The Climate of Athens, Georgia


Athens, located in northeast Georgia about an hour from Atlanta, is known for its pleasant climate, making it a popular place to live, work, and attend the University of Georgia.

This article will provide an in-depth look at Athens’ climate, including average temperatures and precipitation by month, record highs and lows, typical weather patterns throughout the year, and how climate change is impacting the region.

Average Temperatures by Month

Athens has warm summers and mild winters characteristic of a humid subtropical climate. Here are the average high and low temperatures by month:

  • January: High 52°F (11°C), Low 32°F (0°C)
  • February: High 56°F (13°C), Low 35°F (2°C)
  • March: High 63°F (17°C), Low 41°F (5°C)
  • April: High 72°F (22°C), Low 49°F (9°C)
  • May: High 79°F (26°C), Low 59°F (15°C)
  • June: High 86°F (30°C), Low 68°F (20°C)
  • July: High 89°F (32°C), Low 71°F (22°C)
  • August: High 88°F (31°C), Low 70°F (21°C)
  • September: High 83°F (28°C), Low 63°F (17°C)
  • October: High 74°F (23°C), Low 51°F (11°C)
  • November: High 63°F (17°C), Low 41°F (5°C)
  • December: High 54°F (12°C), Low 34°F (1°C)

The warmest months on average are July and August with average highs in the upper 80s Fahrenheit, while the coldest months are January and February with average lows in the 30s Fahrenheit.

Record High and Low Temperatures

The highest temperature ever recorded in Athens is 108°F (42°C), which occurred on June 27, 2012. Meanwhile, the coldest temperature on record is -9°F (-23°C), which happened on January 21, 1985, during an extreme cold snap.

Average Precipitation by Month

In addition to pleasant temperatures year-round, Athens receives a fair amount of precipitation. Rainfall is relatively consistent throughout the year. Here are the average monthly precipitation totals:

  • January: 4.4 inches (112 mm)
  • February: 4.4 inches (112 mm)
  • March: 5.1 inches (130 mm)
  • April: 3.5 inches (89 mm)
  • May: 3.8 inches (97 mm)
  • June: 3.7 inches (94 mm)
  • July: 5.0 inches (127 mm)
  • August: 3.4 inches (86 mm)
  • September: 3.3 inches (84 mm)
  • October: 2.8 inches (71 mm)
  • November: 3.6 inches (91 mm)
  • December: 4.5 inches (114 mm)

The wettest months tend to be March and July with over 5 inches monthly on average. February and December also see higher rainfall. The driest month is October with less than 3 inches typically.

Extreme Precipitation Events

While somewhat rare, Athens can occasionally experience extreme precipitation from hurricanes, tropical storms, or severe thunderstorms.

The highest official daily rainfall total occurred on September 22, 2009 when 7.95 inches fell during flooding from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred. In recent years, Athens faced major flooding in 2020 from the passage of Tropical Storm Zeta.

Weather and Climate Patterns by Season

Athens’ weather varies considerably throughout the year and by season:


Lasting from December to February, winters are relatively mild, though occasional Arctic cold fronts can bring freezing temperatures.

The average winter temperature is 42°F (6°C). Some snow occurs during most winters, though significant accumulations over 4 inches are uncommon. Severe cold snaps happen every few years when temperatures drop below 15°F (-9°C). Winters tend to be overcast and rainy.


Occurring March through May, spring transitions to warmer weather with temperatures climbing to the 70s F (20s C) by April. As the humidity returns, afternoon thunderstorms become frequent by late spring.

Late season freezes can still impact early blooming plants and trees. Spring tends to be wet and stormy. Spring severe weather peaks in March including the risk of tornadoes.


Lasting from June to August, summer brings hot, humid weather with temperatures near or above 90°F (32°C) on over 40 days per year on average.

Afternoon and evening thunderstorms are common allowing brief cooling. Rarely, heat waves bring triple digit heat. Drought conditions can occur during dry spells. The weather is often hazy and muggy.


A pleasant transition lasting September through November, fall brings comfortable weather with warm days and cool nights. Temperatures drop from the 80s Fahrenheit into the 50s (upper 20s Celsius to lower 10s).

It tends to be one of the driest seasons with mild sunny days. Leaf color change peaks in late October into early November. The first frost is in late October with freezes increasing in November.

Climate Change Impacts

Consistent with global climate change patterns, Athens has experienced warming over recent decades. Since 1970, the average annual temperature has increased roughly 2.5°F (1.4°C), with higher nighttime lows driving the warming.

The freeze-free season length has increased by over 2 weeks since 1950. Extreme heat events and heat waves are becoming more intense and frequent compared to the mid 20th century.

Athens has also witnessed measurable changes in precipitation patterns:

  • Annual rainfall totals have increased around 5 inches (13 cm)
  • More rain is falling in heavy downpours
  • Drought conditions have worsened during the warm season
  • There’s debate whether fall tropical activity is enhanced

Going forward through 2100, climate projections forecast summer heat index values over 100°F (38°C) to become the June through September norm, four times the long-term average. This extreme heat could jeopardize public health.

Scientists also expect an additional 20 days per year exceeding 95°F (35°C). Regarding precipitation, heavier extreme rainfall events are likely meaning more flooding risk, while hotter temperatures raise evaporation drying the landscape and potentially worsening drought severity.


I hope this overview gives you a better understanding of Athens’ humid, warm climate that fluctuates substantially across seasons. The classic weather features hot muggy summers, mild transitional spring/fall, and brief cold winters.

Evidence shows consistent climate shifts towards more heat, extreme storms, and extremes that could seriously impact Athens in the years ahead. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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  • Head south on Prince Ave toward E Broad St/US-78 Trunk/GA-10 Loop. Continue to follow Prince Ave past GA-10 Loop/US-78 Trunk/N Lumpkin St. Turn left onto Smith St, then take the 1st right onto Roywood Dr. Make a slight left onto Prometheus Cir, then turn right. Turn left onto Smokey Rd/Woodstone Dr, then turn right to stay on Smokey Rd. Turn right onto Foundry St, then turn left at the 1st cross street onto Round Table Rd. The destination, 130 Round Table Rd, will be on the right.
  • rom the start point, take a left turn onto Franklin St. Turn left onto Dearing St, then continue onto Plaza Dr. Turn right onto Forest Hills Rd, then continue onto Smokey Rd. Turn right onto Foundry St, then turn left at the 1st cross street onto Round Table Rd. The destination, 130 Round Table Rd, will be on the right.
  • Take a left onto E Broad St/US-78 Trunk/GA-10 Loop and continue as it turns slightly right and becomes Gaines School Rd. Turn left onto Lexington Hwy/GA-10 Loop/GA-335/US-129/US-78, then take the 1st right onto Old Hull Rd. Take the 2nd left onto Smokey Rd, then turn right to stay on Smokey Rd. Turn right onto Foundry St, then turn left at the 1st cross street onto Round Table Rd. The final destination, 130 Round Table Rd, is on the right.