March 2011 Climate Summary

March 2011: Drier and Warmer than Normal

Jason Hess, Climate Focal Point

March 2011 was marked by brief periods of rainfall and seasonable temperatures at the beginning and ending of the month, but last month will be remembered most by the long period of above normal temperatures and dry conditions that occurred mid-month.  This included record breaking warmth at several climate locations.

La Nina conditions over the Pacific Ocean and a strong high pressure system over the southeastern U.S. during the middle of March 2011 continued conditions mainly dry with most local climate stations reporting rainfall deficits of 1 to 2 inches for the month.  These dry and unseasonably warm conditions contributed to the growth of several wildfires across southeast Georgia.  In fact, the Sessom Community wildfire in Bacon County grew to over 20,000 acres, and the Arabia Bay wildfire that started in the fall of 2010 re-ignited and grew to over 12,000 acres.

During the mid-March warm and dry spell, all of the climate stations reported no precipitation from March 11th through the 25th. Several stations record high temperatures as highs soared into the 85 to 90 degree range for an entire week from the 18th to the 24th.  Both St. Simons Island and Alma in southeast Georgia recorded high temperatures of 90 degrees, and it was the 2nd earliest date to reach 90 degrees in the spring for both stations. The average time of the year to reach 90 degrees across southeast Georgia is early May!


Click Here: March 2011 Climate Data Table





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