March winds can often roar “like a lion” and that old saying proved true this week, near the end of what was generally tame month.
The most recent storm rolled through Athens at about 6:35 a.m. Wednesday, dropping most of its .62 inches of rain during that hour. Gusts of wind clocked at 24 miles per hour were recorded as the storm arrived.
Other parts of Henderson County were hit harder. Downed power lines caused hundreds of Oncor and Trinity Valley Electric customers to lose power. One of the biggest problems in the area occurred south and east of Frankston, where a tree knocked out power to 650 customers. A broken pole near Lake Palestine also caused a significant power interruption.
Gun Barrel City had to temporarily close Luther Lane when a downed power line fell across the roadway. The city also reported damage to the street department building caused by high winds.
Despite a couple of large thunderstorm systems moving through Athens in March, the month was drier and a bit cooler than normal, this year.
Afternoon highs at Athens Municipal Airport were almost on target with historic temperatures, averaging 68 degrees, compared with the normal 69. It was in the mornings when the difference was felt. The average morning low for the month was 39.9, while the normal is 45.2.
The month began with a 24 degree low, but the chilliest day came on March 12, when the thermometer dropped to 23. That was also the coldest afternoon of the month, with the temperature stalled at 42 degrees.
The high temperature for the month reached 84 degrees on both March 26 and 27.
Rainfall for the month totaled only 1.59 inches, less than half of the 4.08 inch norm.
The heaviest rain in Athens came on March 15, with .62 inches and March 30, again measuring .62 inches.