Fueled by warmer-than-normal temperatures, summer thunderstorms blanketed the state this June, producing heavy rain and flooding in some areas while leaving other areas dry.The wet conditions early in the month forced some farmers to switch from peanuts to soybeans or cotton. As things dried out later in the month, farmers hurried to get their last crops in the ground and spray for weeds and fungal diseases whenever the rain allowed.Hay showed strong growth from all of the rain and the increase in sunshine from May’s cloudy conditions, and producers worked hard to harvest it during the drier periods. The wet weather also caused some problems with wheat sprouting, reducing quality and prices.While the thunderstorms did not spawn any tornadoes, high straight-line winds were reported on June 20. Some of those were isolated incidents, but many covered significant swaths of the state. Hail was observed on three days but was mostly small in size.Sadly, a Texas teenager died when a June 25 storm caused a tree to fall on a tent at a Boy Scout encampment in Newton County, Georgia.Despite the heavy rainfall in some areas of the state, some counties in the southern half of Georgia received less than their normal rainfall, but no drought or abnormally dry conditions were reported.The highest monthly total precipitation recorded by a National Weather Service station was 7.28 inches in Athens, Georgia, 3.1 inches above normal. The lowest was in Savannah, Georgia, where the station recorded 2.57 inches, 3.38 inches below normal.Alma, Georgia, received 4.45 inches, 0.93 of an inch below normal.Albany, Georgia, received 3.08 inches, 1.86 inches below normal.Atlanta received 3.86 inches, 0.09 of an inch below normal.Augusta, Georgia, received 5.19 inches, 0.47 of an inch above normal.Brunswick, Georgia, received 3.52 inches, 1.32 inches below normal.Columbus, Georgia, received 5.74 inches, 2.02 inches above normal.Macon, Georgia, received 3.32 inches, 0.74 of an inch below normal.Rome, Georgia, received 4.71 inches, 0.61 of an inch above normal.Valdosta, Georgia, received 5.79 inches, 0.27 of an inch below normal.One precipitation record was set on June 24 when Augusta received 1.57 inches of rain, breaking the old record of 1.35 inches set in 1884.The highest daily rainfall total was reported by a Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) observer was 7.75 inches near Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia, in White County. This rain fell on the afternoon and evening of May 31, but was properly reported as a 24-hour total on the morning of June 1. A lot of local flooding was seen with this downpour.This was followed by 5.55 inches recorded at Thomson, Georgia, in McDuffie County on June 27 and 3.64 inches reported on June 3 in Darien, Georgia, in McIntosh County.The Sautee Nacoochee observer also had the highest monthly total with 12.33 inches reported. It was followed by 12.08 inches measured at Winder, Georgia, in Barrow County and 9.24 inches in Ringgold, Georgia, in Catoosa County.While the state was slightly warmer than normal in June, no temperature records were broken. Brunswick tied its record highs on June 11 with 98 degrees Fahrenheit, which previously occurred in 2009, and on June 23 with 96 F, which previously occurred in 1950.Monthly averages in select cities were as follows: Albany, 82.7 F, 2.1 degrees above normal; Alma, 82 F, 2.3 degrees above normal; Athens, 79.3 F, 1.8 degrees above normal; Atlanta, 79.8 F, 2.5 degrees above normal; Augusta, 80.4 F, 1.8 degrees above normal; Brunswick, 82.5, 2.2 degrees above normal; Columbus, 81.5, 1.6 degrees above normal; Macon, 80.5 F, 1.6 degrees above normal; Savannah, 82.1 F, 2.3 degrees above normal; Rome, 79 F, 3 degrees above normal; and Valdosta, 80.1 F, 0.7 of a degree above normal.The outlook for July shows that warmer and wetter conditions are likely to continue, although cooler temperatures may return later in the month. For the July through September period, the climate predictions continue to lean toward above-normal temperatures. Precipitation forecasts show equal chances of above, below or near-normal rainfall due to the expected switch from neutral to El Nino conditions later in summer. This could help suppress the development of tropical storms in the Atlantic Basin.For more information, see the Climate and Agriculture in the South East blog at site.extension.uga.edu/climate/. Email [email protected] to share your weather and climate impacts on agriculture on the blog.
WINDIES star Chris Gayle blasted a quick-fire 38 from 27 to lead Rangpur Riders into the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) playoffs following a 19-run win over Carlos Brathwaite’s third-placed Khulna Titans at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday.Batting in his usual spot in a re-tooled line-up the big West Indian slammed four boundaries and two big sixes. The batting shuffle did not necessarily pay off for Rangpur, however, as Ziaur Rahman was quickly out for eight. Brendon McCullum added a quick 15 runs after joining Gayle, but Rangpur failed to build upon a promising start.Shaiful Islam and Mohammad Irfan brought the Khulna side back into the game, however, as they dismissed McCullum and Gayle respectively and Rangpur floundered in the middle overs. Mohammad Mithun recovered the innings for Rangpur but was dropped twice as he pushed the team to 147-6 with a well-paced 50 off 35 balls with two fours and four sixes.Titan openers Nazmul Hossain Shanto(20) and Michael Klinger (44) gave their team the ideal start as they put together a 60-run partnership and it looked like Khulna were running away with the match.The team found their run chase ground to a halt when Nazmul fell prey to his namesake, Nazmul Islam’s bowling in the eighth over. His dismissal started a landslide for the batting order of the Khulna side that had no end.
