Atlanta has an
average elevation of roughly 1,000 feet and is approximately 250 miles from both
the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The Southern end of the Appalachian Mountains extends into
North Georgia and this, coupled with the nearby bodies of water, has a great
impact on the climate of this area. The
mountains to the North tend to hinder the movement of Polar air masses so
Atlanta has a mild winter climate with some chance of snow in December and
January. The average annual
snowfall is 1.5 inches, but snowfall over 4 inches occurs about once every 5
years. Most snows last a very short
time since they are followed by warmer weather.
The first frost is usually in early November and the last frost is
usually in late March. In the
summer, high temperatures and humidity are common.
Dry periods tend to occur in the late summer and the maximum numbers of
thunderstorms occur in July. Locally
severe thunderstorms tend to occur in March, April, and May and sometimes spawn
damaging tornadoes. The average
annual precipitation total is about 48 inches.
Areas of Georgia, though, such as Black Rock Mountain State Park, often
receive over 80 inches of precipitation in a year.