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Cold temperatures bring April snow showers to county

April 08, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

Yes, it's April. And yes, just under half an inch of slushy snow fell Monday in Washington County.

While it isn't unheard of in April, there have been few such instances in the past 13 years, according to Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site.

For instance, three-tenths of an inch of snow fell in April 1990. And 10 years later, half an inch of snow fell during April 2000, Keefer's Web site said.

On Monday, four-tenths of an inch fell but melted quickly.

Temperatures remained in the mid- to high 30s even though it felt colder because of the dampness in the air.

"This turn in the weather shouldn't have any negative effects on the root plants that have already been planted," said Eric LeMasters, horticulture specialist at the University of Maryland Extension office on Sharpsburg Pike.

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Those include onions, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and other root crops, which all the planting guides say could be planted March 15-20, LeMasters said.

"There is probably nothing to worry about with those," LeMasters said.

Most area nurseries know what to stock, what to sell and when to sell it to growers, LeMasters said.

"Stores usually follow the rules," he said.

Pansies and other hardy annuals also should fare well since snow insulates them from lower temperatures.

As for fruit crops in orchards, the temperature would have to drop below 27 degrees and stay there for a while to damage them, LeMasters said.

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