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March snowstorm looming?

Sunday, March 2, 2014 6:49 AM
Last updated Monday, March 3, 2014 10:25 AM
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A snowstorm, followed by a few sunny days and then another snow and ice storm – this is a summary of the weather conditions in Georgia since late January.

But a University of Georgia climatologist says don’t be surprised if the polar vortex sends another snowstorm and a late frost before spring officially arrives.

The polar vortex is a large pocket of low pressure and cold, strong, upper-level winds that normally sits over the polar region during the winter season.

“Usually it sits on top of the globe like a hat, but this year it has slid forward over the U.S.,” said Pam Knox, an agricultural climatologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Until this week, the atmospheric waves associated with the polar vortex had California “stuck” under high pressure, which kept the state dangerously dry through out the winter “rainy” season. It has also caused Fairbanks, Alaska, to be abnormally warm and Siberia to experience one of the warmest winters in its history, Knox said during an agricultural weather outlook session at the Georgia Organics Conference held last month on Jekyll Island.

“This polar vortex is not something new. It’s been in the literature since 1940,” she said. “Some years we have high swings in temperature conditions and this happens to be one (of those years.)”

This unpredictability could cause havoc for Georgia farmers and gardeners this spring, she added. For instance, if Georgia fruit trees begin to flower and a late frost hits the state, the fate of peach, blueberry and other fruit crops will be threatened.

“That could really decimate the fruit crop this year,” Knox said. “The chances for a late frost are higher this year. In Athens, the flowering plum trees on campus have already come out, and that’s pretty early.”

When warm temperatures fill days in March, home gardeners might be tempted to get outside, dig in the dirt and plant seeds or young transplants. Knox warns gardeners not to give in to the temptation.

“The chance of a late frost is more likely this year, so hold back a bit,” she said. “If not, you may lose that first crop and have to go back and replant everything.”

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KSL
134305
Points
KSL 03/02/14 - 08:39 am
8
2
Follow tradition. Easter is 5 days before the latest date.

You don't plant until Good Friday. Or consult the Farmers' Almanac.

Dixieman
15972
Points
Dixieman 03/02/14 - 07:20 pm
6
3
Paging Mr. Gore. Mr. Gore to white courtesy phone....

So much for global warming. ManBearPig is no more.
If we get another snowstorm this year I am making a snowman in the shape of Algore which will hold a copy of his stupid book, "Earth in the Balance," in its right hand....

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 03/02/14 - 09:51 am
0
0
the trees are already budding. Look.
Unpublished

the trees are already budding. Look.

CobaltGeorge
164450
Points
CobaltGeorge 03/02/14 - 09:51 am
3
2
KSL

That has always been my guidelines.

Riverman1
86854
Points
Riverman1 03/02/14 - 02:35 pm
5
1
Work out the odds of another

Work out the odds of another earthquake while you're at it.

nocnoc
44843
Points
nocnoc 03/02/14 - 08:47 pm
4
2
All this cold weather is

killing Al Gores income for Global Warming Speaking engagements.

He may have to switch to Climate Change agenda. since that at least happens 4 times a year.

augusta citizen
9692
Points
augusta citizen 03/02/14 - 10:11 pm
4
0
Good chance of it.

I follow several meteorologist forums, seems like there is a pretty good chance of this, could always change, but looks like it now. Replenish your firewood, kerosene, etc.

soitgoes
900
Points
soitgoes 03/03/14 - 12:43 am
2
0
Hope not

I've had enuf. If I wanted weather like this, I'd live further north. Maybe I need to move further south??!!

corgimom
34022
Points
corgimom 03/03/14 - 07:13 am
0
3
Here in Charlotte, it's Tax

Here in Charlotte, it's Tax Day, April 15, to plant, but April 20th is better.

And when I lived in Wisconsin, you had to wait until Memorial Day.

nocnoc
44843
Points
nocnoc 03/03/14 - 07:52 am
3
0
Augusta had a late snow before

wasn't back around March 1971 or 72?

seenitB4
90674
Points
seenitB4 03/03/14 - 10:10 am
3
1
Well rats..

I have been in the mood to buy flowers...will have to hold off til later.

Mary Frances Hendrix
80
Points
Mary Frances Hendrix 03/03/14 - 11:19 am
3
0
in third week of March 1971 in Columbia at least

Not sure about the late snow in Augusta, but I know there was one in Columbia that year (close enough!). My parents took photos of me as a newborn in a baby carrier among the blooming azaleas that were surrounded by snow ...

nocnoc
44843
Points
nocnoc 03/03/14 - 01:03 pm
0
0
MFH - March Snow 71

Over here on the South Side we had RCSD commandeering 4x4's because we have 8" to 10" . The funny part was many of the deputies did not know the 1st thing about operating a 4x4. We watched one deputy got stuck in the yard. More than 1 owner got paid to drive.

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