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September rain welcome

September 12, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - Rain that began falling at about 11 p.m. Sunday has brought the year's total rainfall closer to average.

So far, 24.66 inches of rain have fallen this year in Hagerstown, according to John Gresiak, a meteorologist with AccuWeather.com. The average rainfall at this point in the year is 27.49 inches, he said.

According to a Web site maintained by Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer, 1996 was the wettest year of the last decade, with 76.66 total inches of rain. Keefer's Web site at www.i4weather.net shows that precipitation totals for 2001 were the lowest in the decade, with 26.54 inches of rain.

For farmers, the average rainfall measurements mean little, said Jeff Semler, agriculture and natural resources senior agent for the University of Maryland Extension office in Washington County.

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More important is the average monthly rainfall, he said. Four inches of rain in one day does little good. Farmers would prefer four inches over four weeks, Semler said.

Warmer weather is expected for the weekend, although Gresiak said he expects Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings to be foggy and cloudy because of moisture in the air.

September rain won't help the crops already in the field, but "it's going to be good" for the wheat and barley planted later this month, Semler said.

"We welcome September rains," he said.

On Wednesday or Thursday, another storm system is coming to the area from the west, Gresiak said.

Widespread flooding is not expected this week, although streams in low-lying areas might overflow, Gresiak said.

Hurricane Florence, which is sweeping by Bermuda, should not affect local weather, Gresiak said.

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