Temperatures climb, but no record

January 06, 1998

Temperatures climb, but no record


Staff Writer

Monday was the third consecutive day the weather was unseasonably warm in the area, causing some to worry about the effects on plants and their health.

Doug Stone checked his lilac tree in the back yard of his Funkstown home Monday and noticed that buds were starting to swell.

Gail Mongan, who used to grow fruit in the area, said every orchardist fears temperatures that rise significantly in the dead of winter then plunge back into the freezing range.


"It will just kill the buds," Mongan said.

The temperature climbed to 66 degrees in Hagerstown Monday, falling shy of the record of 70 degrees set on that same day a year ago.

Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 50s and 60s again today, although clouds and rain are expected to move into the area, according to Dave Thede, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.

"For the next several days, the temperatures will still be in the 50s," said Thede.

The warm weather is being caused by a Bermuda high, the same kind of high-pressure system that produces muggy weather during the summer, he said.

The same conditions existed last year at this time. Records for high temperatures were set last year on Jan. 3, when the temperature rose to 65 degrees, on Jan. 4, when it hit 73 degrees and on Jan. 5, when a high of 70 degrees was recorded, according to the Web site operated by Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer.

On a day when Tri-State area residents could have expected to be shoveling snow, they were wearing T-shirts, polishing their cars and whizzing down the road in convertibles with the tops down.

Bill Dunkin couldn't believe he was wading through a foot of snow only a week ago.

"It's weird. You can't tell the seasons anymore," said Dunkin as he stood outside his house Monday in shorts.

Some people might have wondered if the temperature fluctuations would affect their health, but Dr. Vince Cantone said factors other than temperature changes usually bring on colds.

Cantone said colds usually spread in the winter because people tend to spend more time together indoors than they do in the summer.

"There's not fresh air, and germs are spreading," said Cantone, a physician with the Smithsburg Family Medical Center.

Although there were higher numbers of cold-related illnesses last year, people seem to be having a tougher time shaking off cold symptoms this year, said Cantone.

That could be due to a particular strain of virus that is going around, he said.

The Herald-Mail Articles