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Atlanta cold snap: Why is it sweater weather in the South?

Atlanta looked set to break a second straight record for a lowest maximum temperature on Friday, capping one of the coolest, wettest summers on record for the usually sweltering city.

Rain and clouds move through downtown Atlanta. Atlanta had one of the coolest, wettest summer on record for the city.

Mike Stewart/AP

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If you woke up in Atlanta this supposed summer morning, you might have walked out on the porch, and gone right back in for a sweater.

On Aug. 16, a time of year when average daytime temperatures hover at 88 degrees in the Phoenix City, the mercury had stalled at 64 degrees at 1 p.m., six degrees below the record low for a high temperature, set in 1892, of 70 degrees.

Thursday’s 73-degree reading was also the coolest Aug. 15 ever on record in Atlanta, besting a record low high of 77 degrees in 1908.

“For what it’s worth, based on our high temperature [on Thursday], there’s some interesting locations that actually got at or warmer than us that were in Canada, Minnesota and Maine,” says Peachtree City, Ga.-based National Weather Service meteorologist Adam Baker.


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