Overly wet weather in Georgia’s major row crop regions during February 2016 has farmers worried that soggy soil may delay corn and peanut planting or cause fungal diseases to be a major issue later this spring. Over the course of February, swaths of northwest and southeast Georgia received as much as three or four inches more rainfall than normal, leaving some farm fields that have reached the planting milestone of 55 degrees Fahrenheit too wet to plant. Other parts of the state, especially the central region, saw rainfall totals between two and three inches below normal amounts. Fruit growers continue to be concerned about the low number of chill hours that have occurred this winter, due mainly to the extremely warm temperatures in December 2015. Low chill hours reduce fruit set and lengthen the harvest season, leading to increased labor costs needed to harvest the orchards more than once. Temperatures during February varied across the state but were slightly above normal over the bulk of the state. In Atlanta, Georgia, the monthly average temperature was 48.5 F, 1.3 degrees above normal; in Athens, Georgia, it was 47.6 F, 0.4 degrees above normal; in Columbus, Georgia, it was 51.3 F, 0.2 degrees above normal; in Macon, Georgia, it was 50.6 F, 0.6 degrees above normal; in Savannah, Georgia, it was 53.7 F, 0.7 degrees above normal; in Brunswick, Georgia, it was 54.3 F, 0.2 degrees below normal; in Alma, Georgia, it was 53.5 F, 0.7 degrees below normal; in Augusta, Georgia, it was 49.8 F, 0.7 degrees above normal; in Albany, Georgia, it was 53.1 F, 0.7 degrees above normal; in Rome, Georgia, it was 46.1 F, 0 degrees below normal; and in Valdosta, Georgia, it was 54.8 F, 0.6 degrees above normal. Atlanta set a record high of 76 F on Feb. 2, beating the old record of 74 F set in 2014. Savannah and Augusta tied their record highs on the same date. Alma set a record high of 68 F on Feb. 3, surpassing the old record of 66 F set in 1974. Augusta also set a record for high nighttime low on Feb. 3, reaching a low of only 62 F and beating the old record of 60 F set in 1932. The normal low there is 34 F. Most of Georgia was above normal as far as precipitation in February, except for a streak of dry conditions across the center of the state from Columbus through Macon to Augusta. The highest monthly total precipitation recorded by a National Weather Service station was 7.39 inches in Atlanta, 2.72 inches above normal. The lowest monthly total was recorded in Macon at 3.21 inches, 1.15 inches below normal. Athens received 4.49 inches, 0.01 inches above normal; Columbus received 4.23 inches, 0.21 inches below normal; Augusta received 3.76 inches, 0.16 inches below normal; Savannah received 3.28 inches, 0.49 inches above normal; Alma received 4.66 inches, 0.86 inches above normal; Brunswick received 3.99 inches, 0.52 inches above normal; Rome received 5.64 inches, 0.77 inches above normal; Valdosta received 4.97 inches, 0.81 inches above normal; and Albany received 6.65 inches, 2.49 inches above normal. Atlanta, Athens, Macon and Rome all reported a trace of snowfall on Feb. 9 and 10. The highest single-day rainfall recorded by a Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network volunteer was 5.42 inches west of Albany in Dougherty County on Feb. 24, followed by 4.75 inches recorded north of Cochran, Georgia, in Fulton County on Feb. 4. The highest monthly total rainfall was 9.34 inches, recorded by the Albany observer listed above, followed by 9.02 inches near Dillard, Georgia, in Rabun County in northeast Georgia. The Dillard observer also recorded the highest snowfall for the month – a total of 5.2 inches. Severe weather was reported on four days during February. Observers witnessed a tornado at Fort Stewart, Georgia, near Hinesville in Liberty County on Feb. 3. Numerous vehicles were destroyed, and 40 to 50 people were displaced from housing due to the tornado. Another storm outbreak brought high winds to much of Georgia on Feb. 15. No tornadoes were observed in the state, but several were seen nearby in southeast Alabama. Witnesses reported seeing several tornadoes on Feb. 23, including one near Blakely, Georgia, in Early County, an EF1 in Terrell County, plus other sightings in Lee County and in Whigham, Georgia, in Grady County. The tail end of that outbreak hit the far northeast corner of Georgia on Feb. 24 as the system moved to the east. Lightning associated with the severe storms early in the morning of Feb. 24caused a barn fire in Bishop, Georgia, in Oconee County. Fourteen Clydesdale horses were safely removed from the barn before it burned to the ground.The outlook for March and spring shows a continuation of El Nino-like rainfall conditions, especially in south Georgia. The first two weeks of March are expected to be warmer than normal, with a return to average conditions later in the month. Longer-term spring temperatures do not show a clear trend. El Nino appears to have passed its peak and will be dying away over the next few months. After El Nino disappears, a swing to neutral, then to La Nina is expected by late summer, which will increase the chance of dry conditions later in the growing season. The Atlantic hurricane season is also expected to be more active than usual in the absence of El Nino. For more information, please see the Climate and Agriculture in the South East blog at blog.extension.uga.edu/climate or visit our new webpage at gaclimate.org.
