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Forecasters expect more rain

October 11, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

WASHINGTON COUNTY

karenh@herald-mail.com

While rain hurt business at Greensburg Farm Market during the weekend, the temperatures are beginning to complement the vivid oranges and yellows of autumn pumpkins and straw.

For Becky Griffith, the mother of a 2-year-old girl, the start of fall is good news.

"Yes, that's actually my favorite season. I don't like snow, and I don't like cold. (Fall is) actually the most comfortable," said Griffith, as she pushed a cart carrying pumpkins and little Alannah past rows of mums.

The warm, record-dry days of September and early October ended with the weekend's downpours and cooler temperatures. According to the National Weather Service, more rain could fall in the area today and Wednesday.

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Mary Stagner, owner Greensburg Farm Market on Virginia Avenue in Hagerstown, said rain washed out business over the weekend.

"That hurt business, bad. We were actually closed on Friday, it rained so hard," Stagner said.

Friday's rainfall of 4.17 inches was one of the heaviest during a 24-hour period on record, according Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site at www.i4weather.net.

According to the site, .17 inches of rain fell Thursday and .63 inches fell Saturday.

The heavy rains also ushered in lower temperatures. In the six rain-free days before Thursday, the high temperature three times exceeded 80 degrees. Sunday's high was 61 degrees, according to www.i4weather.net.

Just .18 inches of rain fell in the area last month, making September 2005 the third-driest month on record, according to the site.

Mike Crawford, who once hated winter, said he has learned to welcome the change of seasons.

"I've spent the last 28 years up until 2000 between California and Florida. I like the seasons," said Crawford, who was stuffing the back of a silver Subaru Forester full of straw Monday.

According to the National Weather Service, between one-quarter and one-half of an inch of rain might fall today, with less than a tenth of an inch forecast for Wednesday. Highs will climb from the low to mid-60s today, Wednesday and Thursday to around 70 degrees by the weekend, the National Weather Service said.

AccuWeather's forecast calls for slightly chillier temperatures in the 60s, and only a little rain through Friday.

Crawford, who lives in Hagers- town, said he planned to plant grass seed.

"I hated the winter when I left here. I don't mind it now," he said.

Purple, burgundy, white and yellow mums dotted the pavement outside Stagner's market. A sign advertised "mamoth (cq) pumpkins" for $15.75, and brown pumpkins with necks like swans sold for a quarter a pound.

Mark Hammond, a sixth-grader at E. Russell Hicks Middle School who said he likes the cooler temperatures, and his aunt walked among the more traditional orange pumpkins looking for one to carve.

"I would make it kind of silly, or cool," Mark, 12, said.

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