One of the dryest Marches ever - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

One of the dryest Marches ever

March 26, 2004

Baker County -- Georgia state climatologists say this March may be the driest since weather records have been kept.

South Georgia Hydrologists say it is very dry, but not to that point. It all depends on whose records you go by.

Baker County farmer Charles Bush is plowing up his fields, getting ready to plant cotton. The dust flies all around him, because the ground is so dry. But Bush says it's not bothering him "You just got to keep the filters in it clean. As long as it's got that air condition in it, I can sit there and don't worry about it."

Georgia state climatologist Dr. David Stooksbury says this March could tie the driest in state history. Albany's official rain gauge has received only eight-hundredths of an inch of rain, with five days left in the month. That is the same as recorded in 1955, the driest March on record, nearly five inches below the monthly average.

Hydrologist Woody Boyd says their rain gauge has received sixth-tenths of an inch of rain. "Our streams are showing it first, our ground water levels are still high, and we seem to be in good shape with our aquifers."

Southwest Georgia received nearly five inches of rain in February, which is close to normal. It's been a dry March, but not enough to make Boyd think another drought is starting. "The early climatic model showed that April may be a wetter than normal month. So we could have a dry January, a wet February, a dry March, and a wet April, and average things out."

And as Charles Bush gets ready to plant cotton, he thinks there will be enough rain to make it grow.Bush said "Oh sure, yes sir. I wouldn't be out here harrowing up this field if I didn't believe that."

In the first three months of the year, Southwest Georgia typically averages over 15 inches of rain. South Georgia has more than a seven inch rain deficit so far.

posted at 3:58 PM by jimw@walb.com

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