July's weather went without scalding

July 31, 2000

July's weather went without scalding


Tri-State area residents rode a record-breaking cool weather roller coaster in July.

Temperatures dipped into the high-60s, drifted into the 70s, and shot into the mid-to-upper 80s, but for the first time in more than a century the mercury in July never reached the 90-degree mark.

Since record-keeping began here in 1898, there has never been a July without any 90-degree days, according to Hagerstown Weather Observer Greg Keefer.

July 1947 came closest to breaking the record with only one 90-plus day. Even the coolest July on record, 1920, had two 90-degree days, according to Keefer's Web site.


The local weather observer said he began to anticipate a record-breaking month about 10 days ago.

"I was looking at the forecast and I thought, 'Man, it doesn't look like there's any heat waves in sight,'" Keefer said. "I thought then that maybe we had a chance at breaking (the record)."

The mercury hit its July 2000 peak at 89 degrees on the 10th of the month. The high temperature plunged to 68 degrees on July 24, according to Keefer's Web site.

The moderate temperatures this July stand in sharp contrast to the record number of sizzling days last July, when Hagerstonians endured 23 days of temperatures reaching at least 90 degrees, according to the Web site.

The mercury skyrocketed to 100 degrees on July 6, 1999, and soared to 101 degrees on the last day of that month.

Last July's daily average temperature was a record 80 degrees, while this July's temperatures averaged about 72 degrees, according to Keefer's Web site.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Dewey Walston attributed July 2000's cooler temperatures to a ridge of high pressure over the western part of the country. The high pressure system is creating a trough of low pressure over the Eastern United States, allowing cooler air to move down from Canada, Walston said.

It's unusual for such a weather pattern to last more than a few days, but this pattern endured for the entire month of July, he said.

"It's sort of like a roller coaster, and the eastern part of the U.S. is trapped in the dip," Walston said.

Forecasters don't predict a change anytime soon, he added.

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