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Drought Conditions

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By BRUCE HAMILTON | July 19, 1999
The temperature in Hagerstown rose above the 90-degree mark for the fifth day in a row Monday as July's second heat wave blazed on. The torrid temperatures worsened drought conditions for Washington County, where farmland is already parched beneath ground level. "Crop conditions were poor and they are going south in a hurry," said Agricultural Extension Agent Don Schwartz. He estimated 80 percent of the county's crop land is under moderate to severe drought stress. The county's water supply isn't scarce, but the dry days are taking a toll.
NEWS
BY DAVE McMILLION | May 2, 2002
charlestown@herald-mail.com CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Based on the latest long-term weather forecast, the drought gripping the area could get worse, a Berkeley County water official said Wednesday. Although rainfall this spring has been about normal, the most recent long-term forecast from the National Weather Service calls for a drier-than-normal summer, said Bill Stubblefield, a member of the board of directors of the Berkeley County Public Service District. Next fall is expected to bring normal rainfall, but next winter is expected to have below-normal rainfall, Stubblefield said.
NEWS
February 11, 2002
Drought conditions cause town's spring to go dry By MARLO BARNHART marlob@herald-mail.com CLEAR SPRING - It's official ... the spring from which Clear Spring derived its name back in 1821 has gone dry for the first time since at least the 1930s and perhaps much longer. continued "I'm 82 and have lived here all my life ... I've never seen the town spring dry before," Stewart Brennan said. Just after Christmas, Brennan noticed that the concrete catch basin enclosing the spring had no water in it. "It was damp but there was no water coming into the basin," he said.
NEWS
September 26, 2002
GREENE TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Greene Township is joining several other Franklin County municipalities that have enacted burn bans as the result of persistent drought conditions. The Greene Township Board of Supervisors adopted the temporary ban on all open burning. The burn ban goes into effect Saturday at 7 a.m. and will last for 14 days. If at any time during this ban it is determined that sufficient rain has fallen to alleviate drought conditions, the ban may be lifted at the discretion of the township.
NEWS
by DAVE McMILLION | March 24, 2006
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County has been described by the United States Department of Agriculture as being in an "abnormally dry" state and Jefferson County Commission members said Thursday they are worried about dry conditions this summer if precipitation trends do not reverse. The water level in a monitoring well in Leetown, W.Va., has dropped about 10 feet, said Commission President Greg Corliss. Drought conditions have stricken the area in the recent past, forcing federal officials to seek drought relief for farmers.
NEWS
March 7, 2002
The Maryland Department of Environment has updated Washington County's drought status from a watch to a warning. According to the agency's Web site, Washington County's hydrologic indicators show greater stress than the rest of Western Maryland. It notes the increased demand for replacement wells due to low groundwater levels. In Hancock, Town Manager Lou Close is asking residents to voluntarily conserve water. No problems have been reported with the town's water supply, but Close is asking residents to conserve as a precautionary measure due to drought conditions in Washington County.
NEWS
January 28, 2002
Some areas monitoring water usage By ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY andreabh@herald-mail.com Several counties and towns in the Tri-State area have asked residents to conserve water - and may impose mandatory restrictions - because drought has depleted water supplies. The Tri-State area - including Washington County, Berkeley County, W.Va., and Franklin County, Pa. - has seen limited precipitation and is in the "drought watch" stage, said meteorologist Jim Wiesmueller of the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va. Precipitation levels are 4 to 5 inches below normal for the last three months, Wiesmueller said.
NEWS
By BRUCE HAMILTON | December 9, 1999
Like a bad-weather boomerang, drought conditions that were eased by heavy rains in late summer could return if the area doesn't receive plenty of rain and snow this winter. cont. from front page Below-average November streamflows caused a drop in the region's reservoir levels, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Hydrologists say that is contrary to the normal seasonal pattern of increased rates between October and November. The drought prompted Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening to impose statewide water-use restrictions on Aug. 4. The restrictions were lifted four weeks later after heavy rains fell across the state, easing drought conditions.
NEWS
By Lloyd Waters | October 21, 2007
There is an old Native American saying that "the frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives. " I thought about these words carefully as I've been considering the recent dry conditions of our state. How do people deal with droughts? What is the value of water? Do people really make an effort to conserve this important resource or do we merely take it for granted? The State of Maryland has issued a "drought watch" for 15 central and eastern counties. Frederick is included on this list.
NEWS
By ANDREA ROWLAND | December 19, 1998
Some Tri-State area residents are calling on area well drillers to deepen and replace private wells that are going dry because of drought-like conditions during the past six months. Washington County Department of Environmental Health staff have witnessed an increase in the number of emergency well permits - the most common dry well permits - from the last three months of 1997 to the same period in 1998, said Rod A. MacRae, director of environmental health for the county. MacRae said his staff received nine requests for such permits at the end of this year, as compared to three requests in 1997.
