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Students rejoice as unseasonably warm weather hits campus

Lily Hough | Sunday, January 24, 2010

Breaking news was revealed to Notre Dame students all around campus Sunday morning with unprecedented speed, but it wasn’t thanks to any technological advances on the medias’ behalf. Students simply had to look out their windows to witness it firsthand.

In South Bend, Ind., in the dead of winter, there was grass.

Weather officials reported temperatures in the high 40s Sunday afternoon, which proved just enough to melt a stubborn last layer of snow and prompt students to walk around campus in t-shirts, shorts and for a brave few like freshman Rachel Pilla, flip flops.

“I just wasn’t cold,” Pilla said.

“It felt like spring,” sophomore Lizzy Snow said, remarking on the noteworthy, campus-wide shift to warmer weather apparel. “There were more people running outside in shorts and hardly anyone wearing coats.”

Sunday’s unseasonably warm weather brought students a familiar sense of confusion regarding what to expect from South Bend’s notoriously unpredictable seasons. And with predictions from the South Bend Tribune for scattered snowstorms this week, the roller coaster of bizarre weather patterns seems just to have begun.

“I’m used to pretty sporadic weather,” freshman Amanda Garza said, “but this is really weird.”

Despite the end of the weekend, the mood around campus seemed relatively raised Sunday afternoon, sophomore Tommy Chase said.

“I try not to let the weather affect my mood, but it’s hard not to be happier when it’s a nice day out,” Chase said.

Students are unsure whether Sunday’s warm weather is a positive indicator of milder weather to come. Still wary from last year’s record freezing temperatures, most students remain unconvinced.

“It’s a fake-out,” Snow said. “I think it’s going to get cold again, but hopefully not as cold as last year.”

Snow recalled her experiences with frostbite as a consequence of last January’s record low temperatures and anxiously awaits warmer weather in the coming months.

“I think it has been really mild so far and compared to last year, I am quite a fan,” Snow said.

But WNDU Meteorologist Mike Hoffman has bad news for optimistic students.

“I think things are set up for a very wintry month overall, which means colder than normal temperatures and near or above normal snowfall,” Hoffman said in his predictions for February.

According to Hoffman, the El Niño weather phenomenon is showing signs of weakening, a situation which in the past has lead to “a cold, snowy, end to winter.”

“Of course, only time will tell,” Hoffman said.

And while no one seems to be able to better explain the unexpected bursts of warm weather as experienced around South Bend Sunday afternoon, most students couldn’t help but take advantage of it.

“I wouldn’t say this weather will translate into anything big,” Chase said, “but I won’t complain. We’ll take it and enjoy it while it lasts.”