State Climatologist David Stooksbury said Monday that although few records are being set, September in Tifton has been consistently hotter than average. Through Sunday, the average high temperature for September has been 89 degrees. That is more than one degree higher than the average high from 1971 through 2000, which was 87.4 degrees.

"So it has been some above normal," Stooksbury said.

The last week and a half have been particularly hot. Stooksbury said the average high temperature was 90.8 degrees from Sept. 10 through Sunday. That is more than four degrees higher than the 86.6 average high from 1971 to 2000.

"That is significantly higher," said Stooksbury.

Despite the high temperatures, he said that most of the daily highs have been in the low to mid-90s and have not neared records.

"I don't see anything that I would expect to be a record this time of year in South Georgia," he said. "I think the thing is that's it's just been very consistent."

The climatologist said that the reason for the high temperature is simple.

"It hasn't rained," he said.

Tifton has only received 0.01 inch of rain during September, or as Stooksbury said "for practical purposes, no rain." Normally, Tifton has about 2.24 inches of rain in September. He said that when there is little rain during hot months, less of the sun's energy goes toward evaporation. More energy means higher temperatures.

The dry September comes on the heels of three wet months. June through August produced 16.52 inches of rain in Tifton versus an average of 12.73 inches.

"This dry spell allows some people to get some work done that they weren't able to do earlier because it was wet," Stooksbury said.

He said that the dry weather benefits some while hurting others. For instance, some crops will be stressed by the lack of rain, but for harvesting it is perfect weather as rains do not interrupt the harvest process.

Despite the hotter than average highs during the days, September nights have been about normal. The average low for all of September through Sunday was 67.5 compared to an average of 67.6 for September from 1971 to 2000.

"So at night we've been slightly cooler than the climatological average," he said.

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