Spring here

forecasters say winter was average

March 21, 2005|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

HAGERSTOWN - Sunday's first day of spring ushered out what is being characterized as a normal winter in the Hagerstown area.

National Weather Service Meteorologist John LaCorte said the spring seasonal forecast includes a "pretty good chance" of above normal temperatures, though there was "no real signal about precipitation."

High temperatures reached 55 degrees Sunday and had dipped to 43 degrees by 9:35 p.m., according to weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site at


According to forecasts by the National Weather Service and AccuWeather, high temperatures are expected to stay near 50 degrees while lows likely will remain close to freezing for the first half of the week.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Carl Babinski said indications are that April will be a dry, mild month.

Keefer's Web site showed 20.6 inches of snow for the winter of 2004-05, about normal for this area. The total is far less than the snowy seasons of 2003-04 (37.3 inches) and 2002-03 (59.3 inches).

Temperatures were mild and snow stayed away until mid-January.

"Quiet to normal is a good way to categorize it," LaCorte said of the winter. "New England got hit with several large snowstorms ... I didn't need my snow tires that much."

February saw a couple of snowstorms and a late-season blast of cold temperatures.

Babinski said the early portion of the season, especially January, did not live up to forecasters' expectations.

"Everything averaged out. We got out to an extremely mild start," Babinski said. "It was late in arriving but once it got here, it got cold and stayed cold."

The Hagers-town Town and Country Almanack predicted 42 inches of snow.

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