By David Beasley
ATLANTA (Reuters) - Record-breaking low temperatures across the southern United States on Wednesday made July feel more like October, with the mercury dipping to 49 degrees Fahrenheit in Alabama.
In Atlanta, the low was 59 degrees, breaking the previous record of 61 degrees set in 1936, according to the National Weather Service. The normal low for Atlanta is about 71 degrees, the National Weather Service said.
“It was a pretty chilly morning, very pleasant out,” said Jessica Fieux, an Atlanta-based National Weather Service meteorologist.
A jet stream from Canada was causing the unusually low temperatures, said Mark Rose, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Nashville. Tennessee also logged record lows.
“The jet stream is unusually far south,” Rose said. “It's almost right on top of us.”
The entire eastern half of the United States is feeling the chill, the National Weather Service said, with a record-breaking low of 37 degrees at Saranac Lake, New York, where the previous low for the date was 39 degrees set in 2010.
In Alabama, an early-morning low of 59 degrees in Montgomery shattered a record-low of 66 degrees set in 1889, a National Weather Service meteorologist said, with temperatures falling to 49 degrees in Hamilton, close to the Mississippi border, where records have not been regularly kept.
In Macon, Georgia, a record of 62 degrees set in 1920 was shattered when the mercury dipped to 59 degrees early Wednesday.
July is usually sweltering in Georgia, and few seem to be complaining.
“Does anyone NOT like these cool temps?” asked a reader of the National Weather Service Twitter page.
(Reporting by David Beasley; Editing by Jonathan Kaminsky and Eric Beech)