Warm snap hits a record


Sunny skies coupled with warm air from the Gulf of Mexico sent temperatures high enough Wednesday to set a record.

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The high of 86 degrees bested the previous record for March 8 of 74 degrees set in 1975, Dewey Walston, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said.

Around Hagerstown, some people took advantage of the sun and warm weather and donned shorts and T-shirts.

The warm snap turned some people's thoughts to ice cream.

More than 400 people had showed up at the Dairy Queen on Dual Highway by Wednesday evening, Manager Shawn Baker said.

He said the most popular item was the S'mores parfait, which has all the basic ingredients of the campfire treat along with ice cream, he said.


Typically, high temperatures for March range from the upper 40s to the 50s, according to Walston.

Temperatures were above average all week, with highs in the 50s on Sunday and in the 60s on Monday and Tuesday, he said.

Walston attributed the warm weather to a ridge of high pressure off the Southeast United States coast that drew warm air from the Gulf of Mexico.

The higher temperatures will move out of the area soon, Walston said.

Today should be mostly to partly sunny, with highs in the 80s, according to the National Weather Service. Friday and Saturday will be cooler, with highs in the 60s and a chance of rain Saturday, the Weather Service predicted.

The mild weather this winter and in recent winters along with extremely hot summers do not necessarily show a trend toward global warming, Walston said.

"Climate changes take place over hundreds of years. It's (the warmer temperatures) not an indication of anything," he said.

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