Temperatures were above normal across Georgia in March. Rainfall was highly variable, from a very wet month in Atlanta to dry conditions in southeastern Georgia.In Atlanta, the monthly average temperature was 55.8 degrees F (1.5 degrees above normal), in Athens 54.7 degrees (1.2 degrees above normal), Columbus 60.3 degrees (2.7 degrees above normal), Macon 57.5 degrees (1.3 degrees above normal), Savannah 60.9 degrees (1.6 degrees above normal), Brunswick 64.2 degrees (3.8 degrees above normal), Alma 61.5 degrees (0.3 degree above normal), Valdosta 63.5 degrees (3.7 degrees above normal) and Augusta 57.8 degrees (2 degrees above normal). High temperaturesRecord daily high temperatures were set at Alma March 19 and March 22, with new maximum temperatures of 90 degrees and 88 degrees, respectively. These beat the old records of 88 degrees set in 1963 and 86 degrees set in 1991. Brunswick set record-high temperatures March 22, 23, 24 and 27. Augusta set a new record of 90 degrees March 19, breaking the old record of 84 set on that day in 1997. Columbus and Savannah also tied record daily highs during the month.The warm conditions caused earlier-than-normal greening of vegetation across the state, according to the National Weather Service. This leads to increased use of soil moisture by thirsty plants and reductions in runoff to the effect of leaf cover.Abundant rain and a few forest firesPrecipitation in March varied quite a bit. The wettest areas were in the northern and western regions. The driest area was the southeastern corner of the state, where five counties reported forest fires associated with the lack of rainfall and severe drought conditions.The highest monthly total precipitation from National Weather Service reporting stations was 9.06 inches in Atlanta (3.68 inches above normal). The lowest was in Brunswick at 1.73 inches (2.20 inches below normal). Valdosta received 5.50 inches (0.07 inch above normal), Athens 6.65 inches (1.66 inches above normal), Alma 4.57 inches (0.23 inch below normal), Columbus 5.30 inches (0.45 inch below normal), Macon 4.03 inches (0.87 inch below normal), Savannah 4.44 inches (0.80 inch above normal) and Augusta 5.01 inches (0.53 inch above normal). This was the ninth wettest March in Atlanta since records began at the airport in 1940.Columbus reported a new daily rainfall record of 1.44 inches March 9, breaking the old record of 1.43 inches set that date in 1978. Alma reported a new record of 2.19 inches March 30, breaking the old record of 1.98 inches set that date in 1991.Dillard gets most daily rainfallThe highest single-day rainfall from Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network stations was 4.44 inches north-northwest of Dillard in Rabun County March 6. Two observers in Rabun Gap nearby reported 4.37 and 4.19 inches on the same day. An observer on Tybee Island observed 4.18 inches March 28. The highest monthly total of 15.81 inches was measured by the Dillard observer who also had the highest daily rainfall. Thirty other CoCoRaHS observers in Georgia reported 10 or more inches of total precipitation this month. Severe weather was reported on seven days in March. A weak tornado was reported March 9 near Doerun in Colquitt County. Hail was observed in northern Georgia March 19. Strong winds and small hail were reported on several other days in scattered locations across Georgia.A couple of tornadoes and a huge hailstoneThe biggest outbreak of severe weather came March 26-27. The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center had 8 reports of EF0 and EF1 tornadoes across Georgia, including one that crossed Lake Blackshear in Sumter County and one that was observed at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport in Houston County. During the outbreak, large, damaging hail was reported in many locations, including a 4.25-inch hailstone reported in Coweta County, a record hailstone for Georgia in March. Despite concerns about potential frost damage due to early blooming of fruit trees and scattered frost reports in northern Georgia this month, no significant losses have been reported this year so far. However, the danger of killing frost, particularly in northern Georgia, continues well into April.
Looking for a little weekend inspiration? In this skillfully composed collection of outdoor adventure film clips, founder of the outdoor-themed podcast Dirtbag Diaries, Fitz Cahall, articulates his theory of human motivation—the ins and outs of what gets outdoor adventurers like you out of bed and on top of the next summit, over the next pitch, back out on the trail, or just back into the woods in general. Plenty more inspiration can be found by checking out Fitz’s critically acclaimed podcast, The Dirtbag Diaries. Throw on an episode of DBD next time you’re facing a long drive to the trail head and watch the time fly by.
Publica, Switzerland’s largest pension fund, has appointed Doris Bianchi as its new director, effective 1 November. She succeeds Dieter Stohler, who will leave the scheme on 30 September.Bianchi, who holds a doctorate in law, is currently personal adviser to Alain Berset, head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA). The department oversees mainly OASI (state pension) and health services matters.In her current role, Bianchi supports the head of the FDHA especially on issues relating to health policy and statistics.Prior to joining the Home Affairs Department, Bianchi was the executive secretary of the Swiss Trade Union Federation (SGB), where she was responsible for social security issues since 2011. She is an expert in the Swiss second pillar pension system, the occupational pensions, or zweite Säule. She chaired the board of the replacement occupational pension scheme Stiftung Auffangeinrichtung BVG, or Fondation Institution Suppletive LPP , and the security fund.The Kassenkommission, the highest institution at Publica with supervisory authority over the management team, is convinced that Bianchi is the right pick for the success of the pension fund, it said in a statement.Publica is an independent pension institution operating under public-law fund managing the assets of 20 Swiss public pension schemes – 13 of which are open and seven closed – which comes close to CHF41bn (€38bn) as of December 31, 2019. IIn a previous interview with IPE, the head of asset management at Publica, Stefan Beiner, said the fund was working on three timeframes depicting different scenarios to navigate the COVID-19 crisis.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.