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Forecasters see cooler summer

June 20, 2009|By ASHLEY REID

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- There aren't a lot of hot, steamy days in the summer forecast for Washington County residents this year, an AccuWeather meteorologist said.

"Our long-range forecasters are looking at limited potential for longtime heat waves," AccuWeather meteorologist Carl Erickson said last week.

Summer officially begins Sunday at 1:45 a.m. and ends Sept. 22 at 5:18 p.m. The summer solstice, which usually is June 20 or 21, is the longest day and shortest night of the year.

Erickson said he expects the average temperature for this summer in the Hagerstown area to be one or two degrees below what is normal for the area.

The average temperature for the summer months in Hagerstown is 73 degrees, according to www.i4weather.net, a Web site maintained by Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer.

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Hagerstown resident Christina Martin expressed disappointment when told of the projected forecast.

"It seems like it always gets warmer in the wintertime, but when summer comes, we don't get any warm weather," Martin said.

Martin has a 2-year-old daughter who she says wants to go outside all the time.

"I can't let her out if it's raining or cold," Martin said. "It's miserable being stuck in the house all the time."

AccuWeather meteorologist Kate Walters said the forecast for cooler temperatures is based on the expected formation of a storm pattern.

"The storm pattern will ensure cooler temperatures," Walters said. "More clouds and rain will keep a cap on temperatures."

"You may have one day (at) 90 degrees and above and then a group of days in the low 80s," Erickson said.

"An affecting factor in the projected forecast is a developing El Niño ... in the Pacific," said Ed O'lenic, a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

El Niño is a warm ocean current that can alter storm patterns and cause unusual weather patterns.

Precipitation isn't expected to vary much from the norm, either.

Erickson predicted 10.39 inches of rain would fall in Hagerstown during the summer months.

The average summer rainfall in Hagerstown is 10.48 inches, according to Keefer's Web site.

Josh Ferguson of Sharpsburg expressed hope it will not rain too much this summer because of his job.

"I'm a heavy-equipment operator and the rain deters me from work," Ferguson said. "I'd rather it be hot and humid and not rain."

On the other hand, Herbert Smith of West Virginia said he would welcome rain.

"I like the rain because it keeps the grass growing and everything green," Smith said.

"If the weather is going to be that nice, I imagine there'll be a lot of people out and doing more things instead of sitting inside," Ferguson said.

Staff writer Danielle Cintron contributed to this story.

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