Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Cold March

Posted by romeethredge on April 12, 2013

It was a cold March. Here is the info from our Donalsonville Weather station that shows we had an average low of 42.7 degrees F. and the long term normal is 47 degrees. The average daily low last March was 56.3, so 13 degrees different.  March was cooler than January this year… January average temperature was 57.6 about  3 degrees warmer than the March average temperature.

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Temperatures were 4 to 7 degrees below normal across the state during March, and snow was even seen in a few places south of Atlanta. In many parts of the state, March was colder than January, causing some problems for Georgia crops and farmers. All this according to our University of Georgia Agricultural Climatologist with UGA Department of Crop and Soil Science, Pam Knox.

The cold conditions damaged some watermelon seedlings and delayed planting in some fields. Field corn was damaged by frost in some areas, and the cold and wet conditions also delayed the harvesting of Vidalia onions. It also slowed the ripening of blueberries in southern Georgia, and there was some isolated hail damage on March 30-31, but no significant losses were reported.

It was the 10th coldest March in 66 years in Columbus, the seventh coldest in Macon in 121 years and the fifth coldest in Savannah in 143 years of record.

Athens set a record low temperature of 27 degrees Fahrenheit on March 28, breaking the old record of 28 degrees set in 1913. Macon tied their record low of 30 degrees on March 28, and Savannah tied their record low of 34 degrees on March 26.

In addition to the broken records, many cities saw average temperatures that were 4 to 5 degrees cooler than usual.

In Atlanta, the monthly average temperature was 49.1 degrees F (5.2 degrees below normal). In Athens the average was 48.9 degrees (5.4 degrees below normal). In Columbus the average was 53.7 degrees (4.1 degrees below normal). In Macon it was 50.7 degrees (6.1 degrees below normal). In Savannah it was 53.8 degrees (5.4 degrees below normal).

For the most part, the state saw less rainfall than it did in February. However, with the wet conditions in February and the normal rainfall in March, severe drought was eliminated from the state. Only 16 percent of the state was experiencing any level of drought by March 31.

In Atlanta, the chilly weather turned some of the city’s rainfall into snow. A trace of snow was reported on both March 3 and March 26, breaking the old records of no snow on those dates.

Snow flurries were reported as far south as southern Fayette County in March. Dillard, in Rabun County, received 2 inches of snow on March 2. Several stations in Fannin County reported 1 inch on the same date.

Also the Florida Climate Center reported on a cool March. “Average temperatures well below normal across the Florida in March. Average temperatures were well below normal for March across the entire state. Departures from normal ranged from -4.0˚F to -6.0˚F across Florida, and there are reports of some locations that were -8.0˚F below normal. Overall, the average temperatures for March 2013 were colder than meteorological winter (Dec 1st- Feb 28th) and were significantly different than March 2012, when some locations were more than 6.0˚F above the normal. March 2013 was the 2nd coldest at both Jacksonville and Gainesville, the 5th coldest at Tallahassee and Tampa, the 6th coldest at Fort Myers, the 7th coldest at Pensacola, Orlando and St. Petersburg and the 8th coldest in Key West.”

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