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Cold, damp March included cruel, frosty mornings in Augusta

Friday, March 29, 2013 4:00 PM
Last updated 9:47 PM
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March was cold and wet, just like it’s supposed to be, but its late, frosty mornings were cruel to early spring blooms.

Early spring azaleas in some areas went from bloom to gloom after consecutive frosty mornings this week, capping an unusually cold March that also brought much needed rainfall.  ROB PAVEY/STAFF
ROB PAVEY/STAFF
Early spring azaleas in some areas went from bloom to gloom after consecutive frosty mornings this week, capping an unusually cold March that also brought much needed rainfall.

According to the National Weather Service, the month included 12 days with below-freezing temperatures, including frost-inducing lows of 28 on Wednesday, 30 on Thursday and 29 on Friday.

Such days were more than 15 degrees cooler than average. The data was recorded at Augusta Regional Airport, with potentially colder lows outside the metro Augusta area.

The month is ending with a year-to-date rainfall of 12.56 inches that is more than an inch above the 11.51-inch average for this time of year – and substantially more than the meager 4.52 inches that had fallen during the same period last year.

Outside the Augusta area, rainfall across the upper Savannah River basin continued to restore reservoirs emptied by 18 months of drought.

Thurmond Lake, which began the year more than 14 feet below full pool, had risen to 323.88 feet above sea level this week – a gain of 8.43 feet since Jan. 1, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Full pool for the lake is considered to be 330 feet above sea level.

Rainfall totals for the month of March were higher along the upstate reservoirs than in Augusta and east Georgia.

Monthly rainfall totals were 3.88 inches at Thurmond Lake, 3.49 inches at Lake Russell and 3.77 inches in the Lake Hartwell region.

Thurmond Lake is expected to rise as much as 3 more feet by late June, according to corps projections.


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