By Melanie Bucoy
Remember back in December, right before Christmas, when the weather was an unexpected 60° and everyone thought that we may have a warmer winter this year? Major media outlets such as CNN and National Geographic proposed theories that phenomena such as global warming and El Nino, the periodic warming of the Pacific Ocean every few years, were responsible for shooting temperatures above the norm.
However, storm Jonas came through this past weekend and changed those expectations—now winter is finally among us. Starting from Friday at midnight, the first sights of snowfall appeared and continued all day Saturday. Throughout the day on Saturday there were high speed winds that made driving and walking outside very difficult. Public Safety issued an email to all students stating that the campus would be closed that day as well.
The snow storm impacted students’ availability to eat at GDS, and also impacted the Village Market hours as well. On Saturday, the Village Market opened at 8 AM and closed at 11 PM. On Sunday, due to understaffing, the Village Market did not open at all. GDS was scheduled to open at 10, but due to understaffing during the storm, it opened at 11 and closed at 7 PM. The hours were the same on Sunday.
By early Sunday morning the snow had ended and there was a little over a foot of snow left. A sunny sky solaced many residents and they spent their snow day in the dorms with food, movies, and relaxation. Confused birds were found chirping by the campus center. Once the wind died down a few brave residents brought out their inner child and played around in the fresh snow outside of Laurel and on the green behind the Honors College.
Starting from midnight on Saturday, snow was already being shoveled away from major entrances and walkways all over campus. By Sunday morning salt was distributed and work still continued throughout the day to shovel the snow. On Sunday night, trucks were scooping snow and delivering it to local snow melting plants. Of course, there is a lot of work to do in keeping the snow away and making sure there is minimal ice on the ground. For safe measures, the campus had a delayed opening Monday morning—offices did not open until noon, and all morning classes were canceled.
Luckily, the weather will improve throughout the week with temperatures reaching up to mid-40’s. Of course, this may not be our only blizzard for the season, so, precautions should always be taken for future storms and other weather advisories. Students should plan any travelling ahead of time to ensure that they will not be travelling in the middle of a storm. Residents should take the necessary precautions to look out for themselves by stocking up on foods and warm clothing to help endure those snow filled nights. Also, it should be considered that most businesses close early if even at all during these conditions. While the largest blizzard of winter came so late in the season, it has only been the first one of 2016, and chances are it will happen again. Take precautions when driving or walking on the street, be safe, and stay warm Highlanders!