It's often said that the weather is all relative, and, although this recent stretch is hot it pales in comparison to one of the hottest months on record in Atlanta - July 1980. A brutal heat wave encompassed the Midwestern and Eastern United States, and Georgia was certainly not spared. 

Hottest 2-week stretches

The average high temperature for the entire month was 95.6°. That is 6.5° warmer than the normal average high temperature for the month. There was a two week stretch from July 4 to July 17 that rivals anything Atlanta has ever seen for extended hot weather. The mercury touched at least 101° on five of those 14 days. It reached 105° twice, and at the time that was the hottest temperature ever reached in Atlanta. It has since reached 106° on June 30, 2012. 

The brutally hot two -week stretch featured an average high temperature of 99.3° at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. That's tied for the hottest 14-day stretch on record. August 2007 was also extremely hot - it's the hottest month on record since 1879.

In addition to the hot summer, the weather was extremely dry from June-September in Georgia. It is the 12th driest summer on record, and only 1983, 2002 and 2011 have been drier since. 

The 1980 heat wave is also one of the worst in United States history. It's estimated that there were up to 10,000 fatalities directly or indirectly caused by the heat and drought. The drought caused approximately $20 in damage. 


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