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2022 Central Georgia Weather Recap: Tornadoes, Extreme Heat, and Extreme Cold

From 106° to 13°, central Georgia saw it all in 2022. Here are the top weather events from the year that was.

MACON, Ga. — In 2022, central Georgia experienced all time of weather. Most of it was good, but there were bumps in the road. 

1. April's Tornado Outbreak

On April 5-6, central Georgia saw eighteen tornadoes from a strong cold front that pushed through the state. The strongest in our area happened in Houston County. 

An EF-3 tornado, with peak winds at 160 mph, struck the Bonaire community on April 5. Heavy damage was observed in and around the Statham's Landing neighborhood, including collapsed transmission towers. The damage to the transmission towers prompted the tornado's rating. 

An EF-1 tornado struck in Bibb County on the same day. The tornado touched down near Piedmont Northside Hospital, traveling over the Wimbush Road area before lifting as it crossed Interstate 75. A church steeple was heavily damage along with multiple larger trees snapped or uprooted.

Downtown Cochran was among those hit on April 6. In addition to damage to trees and homes in downtown, the tornado snapped and uprooted trees on the campus of Middle Georgia State University. It was on the ground for more than 11 miles, crossing into Dodge County. 

Other tornadoes happened during this outbreak in Baldwin, Treutlen, Johnson, Emanuel, Laurens, Taylor, Crawford, Macon, Dooly, Twiggs, and Wilkinson Counties.

RELATED: Here's a list of confirmed tornadoes in Central Georgia from April 5 & 6

The strongest tornado in the U.S. for 2022 was also recorded in this outbreak. It happened in Bryan County, outside Savannah, and had winds of 185 mph. 

2. December's Arctic Blast

Just before Christmas, Macon experienced it's coldest temperatures in nearly a decade. The coldest was observed Christmas Eve morning with an overnight low temperature of 13°. 

Credit: WMAZ

Christmas Eve afternoon set a record minimum high temperature of 32°. That means every other Christmas Eve on record saw a temperature warmer at some point in the day than we did in 2022. 

RELATED: 'This looks serious': Vineville Christian Towers floods after pipe explosion

Several central Georgia communities experienced water issues as pipes froze above and below ground.

RELATED: Two people found dead in separate incidents due to freezing temperatures

Two deaths in Macon are suspected to be related to the cold weather as well. 

3. June's Heat Wave

The month of June was extremely hot in central Georgia. At Middle Georgia Regional Airport, half of the month experienced high temperatures of at least 95° or hotter. Seven days were 100° or hotter.

RELATED: Central Georgia's high summertime temperatures mean staying hydrated

The hottest day of the year came on June 22 with a high temperature of 105°.

4. Macon-Bibb Flash Flood

On the evening of September 4, parts of north Macon experienced a flash flood as rainfall totals topped 8 inches in a few neighborhoods. Some drivers became stranded as water rose on Zebulon Road. They estimate nearly a foot of water covered the surface of the road, between Kroger and Walmart. 

More pictures from flooding on Zebulon Road in Macon last night. The road has since reopened. Thanks to Cierra Heald for...

Posted by Meteorologist Alex Forbes on Monday, September 5, 2022

The Macon Water Authority blamed clogged drains for the Zebulon Road flooding. 

RELATED: Flash Flood: Macon-Bibb sees stranded cars, lake jump banks

Flooding also occurred in the Lake Wildwood neighborhood, which experienced a similar amount of rain. The lake jumped its banks late Sunday night, flooding yards along the shore. 

5. Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian threatened central Georgia as it moved through the Caribbean and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. For days, the 13WMAZ Weather Team was tracking the storm's movement. The hurricane eventually made landfall as a high-end category 4 near Fort Myers, Florida. 

Central Georgia was the evacuation spot for many Floridians. Hotels were full up and down Interstate 75 as evacuees made their way north. 

RELATED: Central Georgia has a lot to offer for Ian evacuees

Many school districts also moved high school football games up to Thursday because of the threatening weather.

The bulk of the storm went to the west of central Georgia an effected the Carolinas. However, we still got wind from the storm which caused sporadic power outages in the area. 

6. January's Wilcox County Tornado

Shortly after ringing in the new year, a tornado struck in far southern Wilcox County on January 2, lasting from 5:27 to 5:28 p.m. It traveled around a half-mile and had maximum winds of 80 mph, making it an EF-0 tornado.

The Adkinsons were at their home on that road Sunday when the storm blew through, sending a tree from the front yard into their roof and bedroom.

7. Summer Storms

It would not be summer in central Georgia without pop-up storms - which we saw many of in 2022. At May Days on the Midway at the Georgia National Fairgrounds, organizers had to close early on May 22 because of wind and rain.

The 13WMAZ Skycam at the fairground caught the storm rolling through.

8. Drought

Lastly, some areas in central Georgia went through a brief drought as the back half of the year was notably dry. As of the June 30, 2022 drought monitor, more than half of Georgia was considered to be in moderate drought.

Credit: WMAZ
June 30, 2022 Drought Monitor

This was after a dry start to the year. Macon fell behind average on rainfall during January, February, and March. Another dry stretch was felt during September, October, and December.

Drought conditions have since improved with moderate and severe drought confined to southern Georgia.

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