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Hagers-Town Town and Country Almanack predicts mild winter

October 14, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- The Hagers-Town Town and Country Almanack predicts this winter will be long but mild with below average snowfall.

Bill O'Toole, weather prognosticator for the book, said there will be some "short cold snaps interrupted by a mild period ... similar to the past two winters."

The 2009 Almanack is scheduled to be released Wednesday, and business manager Jerry Spessard said it already should be available at drugstores and bookstores.

The Almanack has been published for 213 years and is known as the second-oldest almanac in the nation and the longest published family-owned almanac, according to a press release.

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The local weather summary was removed from the book because of a lack of space caused by an increase in national weather information, O'Toole said. He said the summaries were eliminated beginning with the 2007 Almanack because the book went nationwide. Regional predictions still are available in the Almanack, and Spessard said the organization plans to post local summaries on the Web at www.almanack.com.

In the local summary, O'Toole predicts that about 35 inches of snow will fall over the winter months, which begin in December and end in March, using an astronomical calendar.

He said the area's first snowfall will come near Thanksgiving, and that a few instances of snow before that time will not produce any measurable accumulation.

"I expect most of the snow will be in January," O'Toole said. "And I'm predicting a rather large snowstorm toward the end of January, and a smaller one in the first week of January."

Temperatures are expected to be below normal in November and December, but above normal later in the season.

"It's just going to be up and down," O'Toole said. "We haven't had a severe winter in maybe four or five years."

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