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Spring lacking zing steps out of summer's way

June 21, 2005|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

Unremarkable might be the best word to describe this spring's weather.

"If you like active weather, it was boring," AccuWeather meteorologist Jon McGee said.

Meteorologists from AccuWeather's State College, Pa., office and the National Weather Service's office in Sterling, Va., said Monday that temperatures were about normal and that precipitation was only slightly below the average for Hagerstown and nearby areas for the spring.

McGee said the average temperature for spring - which ended Monday - was 57.8 degrees, about one-half of a degree below normal.

McGee and National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Strong said a late-season hot spell turned around what had been one of the colder springs on record through late May.

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That late blast of heat included five days with high temperatures of at least 90 degrees between June 6 and June 14, according to Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site at i4weather.net.

The site said the season's highest temperature - 92 degrees - was recorded June 14, while the lowest - 27 degrees - was recorded May 22. No records were reported on the site.

Meteorologists said temperatures through the last week of May were as many as 6.5 degrees below the average for spring.

McGee said Monday that about 10.2 inches of rain fell in the Hagerstown area, about 1.1 inch off the usual pace.

"We were pretty close to normal as far as temperatures and precipitation. It wasn't very active," he said.

According to Keefer's site, rain tapered off after a fast start. The two wettest days since March 20 were March 23 (2.18 inches) and March 28 (1.9 inches).

McGee and Strong agreed that summer rainfall is expected to be slightly above normal, but they differed Monday on forecasts for temperatures. While McGee said temperatures could average up to 4 degrees above normal for the next 90 days, Strong said there's no reason to believe summer temperatures will be that far above the norm.

"We'll have our hot days, but it doesn't look like it'll be rivaling our '93s or '95s or hot summers like that," Strong said.

Though the 2005 hurricane season is expected to be an active one, there are no signs that such activity will have any effect on Hagerstown, the meteorologists said.

"The Atlantic Basin is pretty quiet right now, and we're already three weeks into the hurricane season," McGee said.

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