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April showers giving hope for May flowers

April 10, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

TRI-STATE

This month's wettest day - April 3 - saw .69 inches of rain fall in Washington County, more than the area received in the entire month of March.

AccuWeather Meteorologist John Dlugoenski said .27 inches of rain was recorded in March, three inches below normal levels.

About 4.55 inches of rain had fallen this year as of Sunday, he said. The normal amount would be 9.40 inches.

"That's 5 inches below normal," he said. "We're starting to get a drier pattern here, at least in the last couple of months."

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For April, though, he expected a fairly average month.

"We're going to have to make it up at some point," Dlugoenski said. "Each month you keep getting drier and drier, it gets to be a problem."

Waynesboro, Pa., weather observer Todd Toth said he has seen a jump in rain from March to April.

He has recorded 1.18 inches of rain this month. In March, only .40 inches of rain fell, he said.

"That's significantly below normal," Toth said.

On April 3, half an inch fell in Waynesboro - more than the entire month of March.

Normal rainfall for the area in both April and March is 3.5 inches, he said.

"We've had a great start," he said. "April could end up having a surplus. It's way too short of a time period to say what's going on."

Dlugoenski said if the dry pattern continues through the summer, Washington County might face issues like a water shortage or brush fires.

It's too soon to say whether a drought will be a possibility, he said.

"If you get 10 to 15 inches below normal, it's not a good thing, but there's no need for concern," Dlugoenski said.

Diminished rainfall for a period of two to three years could cause a drought, he said. Then, the area could face issues with crops and farmland.

"Right now, we are below normal," he said. "All it will take is over the summer, you get one tropical system and it dumps a lot of rain, and boom, you're back to normal."

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