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Warm weather sets records, won't last

November 05, 2003|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

The leaves are falling from trees, high school football teams are gearing up for the final games of the season and people are starting to make travel plans for the 2003 holiday season.

So why did it feel more like summer, with temperatures in the 80s this week?

A National Weather Service spokesman said such a warm streak is not uncommon for the first week of November.

Record-tying or record-breaking temperatures at or above 80 degrees were reported in several area cities - including Hagerstown, Martinsburg, W.Va., and the greater Washington, D.C. area - on Monday and Tuesday.

In Hagerstown, the high temperature reached 80 degrees Monday, setting a record, and hit 81 degrees Tuesday, falling one degree short of the mark set in 1994, according to the Web site of local weather observer Greg Keefer.

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Keefer could not be reached for comment on the previous high for Nov. 3.

John Newkirk, program manager with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., said a record high of 81 degrees was registered Monday in Martinsburg, W.Va., and a record-tying 81 degrees was reported Tuesday from Dulles International Airport just outside of Washington D.C.

Newkirk said the blast of warm weather is not uncommon for this time of year.

"Normals (temperatures) are based over a 30-year average, but your average is always between extremes - You have these ups and downs," Newkirk said. "It's actually more rare to have the average temp than much cooler or much warmer."

Newkirk said the unseasonably warm streaks typically end quickly when a cold front sweeps into the area.

The National Weather Service says high temperatures are expected to drop into the 70s today, the 50s on Thursday and Friday and the 40s for Saturday.

"That's kinda what happens in the fall - Cold fronts just come in and break things down," Newkirk said.

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