Just above freezing

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Augusta missed frozen mayhem by a mere two degrees Thursday, but winter is far from over.

A man braves the cold on the Riverwalk. With Augusta's temperature steady at just above freezing Thursday, there was little time for ice to form.  Chris Thelen/Staff
Chris Thelen/Staff
A man braves the cold on the Riverwalk. With Augusta's temperature steady at just above freezing Thursday, there was little time for ice to form.

"Ice storms are rare enough that it's hard to make blanket statements about them," said Assistant Georgia State Climatologist Pam Knox. "But we can look up the most likely months for snow."

Based on records kept since 1961, more snow falls in Augusta in February than in January, she said.

Historically, the average January snowfall is 0.3 inch, while February's average is 1 inch. The remaining 10 months of the year have an average of zero.

"This time it hung just above freezing, so there wasn't time to develop much of anything," she said of Thursday's cold, rainy mix. "But there is still time left for other storms."

The record one-day snowfall in Augusta occurred in February 1973, when 14 inches were recorded at Augusta Regional Airport.

With a window of several weeks remaining for winter weather, Thursday's preparations for ice that never materialized turned into a good practice session.

"We had all our crews across the state ready and packed for seven days," said Georgia Power Co. spokesman John Sell. "We also had people in south Georgia on standby to move north."

Locally, Columbia County's Emergency Services Department made preparations to spread salt and sand on icy roads and fired up its emergency command center.

"There were hundreds of people on standby when you consider all the departments that would have a role," director Pam Tucker said. "We were just two degrees away. That can make all the difference in the world."

Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

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a different drum
a different drum 01/19/07 - 12:14 pm
I remember the Great Snow

I remember the Great Snow Fall in February of 1973. I was attending classes at Augusta Tech when the snow started falling. No one expected much snow -- they thought we would see a few flakes and it would be over. As I recall it started snowing in the morning after I got to school. Around lunch time silver dollar size snow flakes were falling and it was accumulating on the ground and cars. The “powers at be” decided to cancel classes. We had a great snowball fight before leaving for home. I remember driving home down Hwy. 25 with my windshield wipers working overtime trying to keep the snow off the windshield -- by this time some of the snow flakes were as large as my fist.

bowler 01/19/07 - 01:17 pm
If it snows in Feb, I hope

If it snows in Feb, I hope they don't cancel bowling league, but they can cancel school and work

GIDRICE 01/19/07 - 03:48 pm
i remember when it snowed in

i remember when it snowed in 1973. how could i forget i was only seven at the time. but my baby brother was born. i had to stay with my grandmother. and can you believe she wouldn't let me get in the snow. she kept telling me my parents would get mad at her if i got sick. i'm scarred for life. please dear lord let it snow just one more time before my numbers up . and please let it be where i don't have to use everybodys snow in the neighborhood to make a snowman. thank you.

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