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Groundhog 'blew it,' but spring is finally here

March 20, 2007|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - With overnight temperatures in the low 30s and 1 to 3 inches of snow predicted for parts of the Northeast, it didn't feel like spring Monday.

But at 8:07 p.m. today, spring officially begins.

Some were anticipating an early start to spring after the groundhog failed to see his shadow this year. The nearly two months that followed that prediction were the coldest of the season, and most of the nearly 24 inches of snow that fell this season in Washington County came after Groundhog Day.

"The groundhog blew it this year," said Frank Strait, an AccuWeather meteorologist.

But the wait for warmer weather might soon be over.

After a few days of relatively cool temperatures, he said, Washington County residents can expect high temperatures approaching 70 degrees by Thursday. Those temperatures will last through Saturday, Strait said.

"I can't promise there won't be anymore snow this year," he said. "But there's a good chance you've seen all you're going to."

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Twelve of the county's 24 inches of snow fell this month, according to local weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site, www.i4weather.net.

"It's almost been kind of two seasons here," Strait said. "In December, it was pretty warm and in the first part of January. But about (Jan. 15) it really turned around and went the other way. February was extremely cold, and March has been cold."

Temperatures in February did not climb above 50 degrees, and the three coldest days of the year came in that month, he said.

The coldest temperature recorded this season was 3 below zero on March 8, according to Keefer's site.

It is going to be warmer toward the end of the week, but Strait said warmer temperatures combined with the rain that is expected to fall Friday could cause some flooding in the area.

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