El Nino could mean wet, cold winter for south Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

El Nino could mean wet, cold winter for south Georgia

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October 24, 2006 '

Albany-  Low temperatures Tuesday should get down into the 30's again.  That could just be a preview of what's ahead for south Georgia this winter.   Climatologist say a weak El Nino could mean a colder, wetter winter. Last night's low was just four degrees warmer than the record low of 34 set back in 1981, but colder temperatures and wetter weather may actually be a good thing.

The low Monday night fell to 38, but it didn't bother many who simply pulled out long sleeves.

"When it's cold I can dress for it, when it's hot I'm just miserable," said Wayne Patrick.

Cooler temperatures forced walker Margaret Miller to layer up.

"Four, an undershirt, a top shirt, my pajama top and then my sweater," said Margaret Miller.

Miller also gave her furnace a test run.

"It was as cold as I don't know what, so I had to turn the heat on to be sure it was going to work, and I was about to freeze to death before I could get the house warm," said Miller.

A weak El Nino in the Pacific could mean turning the thermostat up for many this winter as it's predicted to bring colder, wetter temperatures, but staying warm might not be so costly.

"The projections this year are that gas is going to be much cheaper, we've already noticed that at the gas pump and so even if the weather is a little cooler, we're hoping it will be offset by the cheaper gas prices," said Lorie Farkas, WG&L Asst. General Manager of Marketing.

It could also be the answer to the recent lack of water.

"During the winter months is when we get most of our ground water recharged to the Floridan aquifer that we rely on through the summer months for a lot of our water supply in this region and wetter conditions in the winter are always good for aquifer recharge," said Woody Hicks, a Hydrologist for the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center.

That's why many south Georgians aren't complaining about bundling up before Halloween.

"The colder it is the better for me, because I'm hot natured, so when it cools off I'm a lot better off," said Patrick. 

So far, for the year south Georgia is slightly behind on water levels, but experts say if we can get above average rainfall over the winter, south Georgia's water levels should be in good shape come next spring.

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