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July is among coolest ever

July 24, 2000

July is among coolest ever



By MARC G. AUBER / Staff Writer


If you think that this summer has been cooler than usual, you're right.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Howard Silverman said he wasn't surprised to hear that July 2000 is on pace to become the third coolest in Hagerstown since record-keeping began in 1898.

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"It is a large-scale weather pattern that pretty much keeps the heat in the center of the country and it is keeping the eastern part much cooler," he said.

A monthly climatological summary for Hagerstown on local weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site shows that through Monday, July 2000 is within five-tenths of a degree of an all-time average record low set in 1920.

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The same summary shows that temperatures have exceeded 90 degrees on only two days since summer began June 21, the last being June 26 when the mercury climbed to 92 degrees.

In contrast, Hagerstown residents last year endured 19 days from June 21 through July 24 when temperatures hit or exceeded 90 degrees, according to Keefer's Web site. That includes a string of seven days from July 3-9 and five days from July 15-19.

The temperature reached 100 on July 6, 1999.

"Nature tries to seek a balance and although it was hot last summer, that doesn't act as a forebearer of the years to come," Silverman said. "This summer is an example of that."

Last July's daily average temperature was a record 80 degrees.

July 2000 has been much different, with average temperatures through Monday of 71 degrees.

Precipitation levels have increased significantly, too.

The summer of 1999 was so dry, in fact, that Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening called for a statewide water conservation effort.

Keefer's summary shows that 1.16 inches of rain fell in Hagerstown last July. This year, almost 3.4 inches of rain have fallen in Hagerstown between July 1 and 23.

Although complete July numbers can't be tabulated yet, a Washington County Recreation and Parks official thinks that the wetter weather has made a difference in park attendance.

"Attendance has been down compared to last year when we had no rain," Recreation Program Manager Stacey McLeran said. "We have had to cancel and reschedule some swimming lessons."

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