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Say goodbye to hot, dry year

January 02, 2006|by Pepper Ballard

pepperb@herald-mail.com

The summer of 2005 was the third hottest on record for Hagerstown while September 2005 was the driest September on record, according to Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site.

June, July and August averaged 75.7 degrees, according to Keefer's Web site, www.i4weather.net. Although temperatures did not exceed 100 degrees, the heat index during those months often was above 100, according to Keefer's site.

During those months, in a daily log, Keefer frequently described the days as having "oppressive" humidity.

The hottest summer was in 1995, when temperatures averaged 76 degrees, according to the site. A close second, with an average temperature of 75.9 degrees, was the summer of 1999.

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In September, according to Keefer's Web site, .18 inch of rain fell in the Hagerstown area, making it the driest September since 1943, when .38 inch was recorded.

September was the third-driest month on record in Hagerstown, he wrote. In March 1910, .08 inch of precipitation fell in Hagerstown, making it the driest month on record, the site states. In December 1955, .13 inch of precipitation fell in Hagerstown.

"September was also one of the sunniest, cloud-free months I have ever seen with 73.3 percent sunshine, 19 sunny days," Keefer wrote.

The lowest recorded temperature for the year was on Jan. 24, at 0 degrees, the site states.

Aug. 4 and Aug. 14 tied for the highest recorded temperature at 97 degrees, according to the Web site.

The Hagers-Town Town and Country Almanack predicted that winter 2005 would "be long, but not particularly deep or intense." The Almanack called for 111 cold days, 62 wet days and 19 cyclonic storms, predicting 42 inches of snow.

According to Keefer's Web site, New Year's Day 2005 set a record high temperature of 65 degrees, breaking the old record of 64 degrees in 1985. The first measurable snow of the season fell Jan. 16, followed by smaller snowfalls and precipitation, including sleet, throughout the month. Rain, snow and sleet fell in February, with the most - 6 inches - falling by midnight Feb. 24.

Toward the end of March, Hagerstown experienced flooding, after 1.9 inches accumulated March 28. There were "many roads flooded. Potomac River (was) nearing (its) flood stage or slightly over at many locations with just minor flooding on rivers," Keefer wrote. Flooding continued in parts of the area into the beginning of April, according to Keefer.

"May 2005 was the 6th coolest May on record with an average of 57.2. The coolest May on record was 53.4 in 1917," Keefer wrote.




According to weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site at www.i4weather.net:

Lowest recorded temperature: 0 degrees, Jan. 24

Highest recorded temperature: 97 degrees, Aug. 4 and 14

Most precipitation: 6 inches, Feb. 24

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