USA: The South
About The South
Sara and John say...
Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia:
Mild winters, hot and steamy summers and thunderstorms are the headline climate conditions of The South of the USA.
The whole region can be split into two climate areas: The Deep South of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina, and The Piedmont plateau region of Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Mountainous areas such as the Great Smokey and Blue Ridge ridges in the Piedmont states can be cooler than other spots in the summer and offer a welcome retreat from the intense heat and humidity which characterises the rest of the south from June to September, when temperatures regularly climb over 100ºF/38ºC. In these months, it’s wise to either stick to the mountains or the coast, with resorts in the Carolinas, Georgia and around the panhandle offering cooling sea breezes to offset the heat.
The autumn, or fall, isn’t as famous to outsiders here as in New England, but region is also especially colourful at this time of year thanks to the changing maples, oaks and ginkos, with the thermometer typically hovering around a temperate 17ºC.
Snow is rare, but frost is possible in the more northern stretches in the winter, while the deep south sees average temperatures around 11 or 12ºC.
The South bursts back into life in spring with glorious azaleas, camellias, roses and rhododendrons sweeping colour across the region. It’s a perfect time to visit the antebellum homes and plantations, and don’t miss New Orleans for the French Quarter Festival in April or the Jazz and Heritage Festival later that month. Be warned that a visit during the world-famous Mardi Gras earlier in the year will be very crowded and very expensive, but is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!