The majority of spring 2012 (defined as the months of March, April and May) continued the trend of warmer and drier weather that occurred during the winter of 2011-12. The warmth continued the entire spring, while the rainy season was kicked off in May by several stalled fronts over the region and punctuated by the landfall of Tropical Storm Beryl on May 27th in Jacksonville Beach. Beryl brought much needed rainfall to much of the region but her strong winds did produce damage near and to the north of the region where she made landfall. The widespread heavier rains during the month of May brought about a foot of rainfall to the region and erased much of the short-term rainfall deficits for the 2012 calendar year. A long-term drought still exists across much of northeast Florida and southeast Georgia with rainfall deficits of 10 to 20 inches still existing from the past 2 years and a moderate to severe drought index still exists across much of the region and can be seen at the this link. Even with the above normal May rainfall totals, the very dry months of March and April kept spring precipitation departures to about 2 to 5 inches above normal.

The warm spring set records across southeast Georgia as both of the climate sites (Alma and St Simons Island) experienced their warmest springs on record (dating back to 1949). Alma tied their warmest spring on record set back in 1991 with an average temperature of 70.9 F, and St Simons Island had an average temperature of 71.6 F which far exceeded the old spring record of 69.9 F set last year. Average temperatures ranged from 3 to 4 degrees above normal across northeast Florida and 4 to 5 degrees above normal across southeast Georgia. In fact, no climate locations reported sub-freezing temperartures this spring and St Simons Island recorded it's highest minimum temperature for the spring season on record falling only to 46 degrees on March 5th.

 The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) continues to forecast greater chances of above-normal average temperatures this summer (June, July and August) while precipitation forecasts remain unclear and Equal Chances (EC) of above, below and near-normal precipitation totals are expected this summer, despite the first half of June being very wet across much of southeast Georgia and northeast Florida. The CPC forecast can be seen at this link.


Spring 2012 Temperature Data

Climate Station Spring Average Temp Departure All-time Rank Highest Lowest # of days >= 90F Departure
Jacksonville, FL 70.8 F + 3.2 F 18th Warmest 96 F on 5/6 37 F on 3/5 10 days + 2 days
Gainesville, FL 72.1 F + 3.9 F 6th Warmest 96 F on 5/26 35 F on 3/5 25 days + 16 days
Alma, GA 70.9 F  + 4.2 F

Warmest on Record

96 F on 5/26 39 F on 3/5 14 days + 7 days
St Simons Island, GA 71.6 F + 4.5 F Warmest on Record 92 F on 5/26 46 F on 3/5 2 days - 1 days

Spring 2012 Precipitation & Wind Data

Climate Station Spring Rainfall Departure Highest # of Days with Rainfall # of Thunderstorm Days Highest Wind Gust
Jacksonville, FL 13.69" + 4.62" 2.83" on 5/29 21 days 18 days 56 mph on 5/27
Gainesville, FL 11.17" + 1.69" 3.25" on 5/28 21 days 9 days 45 mph on 3/4
Alma, GA 11.81" + 1.78" 3.64" on 3/3 23 days 21 days 41 mph on 3/24
St Simons Island, GA 11.60" + 3.37" 2.23" on 3/3 25 days 18 days 48 mph on 5/27


Please let me know if you have any questions about the Climate Program here at the NWS in Jacksonville.

Jason Hess - Climate Focal Point is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.