year wasn’t even close to highest on record (that belongs to 2013 with 85.75″), but the individual months of October-December were extremely anomalous. October was 3rd wettest on record, November 2nd, and December 6th (there’s been some very wet Decembers in the past, and areas to our west were 2nd or 3rd in some cases).

We saw around 1/2″ of ice on February 16th, and the region saw anywhere from 4-8″ of snow between February 24 and 26th with 2 separate snow systems. The higher elevations saw many NW flow events but the lower elevations only cashed in on winter weather during this 2 week period in late February.

Here’s a look back at the weather year that was…

Hog Pen Gap (PHOTO: Tyler Penland/nowhabersham.com)
Hog Pen Gap (PHOTO: Tyler Penland/nowhabersham.com)

January:  We kicked the year off with a high of 45º back on January 1st. This would turn out to be just below the average high of 48.2º. The warmest temp recorded during the month was 64 on January 21st. Our average low was 28.9 and coldest temp came from the first actic outbreak of the year on the 8th and 9th when Cornelia recorded 6º both mornings.

Total precip for the month was only 4.89″, and we wound up 1 degree below average.


sNOW HABERSHAM
sNOW Habersham contest entry. More than 100 Northeast Georgians played in the snow with Now Habersham.

February: February brought us plenty of ice and snow, and was colder than January with an average high of 45.3 and average low of 24.4. The warmest day was the 9th when we reached 62º, but just 11 days later we would plumet all the way to 7 in the 2nd arctic outbreak of 2015.

Total precip was 5.48″, bringing the yearly total to 10.38″. February turned out well below average with a departure of -8.1º from average. Brrrrrrrrrrr.


Tyler Penland took Now Habersham readers along for some great springtime hikes in his feature series "Roads Less Traveled."
Tyler Penland took Now Habersham readers to new heights on some great springtime hikes in his feature series “Roads Less Traveled.”

March: March came in like a lion on the 2nd, when over half the months precip occurred. It was the dryest month of the year with only 2.96″ falling.

The average high was a pleasant 61.6 with the warmest temp of 82 occurring on the 17th. The coldest temp of 25 occurred late month on both the 29th and 30th, damaging early bloom flowers and early planted gardens. The average low was 41.5º.  This put us 1.7º above average for the month.


April showers also brought April hailstorms to Habersham as seen in this photo submitted to Now Habersham by a reader in Fairview.
April showers also brought April hailstorms to Habersham as seen in this photo submitted to Now Habersham by a reader in Fairview.

April: April brought a very quiet severe season, and it was warm with an average high of 69.5 and warmest temp of 83 occurring on the 10th. The average low was quite warm at 50.2 with the coldest temp of only 37 occurring on the 6th.

We picked up 6.05″ of rain bringing the yearly total to 19.38″.


Now Habersham's seasonal feature "Farm to Fork" took off when gardens starting sprouting around the region.
Now Habersham’s seasonal feature “Farm to Fork” took off when gardens starting sprouting around the region.

May: May brought very seasonal weather with an average high of 78.1 and average low of 56.9. We narrowly avoided the 90’s mid-month with an official high of 89 recorded on both the 19th and 21st, and said goodbye to the low-40’s after hitting 42º on both the 1st and 2nd.

May was the 2nd driest month with 3.54″ of rain falling.


Northern Lights as seen from Helen, GA. The Northern Light photos taken by Now Habersham's Tyler Penland were viewed more than 1 million times!
Northern Lights as seen from Helen, GA. The Northern Light photos taken by Now Habersham’s Tyler Penland were viewed more than 1 million times!

June: June was a bit dryer than normal with only 4″ of rain. It was also 2.3º above average with an average high of 84.9 and average low of 65.3.

We hit 92º on 5 separate occasions, and only dipped to 57 on the 3rd.


A microburst swept through the southern end of Clarkesville ripping roofs and toppling trees like this one outside the city's Post Office.
A microburst swept through the southern end of Clarkesville ripping roofs and toppling trees like this one outside the city’s Post Office.

July: July was the definition of normal, with an average high of 85.5 and average low of 67.5 leading to only 0.5º above average. The highest temp was only 91º reached on the 21 and 29. The coldest temp was only 64, though, and occurred on the 4th, 5th and 6th.

Total rainfall was 5.37″ bringing the yearly total to 32.29″.


Another, much wider microburst swept through northern Clarkesville in August causing extensive damage to homes and businesses such as Habersham EMC.
Another, much wider microburst swept through northern Clarkesville in August causing extensive damage to homes and businesses, including Habersham EMC.

August: August was slightly cooler than average (-0.7), with an average high of 83.5 and average low of 65.4. It was wet, though, with a full 6″ of rain falling.

The warmest day of the year occurred on the 5th when Cornelia reported 93º. The coolest low of the month occured on both the 26th and 27th when we reached 60º, and a few locations got into the upper-50’s.


Lovely fall weather greeted visitors along the Soque River in north Habersham in September. It's views like this that led Yahoo to name GA State Route 197 to its list of "The Most Scenic Drive in All 50 States."
Lovely fall weather greeted visitors along the Soque River in north Habersham in September. It’s views like this that led Yahoo to name GA State Route 197 to its list of “The Most Scenic Drive in All 50 States.”

September: September was our final break from copious amounts of precip, and was actually a pretty nice month with a good cold snap in the middle.

The average high was only 77º and the average low was 60.1. The warmest temp was reached on the 5th when we made one last trip to 90º. The lowest came behind the strong cold front mid-month and Cornelia made it down to 45.

Total rainfall amounted to 4.58″, and was the last time we saw a montly rainfall of under 9″. Average temp was 0.4º below average.


Roots gave way in rain-soaked soil causing trees to topple. Fallen trees, like this one along GA 197, blocked roads and downed power lines. Utility crews spent days working to restore electricity to the region.
Roots gave way in rain-soaked soil causing trees to topple. Fallen trees, like this one along GA 197, blocked roads and downed power lines. Utility crews spent days working to restore electricity to the region.

October: October began the great floods of 2015. The average high of 68.9 and low of 48.9 were pleasant, but the 9.79″ of rain were not!

The highest temp was 81 on the 1st and lowest was some folks’ first frost at 34º on the 20th and 21st.  These average temps put us exactly normal for the month, though precip was above normal.


Although the rain made leaf watching difficult, colors did show near the end of October and early November.
Although the rain made leaf watching difficult, colors did show near the end of October and early November.

November: November was very warm, though cooler than december, with an average high of 61 and average low of 43.7. The warmest temp was 73 on the 12th and coldest was our first hard freeze of 26º on the 23rd. This put us 2.1º above average.

We picked up a whopping 10.53″ of rain making it the 2nd wettest November since 1950 (record holder is 1992 with 11.43″). This brought us to a yearly total of 63.19″, putting us already 4.23″ above average precip.


Rivers rose as rain fell across Northeast Georgia in December. Persistent, heavy rains spurred numerous flood watches and warnings across the region in the final weeks of the year.
Rivers rose as rain fell across Northeast Georgia in December. Persistent, heavy rains spurred numerous flood watches and warnings in the final weeks of the year.

December: December was the warmest on record across the entire southeast US. The average high at Toccoa was 63.4, and average low was 46.0. These combined for an incredible +11.0 departure from normal. Total rainfall of 10.48″ (6″ shy of a monthly record) brings the yearly total to 73.62″.

NOTE: The reporting station for Cornelia has had numerous technical difficulties during December, so the data for December will be slightly off due to this, I’m using reports from Toccoa, the closest complete reporting station (should be very minimal change from what Cornelia saw).

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