The state climatologist says Georgia is in for some scorching days in July and August unless the state gets some rainfall.

Climatologist David Stooksbury said yesterday that 9 more counties are in "extreme drought;" upping the total to 104 counties.

There's little hope that the drought will be snapped without tropical storms in July and August.

If the dry conditions continue, Stooksbury says to expect high temperatures between 100 degrees and 105 degrees routinely in much of the state.

Drought could cause temperatures to soar
Saeed Ahmed, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, 26 June 2007

If you haven't yet heeded Gov. Sonny Perdue's call to prayer to break the statewide drought, now may be the time to get down on your knees.

The temperature across the state will routinely rocket upward of 100 degrees unless the parched earth gets a thorough drenching, an expert says.

The state climatologist issued the dire prediction Monday, saying that only a tropical storm can bring much-needed relief to the state's shriveling crops and those stratospheric air conditioning bills.

"No widespread relief is seen in the foreseeable future," said state climatologist and University of Georgia professor David Emory Stooksbury in a statement posted on the school's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Web site. "Without tropical systems, we can expect the drought to worsen over the next two months."

And if the dry conditions persist, Stooksbury said, high temperatures between 100 and 105 could become common in much of the state. The coastal plains could get between 103 and 108. Even the mountain folks could sweat in mid-90 heat.

Stooksbury could not be reached for elaboration Monday evening.

Nate Mayes, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, said the scenario is "very possible."

We haven't set any records for high temperature yet, Mayes said, but we're running above normal.

The average high around this time of the year is 88; we hit 92 Monday. The normal low is 69; we started Monday morning at 74, Mayes said. The result: The drought across the state continues to slowly worsen.

Of Georgia's 159 counties, 104 are now in extreme drought. Earlier this month, 95 were, Stooksbury said.

In early June, rains from the remnants of tropical storm Barry brought some relief to some parts of the state. Since then, the state has received some heavy showers, but they have been too brief to appease stressed crops, cattle and people.

"A tropical storm would help dramatically," Mayes, added.

"We're way behind for rainfall for the year."

And that is where Gov. Perdue's call for prayer comes in.

"Rain is the only cure," he said early this month. "I believe in the God that can make it rain, and we need to pray for rain."

Here's hoping divine intervention pours forth on these dry days.