0

High temperatures greet the official start of summer

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman. Kyle Pattillo, far left, waits to cast his fishing line as Douglas Renteria, 10, jumps off a dock into Lake Lanier on Tuesday afternoon at Van Pugh Park. Waiting to jump is Corey Pattillo, 11.

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman. Kyle Pattillo, far left, waits to cast his fishing line as Douglas Renteria, 10, jumps off a dock into Lake Lanier on Tuesday afternoon at Van Pugh Park. Waiting to jump is Corey Pattillo, 11.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Flowery Branch resident Kyle Pattillo headed to Lake Lanier on Tuesday to enjoy the summer day.

"It is hot. It's very hot," he said, adding, "I love it. It turned out to be a nice day, and I'm happy."

From an astronomical standpoint, Tuesday was the first day of summer and the longest day of the year.

But from a weather standpoint, summer is considered to be June, July and August, said Jon Richards, who runs www.lawrencevilleweather.com.

So far this month, the average temperature in Atlanta has been 82 degrees, which is 5.9 degrees above normal, Richards said. The part of the summer that is traditionally the hottest -- between July 15 and August 15 -- is still a few weeks off.

"Being six degrees above normal in June, the temperature has been more typical of what we would see in July and August," Richards said. "Plan on another two months of relatively hot weather, and hopefully we'll get a break."

For Gainesville resident Roxana Rivera, the hot temperatures will mean plenty of family trips to the lake.

"(I) enjoy taking the kids out and everything, and (the summer) is just great for that," she said. "Them being out of school, it's that family time."

Temperatures in Gwinnett have been slightly cooler than the official recordings taken at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Richards said. The days haven't been quite as hot, and the nights have been a bit cooler.

At his Lawrenceville home, Richards said the average temperature so far this month has been 78.1 degrees.

"We just don't have the heat of the city, even out in Gwinnett County," he said.

The day's dew point has also played a role in how oppressive the heat feels, Richards said. For example, Tuesday's high temperature was nearly 94 degrees. Monday's high was 92, but since the dew point was higher, it felt hotter. The heat index on Monday was 98, while it was 97 on Tuesday.

Richards said the difference was a lower dew point on Tuesday, which translates into a less humid day.

"Even though it was warmer today, I went out and played nine holes of golf, and it wasn't too bad," Richards said. "I wasn't dying."

Although more hot days are expected in the future, Richards said the weather pattern is changing, and a low-pressure system moving in from the Rocky Mountains brings a chance of rain from today through Monday.

"We should have a more normal July and August," he said, "because we'll be wetter than normal through the Fourth of July."

Staff intern Rachel Shirey contributed to this report.