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Hagerstown has experience its third highest rainfall season on record as the end of the year nears.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 59.78 inches of precipitation was measured at Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer’s weather station, according to his website at i4weather.net.
That’s the third highest total of annual precipitation in a year in Hagerstown since city records started in 1898.
It’s also about four inches away from the second highest annual rainfall on record for the city.
A professor at Penn State University and a professor at the University of Maryland have said the excessive rainfall is connected to global warming.
Penn State University professor Michael Mann, author of “The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying our Politics and Driving Us Crazy,” said warmer temperatures have allowed the atmosphere to hold greater amounts of moisture, resulting in extreme rainfall.
On Oct. 4, Hagerstown’s total precipitation for the year stood at 51.59 inches, the fifth highest level since 1898.
Since then, almost a half inch of rain fell Oct. 11 and a little more than a half inch fell on Oct. 27, according to Keefer’s website.
This month’s highlights include 1.79 inches of rain recorded Nov. 2, a little more than 1 inch on Nov. 5, and .86 inches recorded on Nov. 9, according to the website.
On Nov. 15, 1.11 inches of rain fell.
The highest amount of annual precipitation for Hagerstown was recorded in 1996, when 76.66 inches fell, according to Keefer’s website.
The second highest annual amount of rainfall for the city was 63.91 inches in 2003.
The heavy precipitation has hurt the county’s agricultural industry this year. Growers said hardly any of the wheat grown in Maryland has been fit for milling or human consumption, and in the county, some corn isn’t looking good.
In some cases, there has been so much rainfall that corn kernels are starting to sprout on the cob.
Jeff Semler, a local educator specializing in agriculture and natural resources for the University of Maryland Extension, said this week he has not seen any official estimates of crop damage due to the rainfall.
But he said he has heard that there has been up to a 50 percent loss for some crops in the area.
He said some farmers have improved water-damaged corn by drying it.
“(But) not everybody’s able to dry it,” Semler said.