Summer weather arrives early

May 12—VALDOSTA — Though summer doesn't officially start until June 21, forecasters say summer weather seems to be moving early into South Georgia.

The traditional summer pattern of late-afternoon thunderstorms is already here, said Jake Sojda, meteorologist with the private forecasting firm AccuWeather.

"The current pattern is reminiscent of summer," said Andy Haner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Tallahassee, Fla., office.

Sea breezes from the Gulf of Mexico are triggering scattered thundershowers, Haner said.

Sojda said a storm system further west is pushing storm elements into the east. A cold front stalled farther north is also contributing to the storms but offers no relief in the near future, Sojda said.

"Right now, the job is just picking out which days are more likely to see thunderstorms," Haner said.

Temperatures around South Georgia will range from the upper 80s to the lower 90s during the next week, Haner said. The regular average high for Valdosta for this time of year is 86, he said.

Nighttime lows will be in the upper 60s, according to the weather service forecast.

Neither meteorologist saw much of a chance for severe weather — tornadoes or other damaging, high-wind events — in South Georgia during the next week.

Terry Richards is the senior reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times.