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Children at play help usher in summer

June 21, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - Children filled Hagerstown's playgrounds and ball fields Friday afternoon - a sure sign that summer has arrived.

Spring officially ended Friday at 7:59 p.m., making today the first full day of summer.

The area's recent cool-weather pattern soon will ease, and temperatures will climb closer to normal summer highs, Tom Kines, an AccuWeather meteorologist, said Friday.

The area normally sees high temperatures in the mid-80s and low temperatures in the mid-60s in July, Kines said.

Forecasters expect this summer to be a bit warmer than usual, but the weather by no means will be sweltering, Kines predicted.

This spring's rainfall was about 4 inches more than average, according to www.i4weather.net, a Web site maintained by Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer.

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After a spring that included the second-wettest April on record in the Hagerstown area, some Tri-State-area residents already know how they're going to spend the year's warmest months.

Kristie Carter of Falling Waters, W.Va., likes to take her sons Brandon, 7, and Zachary, 15 months, to City Park in Hagerstown. Carter meandered around the park Friday afternoon with Zachary in a stroller while Brandon played on a playground.

Nicole Williams of Hagerstown plans to take advantage of the summer weather and take her children to City Park often, she said Friday afternoon. Her children, Mallachi, 4, and Jada, 2, happily climbed some rocks in the park Friday.

Kathy Haines of Myersville, Md., picnicked Friday with her grandchildren at City Park. Haines and her grandmother used to visit City Park 50 years ago, she said.

"I'm still enjoying it," Haines said as her grandchildren played near ducks in a pond.

Haines plans on taking a lot of day trips this summer, including trips to Lancaster, Pa., Harpers Ferry, W.Va., and other local destinations, she said.

Her granddaughter, 3-year-old Jessica Martin, knows what she's excited about doing this summer.

"Seeing ducks," Jessica said.

Look ahead

After a wetter than normal spring, meteorologists are predicting a hotter than usual summer, but temperatures will not be sweltering.

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