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September 4, 2008

Weather Watch


During the past week, the combination of unusually warm weather in the northern Great Plains and upper Midwest, combined with Hurricane Gustav along the central Gulf Coast, ensured a continuation of magnificent last summer weather here in Otsego County.

At our weather station in Otego, August turned out to be a very dry month, with only 1.45 inches of rain, or about one-third of the normal precipitation. While there was more rain at many other locations in Otsego and Delaware counties, there was an average of about half the normal precipitation in our region during August, and it was a cooler than normal month, with temperatures one to two degrees below normal.

A series of tropical storms will break the current dry weather pattern across the Northeast, and we could share in some of that rain early in the weekend. On Friday, Hanna — a tropical storm or hurricane — will track northward up the East Coast and may affect the coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina. We’ll continue with beautiful weather in Otsego County, with high pressure east of New England. With partly sunny skies, highs will be in the mid-80s with moderate levels of humidity.

The weather on Saturday will depend on the exact track of Hanna; if the storm moves inland and further west and north through Pennsylvania and then western New York, we could get heavy rain along with strong winds. However, even with this kind of storm track, there will be enough dry air in the storm circulation to bring intervals of sunshine along with bands of heavy rain. A track further east, just out to sea, will keep mostly cloudy skies in our area on Saturday, with only a few showers. Highs will be in the mid-70s.

As the storm moves to the north or northeast, partly sunny skies will return on Sunday, with a few showers mainly in the morning, and highs from 75 to 80 degrees. Skies will be partly sunny on Monday with a westerly flow of dry air; highs will be from 70 to 75 degrees. On Tuesday, skies will be partly sunny with a few showers, as moisture associated with another tropical storm combines with an approaching cold front; highs will be in the low 70s.

Mark Hanok is an Otegobased meteorologist. You can visit him on the World Wide Web at http://members.

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