"Fruit growers and orchard people are very concerned," he said. They would like to get a good soaking rain in the ground to insulate their trees' root systems before it freezes. "It's hellacious to have dry ground and freeze."
The last bad winter in Baltimore was in 1995-1996, when snow at BWI totaled a record 62.5 inches. Normal seasonal snowfall there is 22 inches.
The following year produced just 12.7 inches of snow at BWI. Nearly half of that fell in a single storm on Feb. 8.
Last year -- an "El Nino" winter -- was one of the 10 warmest on record in Baltimore, and one of the wettest. Only 1.1 inches of snow was recorded at BWI, but a series of northeasters drove rainfall totals to more than twice normal in January and February.
Globally, things clearly seem to be warming up. The planet in 1998 is on track to eclipse 1997's ranking as "the Warmest Year of the Century."
The U.S. Commerce Department reported two weeks ago that global temperatures from January through October 1998 were the warmest for that period in 117 years of recordkeeping.
Pub Date: 12/01/98