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Weather close to normal this summer

Weather close to normal this summer

September 22, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

TRI-STATE - Aside from a near-record high rainfall total in the Franklin County, Pa.-area, weather across the Tri-State area was close to normal in the summer of 2004, according to AccuWeather and the National Weather Service.

Both services predict the weather will be unremarkable for the rest of the year.

According to AccuWeather meteorologist Alan Reppert, National Weather Service Forecast technician Trina Heiser and the I4 Weather Web site maintained by weather observer Greg Keefer, temperatures in Washington County and the rest of the Tri-State area were close to normal between June 21 and Tuesday, the last day of summer.

Reppert said the average temperature for Hagerstown and Washington County this summer was 71.9 degrees, about 0.2 degree below normal. In Martinsburg, W.Va., the average was 71.6 degrees, about 2 degrees below normal, he said.

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According to the I4 Weather Web site, the highest temperature recorded in Hagerstown was 91 degrees, reached once in early July and twice in late August. The lowest temperature of the summer was 45 degrees, recorded early Monday, the site states.

The highest one-day rainfall totals during the summer were 2.35 inches on July 23 and 2.1 inches Saturday, the site notes.

Reppert said rainfall levels in the Hagerstown area and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia were near normal, largely because of several events related to tropical storms in September.

Reppert said Hagerstown received 4.4 inches of rain in September through Tuesday, more than 2 inches more than normal at that point. He said Hagerstown received a total of 9.49 inches of rain during the summer, slightly less than the usual 10.27 inches.

Martinsburg received 10.79 inches of rain for the season, about 0.06 more than in a normal summer, Reppert said.

Bill Gartner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's office in State College, Pa., said temperatures in southcentral Pennsylvania, including Franklin and Fulton counties, were about 1 degree below normal, at 72.8 degrees.

Gartner said summer 2004 was notable because it was the second wettest on record in that area. He said about 19.36 inches of rain were recorded, nearly 9 inches above normal for the season and just short of the record set in 1972.

"Certainly in the latter part of the summer, the two major ones (tropical storms) in a one-week time period played a big role," he said. "It would have been a wet summer anyway without them."

Gartner, Reppert and Heiser, of the National Weather Service's Sterling, Va., office, all said there was little extraordinary information to report about forecasts for the rest of 2004.

"Basically, there's no reason for bias that temperatures or precipitation will be above or below normal," Heiser said of the long-range predictions.

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