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NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | September 25, 2010
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A cluster of counties in eastern West Virginia and neighboring portions of Maryland and Virginia was one of only four areas in the nation that was experiencing "extreme drought" conditions last week, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor. Dry conditions have exacted a significant toll on the harvest at area orchards and farms, and the forecast into next year isn't promising thanks to a predicted La Nina climate pattern, according to National Drought Mitigation Center climatologist Brian Fuchs.
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NEWS
By DAVE McMILLION | August 12, 2010
The 1.42 inches of rain that fell Thursday in Hagerstown is a "vast improvement" for the dry conditions, but the area remains in a D2 drought condition, which is considered severe, according to a National Weather Service spokesman. The area needs about 3 to 5 inches of rain to return to normal conditions, Bryan Jackson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., said Thursday. In addition to rain that could continue into Friday, Jackson said the area could see more precipitation next week when a low frontal system is expected to move in. Thursday's rain began in the morning when a line of thunderstorms swept through the Tri-State area, leaving thousands of residents without power and keeping emergency crews busy.
NEWS
By Lloyd Waters | October 21, 2007
There is an old Native American saying that "the frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives. " I thought about these words carefully as I've been considering the recent dry conditions of our state. How do people deal with droughts? What is the value of water? Do people really make an effort to conserve this important resource or do we merely take it for granted? The State of Maryland has issued a "drought watch" for 15 central and eastern counties. Frederick is included on this list.
NEWS
by DAVE McMILLION | March 24, 2006
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County has been described by the United States Department of Agriculture as being in an "abnormally dry" state and Jefferson County Commission members said Thursday they are worried about dry conditions this summer if precipitation trends do not reverse. The water level in a monitoring well in Leetown, W.Va., has dropped about 10 feet, said Commission President Greg Corliss. Drought conditions have stricken the area in the recent past, forcing federal officials to seek drought relief for farmers.
NEWS
by SCOTT BUTKI | April 22, 2003
scottb@herald-mail.com The drought that has plagued the Tri-State area since 1998 is finally over, courtesy of a wet fall and winter, Washington County Drought Coordinator Don Schwartz said Monday. While the region could have drought conditions again if there is not enough additional precipitation this summer, "I would not call it a drought at this point," Schwartz said. The Maryland Department of the Environment has ended all drought-related advisories, he said.
NEWS
by SCOTT BUTKI | February 24, 2003
scottb@herald-mail.com Even if Washington County continues to get more snow and rain this winter, it will be at least six to nine months before if it is known if the drought is over, Washington County Drought Coordinator Don Schwartz said Friday. Above-average precipitation this winter from storms such as the one on Feb. 15 and 16 definitely is helping bring the drought conditions toward an end in the area, said Schwartz and Laurie G. Bucher, director of environmental health for the Washington County Health Department.
NEWS
by SCOTT BUTKI | October 7, 2002
scottb@herald-mail.com Drought and development-related excavation have created a higher likelihood of sinkholes for Washington County property owners, local experts said. Retired farmer Tom Shaw said he has noticed the weather affects sinkholes on his 350-acre farm near the Washington County Agricultural Education Center. He has at least five sinkholes on his property, including one that is 20 feet wide. The sinkholes have been visible on the surface for at least 25 years, he said.
NEWS
September 26, 2002
GREENE TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Greene Township is joining several other Franklin County municipalities that have enacted burn bans as the result of persistent drought conditions. The Greene Township Board of Supervisors adopted the temporary ban on all open burning. The burn ban goes into effect Saturday at 7 a.m. and will last for 14 days. If at any time during this ban it is determined that sufficient rain has fallen to alleviate drought conditions, the ban may be lifted at the discretion of the township.
NEWS
by Liz Boch | June 21, 2002
lizb@herald-mail.com It's the first day of summer, and weather officials predict the drought is likely to continue throughout the season despite recent thunderstorms and a "normal" status for most of the Tri-State area. A "normal" status indicates average rainfall and temperatures, National Weather Service meteorologist Dewey Walston said. Despite that, residents are encouraged to continue conserving water, he said. "Let the rain water your lawn, and don't wash your car too often," Walston said.
NEWS
BY DAVE McMILLION | May 2, 2002
charlestown@herald-mail.com CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Based on the latest long-term weather forecast, the drought gripping the area could get worse, a Berkeley County water official said Wednesday. Although rainfall this spring has been about normal, the most recent long-term forecast from the National Weather Service calls for a drier-than-normal summer, said Bill Stubblefield, a member of the board of directors of the Berkeley County Public Service District. Next fall is expected to bring normal rainfall, but next winter is expected to have below-normal rainfall, Stubblefield said.
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