Hot spell to linger a while

June 24, 1997


Staff Writer

The temperature shot into the 70s in January, but the unseasonably warm winter weather didn't mean an early summer for the Tri-State area.

As the first six months of 1997 heads into history, weather in the Hagerstown area largely has been cool and dry, according to local weather records.

But Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer said that could change. Judging from weather forecasting sites he checks on the Internet, Keefer said the hot weather that arrived over the weekend could continue.


"It looks like we could be headed for a long spell of hot weather," he said.

It certainly took long enough.

March and April were about 2 degrees cooler than normal and May was more than 3 degrees cooler than average, Keefer said.

"There weren't any 80-degree days at all in April, which is unusual," he said. "Usually, we have four or five."

As for rainfall, there was less than normal during spring 1997.

During the record-breaking spring of 1996, 36 inches of precipitation fell. This year, only 14.85 inches of precipitation have fallen since January, according to Keefer.

Average rainfall for the January through June period is 18.92 inches, he said.

The dry weather, coupled with an accident that shut down a pump, already has forced Boonsboro officials to issue a ban on outdoor water uses.

The hot weather took its time arriving, however.

Keefer said the mercury fell to 31 degrees on May 8.

"That was kind of a late freeze," he said.

Normally the last freeze of the year comes in late April, Keefer said.

Even in early June, the temperature remained in the 50s some days.

But it hit 95 degrees on Saturday and the month has had three 90-degree plus days.

"Almost right on schedule, here comes summer," Keefer said.

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