GOtv Boxing Night New lightweight boxing sensation, Isaac “I-Star” Chukwudi, has boasted that he will be division’s biggest name on the domestic scene in the next one year. Chkwudi, a product of GOtv Boxing NextGen Search, is scheduled to fight Adeyemi “Spirit” Adekanla at GOtv Boxing Night 19 on Sunday, July 14.The bout is one of the nine fights scheduled for the event, which holds at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos. Chukwudi made his professional debut at GOtv Boxing Night 18 in Ibadan, where an explosive opening salvo helped him finish off Jubril “Terrible” Olalekan in 50 seconds. He has promised his next opponent, Adekanola, a similar treatment, saying the fight will be a continuation of his march to stardom within one year. “What I did to Terrible is what I’ll do to Spirit, who will become a ghost of himself within one round. My ambition is to be a big star within one year and begin to plan how to dominate in West Africa and Africa. I have what it takes and that will show in my next fight and the ones after,” bragged the youngster.He added that he also has his eyes on the N1million cash prize for the best boxer at that event, saying he is confident of beating big-names boxers scheduled to fight at the event to the prize.Among those who will be in contention is two-time winner of the award and West African Boxing Union (WABU) welterweight champion, Rilwan “Babyface” Babatunde, who is billed to fight Eden Biki of Ghana in the headline bout at the event. Also on the card is African Boxing Union (ABU) lightweight champion and three-time winner, Oto “Joe Boy” Joseph, who will fight Tope “Berinja” Agboola in a national challenge duel. Two previous winners, Taiwo “Esepo” Agbaje, national featherweight champion, and Waidi “Skoro” Usman, a former African Boxing Union (ABU) featherweight champion, will go head-to-head in national challenge duel. Other fights Kazeem “The Light” Oliwo vsTope “TP Rock” Musa,Akeem “Sugar Boy” Olaiwola vs Waheed “Showmax” Shogbamu and two all-female bouts, featuring Rodiat Yusuf vs Rodiat Ibrahim and Adedeji Abiodun vs Cynthia Ogunsemilore.…Female Boxers Thank Sponsors for SelectionThe four female professional boxers billed to fight at GOtv Boxing Night 19 have commended event sponsors for bringing back female boxers to the event, which will hold on 14 July at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.The boxers, Mariam Yusuf, Rodiat Yusuf, Cynthia Ogunsemilore and Adedeji Abiodun, have been selected would join the cast of male boxers billed to fight at the event. While Mariam and Rodiat are scheduled to face each other in a four-round national bantamweight challenge duel, Cynthia and Adedeji will be in action for the same number of rounds in the super featherweight division.Speaking after their training in Lagos, the boxers thanked the sponsors for giving female boxers the opportunity to be part of the event and promised to justify their inclusion in the fight line-up by being at their best.Cynthia, who is highly regarded on the circuit, said she was especially delighted that female boxers had been considered, “as many of our colleagues will now begin to have the hope that women are not being overlooked.“I saw female boxers fight at two editions of GOtv Boxing Night and I thought there would be more. But it did not happen, which made many female boxers unhappy. We are now excited that female boxers have been brought back and our plan is to ensure that more female boxers are featured. That is why we have to do our best to earn the trust of the sponsors and organisers, who have been good for Nigerian boxing, and show that we are as good as our male counterparts.”Mariam, Rodiat and Adedeji echoed the same sentiments, with all of them vowing to show their worth at the event. The two all-female bouts raise the number of fights for the event to nine. Seven of these are male bouts, with the biggest being the international welterweight challenge duel between West African Boxing Union (WABU) champion, Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde and Ghana’s Eden Biki. The last female at the event was the clash between Ghana’s Gifty “Tiger” Ankrah and Nigeria’s Helen Johnson at GOtv Boxing Night 3. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram