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Record Cold Across Pennsylvania; Rain Soaks Pacific Northwest

May 14, 1996

Temperatures dropped to record lows this morning from the Great Lakes into the Carolinas, with unusually late frost damaging strawberry crops in the central Appalachians.

Parkersburg, W.Va., had its iciest reading on record for the entire month at just 29 degrees. Elsewhere in the state, Elkins hit 24. In a non-record and unofficial reading, the state’s coldest spot was Green Bank at 19.

Pittsburgh shivered at 30, toppling the previous record for the date of 34 that had stood since 1876.

In West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, Ronald Higson said the freezing weather killed about half his strawberry crop near Wiley Ford.

``We’ve been growing here since 1984-85, but this is the first year we have been hit this late in the year by frost,″ Higson said. He said he didn’t have an estimate of his financial loss.

Farther south, Charleston, S.C., cooled to a record low of 53. And off the west, Burlington, Iowa, had a record low of 34.

Pre-dawn rain soaked the Pacific Northwest as a storm front moved inland. Another batch of storms spread across the Upper Plains; it rained this morning in Bismarck, N.D.

Thunderstorms struck portions of Montana and Wyoming overnight, as well as western Texas, where 60 mph wind gusts were reported.

The Southwest desert was expected to remain hot and dry today. A cold front moving to the north will bring a chance of showers to northern Utah, as well as cooler temperatures across the state.

The central region of the country was bracing for rain and thunderstorms from Minnesota to northern Louisiana.

Thunderstorm were likely in parts of Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas this afternoon, while to the north, thundershowers were expected to move across the eastern Dakotas and into Minnesota.

Forecasters said a stalled front over southern Florida should continue to hang over the region today. Thunderstorms were expected for the third straight night, especially along the eastern coast.

A few scattered showers were possible in northern New York and northern New England.

Monday’s hot spot was Imperial, Calif., where it was 109 degrees. The coldest reading was 23 degrees in Iron Mountain and Pellston, both in Michigan.

Temperatures should range in the 50s in northern New England and the western Great Lakes region, the 60s in southern New England, the Mid-Atlantic states, eastern Great Lakes, upper Plains, Pacific Northwest and the Intermountain region, and the 70s and 80s in the Southeast, Midwest, and much of the West. It should reach into the 90s and 100s in southern Florida, western Texas and the Southwest deserts.

Other reports at 4 a.m. EDT (atmospheric conditions not available for many cities):

_East: Albany, N.Y., 33; Atlanta 58 cloudy; Boston 42; Buffalo 39; Charleston, S.C., 51; Chattanooga 50; Cincinnati 42; Cleveland 35; Detroit 39; Jacksonville 64 foggy; Key West 72; Knoxville 45; Macon 53 cloudy; Miami 74 fair; New York 42; Philadelphia 42; Pittsburgh 32; Portland, Maine, 35 cloudy; Richmond 50 cloudy; Tampa 72; Washington, D.C., 44.

_Central: Birmingham 59 cloudy; Bismarck 48 rain; Chicago 41 fair; Des Moines 7 fair; Fort Worth 69 foggy; Indianapolis 43; Kansas City 52 cloudy; Little Rock 59 cloudy; Louisville 41; Marquette 40 cloudy; Memphis 58 cloudy; Minneapolis-St. Paul 50 cloudy; Nashville 46; New Orleans 72 cloudy; North Platte 55 wind; Rapid City 9 fair; St. Louis 49 fair; San Antonio 71 cloudy.

_West: Albuquerque 69; Anchorage 56; Boise 57 rain; Casper 55; Fairbanks 58; Great Falls 53 wind; Honolulu 77 fair; Las Vegas 85; Los Angeles 65 foggy; Medford 60 rain; Pendleton 55 rain; Phoenix 81; Portland, Ore., 56 rain; Reno 60 cloudy; Salt Lake City 61; San Diego 64 cloudy; San Francisco 59 fair; Seattle 54 cloudy; Spokane 54 rain.

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