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Great white hope fades

December 22, 2000

Great white hope fades



By ANDREW SCHOTZ / Staff Writer


Christmas in the Tri-State region will be cold, but not white.

The National Weather Service is predicting mostly sunny skies on Monday. "It looks like it's going to be dry," meteorologist Dewey Walston said.

The high temperature will be between 30 and 35 and the low will be between 15 and 20, he said.

The forecast applies to Hagerstown and Martinsburg, W.Va. Walston said conditions will be similar in Chambersburg, Pa., but it may get a little colder there than the other two places.

Snowless Christmases are the norm in this area.

Weather watcher Greg Keefer's Web site, www.i4weather.net, says that one inch or more of snow has fallen in Hagerstown just nine of the last 98 Christmas Days.

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Seventeen other times, there was at least an inch of snow on the ground from the day before.

On Christmas Eve in 1995, the Web site says, snow dusted the city and remained there the next day.

The last Dec. 25 snowfall of more than an inch came in 1993, when 1.1 inches fell.

The early second half of the century was the best for Christmas Day snow fans in Hagerstown. There was eight inches on the ground in 1951, eight in 1960, five and a half in 1961, five in 1962 and seven and a half in 1963, Keefer's Web sites says.

The thermometer hit 59 degrees Christmas Eve and early Christmas Day in 1979, the site says. Then, winds of up to 61 miles per hour came and over an inch of rain fell Christmas Day. A small tornado was reported in the Halfway area.

The National Climatic Data Center's Web site, www.stormfax.com, lists the odds for White Christmases in municipalities across the country. There is a 24 percent chance of Martinsburg getting at least an inch of snow, the site says.

Hagerstown and Chambersburg are not listed.

Tri-Staters whose White Christmas hopes for this year have been dashed can still root for one abroad.

William Hill, the British bookmaking agency that lays odds on everything from darts to snooker, is accepting bets on Christmas snow in London, England; Glasgow, Scotland and Cardiff, Wales.

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