Published on 05/06/10

Georgia's April weather warmer than normal

By Pam Knox

The combination of a cool March with a warm early April compressed Georgia’s pollen season, leading to higher-than-normal pollen counts across the state in April.

For the most part, temperatures across the state were warmer than normal.

Mostly warmer temps

In Atlanta, the monthly average temperature was 65.2 degrees F (3.6 degrees above normal), in Athens 63.9 degrees (33 degrees above normal), Columbus 65.6 degrees (1.4 degrees above normal), Macon 65 degrees (2.3 degrees above normal), Savannah 67 degrees (1.7 degrees above normal), Brunswick 66.8 degrees (.3 degree above normal), Alma 65.9 degrees (.8 degree below normal), Valdosta 68.6 degrees (3.4 degrees above normal) and Augusta 64.3 degrees (1.9 degrees above normal).

Athens set a record high temperature April 5, when the maximum temperature of 88 degrees broke the old record of 87 degrees set in 1988. Augusta set a record high of 91 degrees on April 6, breaking the old record of 90 degrees set in 1967.

Mostly below-normal rainfall

Most of the state received below-normal rainfall, except for a swath of rain in south-central Georgia and a wider band across the northern counties.

The highest monthly total from National Weather Service reporting stations was 2.63 inches in Valdosta (.94 inch below normal). The lowest was in Brunswick at .89 inch (1.91 inches below normal). Atlanta received 2.56 inches (1.06 inches below normal), Macon 1.36 inches (1.78 inches below normal), Athens 1.86 inches (1.49 inches below normal), Augusta 1.20 inches (1.74 inches below normal), Columbus 1.61 inches (2.23 inches below normal), Savannah 1.40 inches (1.92 inches below normal) and Alma 2.74 inches (.42 inch below normal).

Record daily rainfalls were set at Columbus with a daily rainfall of 1.04 inches April 25 and Alma with a daily rainfall of 1.36 inches April 20.

Rabun Gap records most rainfall

The highest single-day rainfall from Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network stations was 5.13 inches in Rabun Gap in far northeast Georgia April 25. This station also had the highest monthly total of 6.70 inches. Stations near McKaysville and Dillard received 6.58 inches and 6.21 inches, respectively, during the month.

Two tornadoes were reported. A small tornado hit 2 miles north of Bostwick in Morgan County April 8, knocking down trees and the roof of a chicken house. Another small tornado hit 3 miles north of Cloudland in Chattooga County near the Alabama border April 24, causing tree damage. Severe weather, including high winds, hail of over 1 inch or tornadoes, was observed on five days in April.

The drier conditions improved soil moisture levels through the month, although in some areas the dry conditions impeded planting and germination. Some irrigation of new corn was needed to counteract the dry conditions. Generally, the warm temperatures were favorable for planting, and crops were planted at a rapid pace across the state.

Pam Knox is the director of the UGA Weather Network and serves as an agricultural climatologist with the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.

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