Students enjoy warmer weather (while it lasts)

Analicia Haynes, Managing Editor

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With a warmer atmosphere hitting campus, several students have taken advantage of the 50-degree weather to spend time outside after experiencing formerly freezing temperatures.

Nadh Alsubaie, a graduate student studying biological sciences, said since it has gotten warmer she has been happier and more energetic.

She wanted to go outside and enjoy the fresh air, taking advantage of the warm weather to run errands around campus.

Though she spent her first winter in Carbondale, Alsubaie, she said she is surprised with the rapid change in weather.

“It is a new experience for me,” she said, laughing. “But I like Charleston, so I accept anything that comes from Charleston.”

Though the weather has recently gotten warmer, Cameron Craig, Eastern’s climatologist, said students should not get too excited just yet.

He said the warmer weather is a result of an active jet stream and referred to the change in weather as “a roller coaster situation.”

“The jet steam dips to the South and puts us in polar arctic air, and then it fluctuates North to bring us the warm air and this is very active,” he said. “For example, we had the single digits at the beginning of the month and then we got up to 60 (degrees) last week, and then we dipped down to the single digits again and then back up to the ‘50s.”

Craig said the weather will continue to jump up and down for the next three months.

February will consist of temperatures that are near the climatological normal, or the 30-year average, of a weather variable.

Anything from a blizzard to a major spring-like thunderstorm can happen and is “open game,” Craig said.

But the transition from cold to warm temperatures has been met with appreciation from students such as Mounika Neelam, a graduate student in computer technology, who said she felt relieved as a result of the warmer temperatures.

Originally from India, Neelam said this was her first winter experience and her first time seeing snow.

Despite the sight of snowfall being amazing, she said winter is too cold for her, especially compared to India.

“It’s so much better,” she said. “In the span of two weeks I have seen three different types of weather … I have faced complete snowfall, rain and now this weather…I want this weather (to stay).”

Olivia Jakubowski, a senior graphic design major, said although she did not have enough time to hang out outside and enjoy the warmer weather, it is nice to not have to wear a winter coat.

But, the quick transition from cold to warm is unsettling, she said.

“I’m from Coal City, Ill. … We got hit by a tornado a couple years ago twice within 18 months, so the transition from cold to warm is always scary,” Jakubowski said. “As long as the sky’s not green, it’s fine.”

Other than that, Jakubowski said the weather is “pretty nice” because she is able to save money by turning off her heat.

“If it never snows again I will be happy with that,” Jakubowski said. “The mud is not fun, but other than that, I’m glad the snow is gone.”

However, Craig said the warmer temperatures do not necessarily mean this will be the last time people will see snowfall.

“We’re still in the middle of winter,” he said. “We haven’t passed that threshold yet. We will pass that threshold in February. So we still got a bit of winter left.”

In the meantime, Craig said when the average temperature is at or below 55 degrees, students should still dress warmly.

“The body tells you that you’re cold, and that’s just a sign of thickening blood, and people can have strokes after that,” Craig said. “Like today, there were some students wearing shorts. OK, I get that, but not flips-flops, let’s keep the feet warm, dress warmly.”

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]