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Summerlike temperatures arrive early in Washington County

April 17, 2002|BY MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

The temperature in Hagerstown soared into the 80s Monday and hit 90 degrees Tuesday, luring winter-weary residents onto stoops and sidewalks and into parks.

With more than two months to go before the official start of summer, the mercury hit 90 degrees in Hagerstown at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Web site of local weather observer Greg Keefer.

That was high enough to set a record for April 16, Keefer's Web site indicated. The site lists the record high for that date, set in 1976, at 86 degrees.

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The highest temperature in the area, 104 degrees, was reported in Williamsport. In Clear Spring, the temperature topped out at 91 degrees, and reached 90 degrees in Boonsboro and Waynesboro, Pa., on Tuesday, according to local weather observers.

At two Washington County schools that aren't air conditioned, teachers, staff and students made the best of the situation.

"It was a little warm inside today, but we had the windows open and we were getting some cross breezes," said Darlene Teach, principal of Maugansville Elementary School.

Teach said the playground was the place to be Tuesday.

"When the temperatures go up, we just take it one day at time," Teach said.

Principal Sue Gordon said the bricks of Conococheague Elementary School helps keep her school cool, especially if the nights are cool.

"But we also have a flat roof and that gets hot," Gordon said. Windows are kept open to catch whatever air is moving.

"This is quite warm for April but I don't think it will be continuous ... we'll probably have some cool days again," Gordon said.

A popular hot-weather pastime is diving into an ice cream confection and Monday and Tuesday were no exceptions.

"Business on Tuesday was about double a normal day," said Ron Horn, owner of Superior Ice Cream and Snack Bar. Monday was also a brisk day for sales, he said.

Horn pointed out he was busy all winter, possibly reflecting the unusually mild weather experienced in the area.

"Most people who like ice cream like it in any kind of weather," he said.

Hagerstown City Police reported being busy Monday and into Tuesday as the temperatures rose.

"With the warm weather, people are out and things happen," Lt. Rick Johnson said. "We usually shift into another gear about this time of year."

The National Weather Service was calling for temperatures to be in the 80s today through Friday, with a chance of rain each day.

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