What is in this article?:
- Georgia's March rainfall highly variable
- Highest monthly total
• The warm conditions caused earlier-than-normal greening of vegetation across the state.
• The driest area was the southeastern corner of the state, where five counties reported forest fires associated with the lack of rainfall and severe drought conditions.
• Despite concerns about potential frost damage due to early blooming of fruit trees and scattered frost reports in northern Georgia this month, no significant losses have been reported this year so far.
Temperatures were above normal across Georgia in March. Rainfall was highly variable, from a very wet month in Atlanta to dry conditions in southeastern Georgia.
In Atlanta, the monthly average temperature was 55.8 degrees F (1.5 degrees above normal), in Athens 54.7 degrees (1.2 degrees above normal), Columbus 60.3 degrees (2.7 degrees above normal), Macon 57.5 degrees (1.3 degrees above normal), Savannah 60.9 degrees (1.6 degrees above normal), Brunswick 64.2 degrees (3.8 degrees above normal), Alma 61.5 degrees (0.3 degree above normal), Valdosta 63.5 degrees (3.7 degrees above normal) and Augusta 57.8 degrees (2 degrees above normal).
Record daily high temperatures were set at Alma March 19 and March 22, with new maximum temperatures of 90 degrees and 88 degrees, respectively. These beat the old records of 88 degrees set in 1963 and 86 degrees set in 1991.
Brunswick set record-high temperatures March 22, 23, 24 and 27. Augusta set a new record of 90 degrees March 19, breaking the old record of 84 set on that day in 1997. Columbus and Savannah also tied record daily highs during the month.
The warm conditions caused earlier-than-normal greening of vegetation across the state, according to the National Weather Service. This leads to increased use of soil moisture by thirsty plants and reductions in runoff to the effect of leaf cover.
Abundant rain and a few forest fires
Precipitation in March varied quite a bit. The wettest areas were in the northern and western regions. The driest area was the southeastern corner of the state, where five counties reported forest fires associated with the lack of rainfall and severe drought conditions.