VALDOSTA -- South Georgia's upcoming week will be much warmer than last week, but will also be wetter.
Following a week in which temperatures dropped to the pipe-freezing low 20s, the region should see highs ranging from the low 60s to the mid-70s this week, with a strong chance of rain Monday, according to the National Weather Service's forecast.
A major change in weather patterns is keeping South Georgia warm, said Kelley Godsey, a meteorologist with the weather service's Tallahassee, Fla., office.
"A substantial change in patterns is causing the cold weather to retreat to Canada," said Frank Strait, senior meteorologist for the private forecasting firm AccuWeather.
Valdosta can expect a high in the mid-70s Monday, followed by a cold front moving through Monday night, Godsey said. Unlike other recent frontal systems, this one doesn't have much cold air following it, Strait said.
By Thursday, highs in the region will be down around 60 degrees, close to the average high of 62 for this time of year, he said. Lows will dip from the mid-50s to the lower 30s by week's end, but will not fall below freezing, Strait said.
While the Valdosta area should be dry most of the week following Monday night's rain, chances of precipitation should rise "dramatically" Saturday and Sunday as a new cold front moves through, Godsey said. The cooldown following this front should be greater than Monday's, Strait said.
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While neither meteorologist expected much severe weather with Monday's cold front, the weekend's expected front was another matter. Godsey said it was too far out to accurate predict, though he expected heavy rain, while Strait said there was a "possibility for more robust" activity.
Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.
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