USC doesn’t throw out some cartoon, costumed mascot on the football field like many other colleges. Instead, Tommy Trojan rides his noble steed Traveler around the field to pump up the crowd. And the pair often succeeds in rousing the Coliseum after each USC touchdown.The basketball team, however, appears to be going in a different direction — and not just because there’s no room for Traveler to gallop around the Galen Center.On Wednesday, USC unveiled the new Tommy Trojan and Traveler, a more kid-friendly version of the mascot with full-on cartoon costumes. The new mascots will be cheering from the Galen Center every home game for both the men’s and women’s basketball team.The mascot change in itself is not a major development in USC athletics, but sparks a greater discussion that the basketball team has clearly answered and the football team will be asked at the end of this current season: What’s next?USC men’s basketball comes into its season opener today at Utah State with a drastically different-looking program from last season. The biggest change of course is new head coach Andy Enfield, the high-flying bundle of energy taken from Florida Gulf Coast to lead this year’s team.Enfield led Florida Gulf Coast University to the Sweet Sixteen of last year’s NCAA Division I National Championship tournament. Florida Gulf Coast had easily the maddest run of March Madness — well, save for maybe Kevin Ware’s right fibula. The Eagles came into the tournament as a No. 15 seed and shocked the No. 2-seeded Georgetown Hoyas, then upset the 7-seeded San Diego State Aztecs before ultimately falling to No. 3-seeded Florida.The Eagles used a fast-paced style, pushing transition whenever possible and avoiding set 5-on-5 half-court possessions, and had arguably the best dunkers in the tournament.USC basketball, on the other hand, spent all of March Madness on the couch. For the second year in a row, the men’s team didn’t qualify for the 68-team tournament. The team finished 14-18 overall with a slightly more respectable 9-9 finish in Pac-12 play. Former head coach Kevin O’Neill was fired midway through the year after going 6-26 the year before with only one win and 17 losses in conference play. Former interim head coach Bob Cantu did well to prevent the season from becoming another complete failure like the year before, but the team still missed the tournament.Athletic Director Pat Haden obviously wanted to make a splash in the coaching market to see if that would turn things around in the Galen Center. So the Trojans made Enfield a contract offer he could not refuse — no surprise that USC has a little more financial support behind its storied athletic program than Florida Gulf Coast — and fans have been anxiously waiting to see the new look of the team ever since.Enfield isn’t the only change to this year’s basketball team. Since Enfield was announced as the new head coach, several noteworthy players have transferred to USC, including former Maryland point guard Pe’Shon Howard, former UNLV shooting guard Katin Reinhardt and former Charlotte forward Darion Clark. Though the new players might not be enough for USC to legitimately compete for the Pac-12 title just yet, the surge of player interest since the new hire shows how much a coach can influence the recruiting process.The question Enfield will have to answer is if an exciting new recruiting pitch is enough to change the program’s dynamics. Will March Madness become a rite of passage for USC basketball players every year like it is for schools such as Duke, UNC, Louisville or even UCLA? Is transitioning to a fun style of play all that it will take to build some tradition around USC basketball?It’s the same question USC football will have to address at the end of the season. Unlike Enfield’s squad, the Trojans who compete in the Coliseum already have a lot of tradition to build on. But recent struggles beg the question of whether or not a team needs something more in today’s game.Should USC bring in a football coach that can run a spread offense? Is the traditional pro-style offense that won USC two Heismans and two national titles (insert NCAA sanction joke here) from 2004 to 2005 too old-school? Can USC rely on its tradition, or does it need to change the face of the football program with a new coach, new offense and even a new costumed mascot?The pro-style offense is the same style that legendary head coach John McKay relied on to mold USC into a national power long before Pete Carroll came and built upon the tradition. But today, so many teams are replacing traditional offenses with no-huddle, hurry-up, pass-heavy, dual-threat quarterback offenses because the system is both much more fun to watch and much more fun to play, regardless of any real strategic benefit that such a system could bring.Interim head football coach Ed Orgeron has shown on the football field that the right coach can certainly make a huge difference just by bringing a bunch of new energy, even if most of the style of play stays the same. Maybe the basketball team didn’t need to totally change the team’s style of play, and just needed to bring in more enthusiasm at the head coaching position.USC has some time before it has to answer all of the football team’s big questions. For now, Trojan fans can finally start enjoying one of the greatest times in all of USC sports, when the tail end of football season overlaps with the beginning of basketball season and fans have twice as many games to watch.And since the basketball team tips off tonight at Utah State, the Trojan faithful won’t have to wait long to see if a new coach — or mascot — on the court is all the program needs to kick-start a streak of success to rival that of their counterparts on the football field. “Holthouse Party” runs every other Friday. To comment on this story, email Luke at [email protected] or visit dailytrojan.com.