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N.D. weather

Brian Hartnett | Thursday, October 25, 2012

As I write this column, it is currently 77 degrees. In South Bend. In late October. Which means it’s a perfect time for me to talk about one of the most notorious aspects of Notre Dame life: the weather.

South Bend’s weather is easily described as frigid, miserable and even bipolar. The area’s seemingly endless winter is marked by the appearance of an all-encompassing permacloud, a constant white blanket of snow and a bitter wind fierce enough to turn South Quad into a veritable wind tunnel.

However, despite all these factors, I’m of the opinion that South Bend’s weather is nowhere near as bad as most Notre Dame students make it out to be. I think the climate of Michiana even enhances life at Notre Dame rather than diminishes it.

Yet, I must confess that I do love warm weather and wish at times that the weather here was nicer. However, in comparing my experiences to those of students at warm-weather schools, I’ve found that I’m not missing out on too much.

Although Notre Dame students may not be able to throw the Frisbee around or tan on the quad for more than 10 percent of the school year, we do get the privilege of experiencing four seasons.

Take a look at campus right now. God Quad looks downright majestic with the wide array of vivid colored leaves dotting its trees, a sight witnessed nationally by viewers when they see Notre Dame make its Saturday appearance on NBC. Speaking of football, some of our team’s most memorable games have come in the unpredictable fall weather. I feel many of us will still talk about our recent win over Stanford in a monsoon several decades from now.

Now on to winter. The treacherous and impassable conditions created by the constant snow may force us inside, but this fact spurs most of us to really get to know those living nearest to us, thereby building dorm community. And for the times we do make the trek outdoors, we can enjoy events like the massive North Quad/South Quad snowball fight or sledding on dining hall trays.

The final season in most Notre Dame students’ lives is spring. The constant rain in this season may make South Bend occasionally seem like Seattle, but it is always glorious to see campus come back to life and the quads full of baseball gloves and lacrosse sticks.

As nice as the weather is now, though, temperatures this weekend are supposed to dip into the 40s. Yes, we’ll see if my feelings about the weather are still the same come Monday.

Contact Brian Hartnett at bhartnet@nd.edu

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.