January 27, 2003

January Weather Worse Than Usual

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With the ground permanently white, pedestrians bundled up beyond recognition and TCAT buses filled to capacity, it is officially January in Ithaca.

However, this year, the conditions are even harsher than most, and the days are certainly the coldest in recent years.

As of last week, Ithaca was ranked as the eighth snowiest city in the Northeast, with 60.7 inches of snow, 28.8 inches above average, by Cornell’s Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC).

“January is generally the snowiest month in the Northeast,” said Keith Eggleston, senior climatologist at Cornell’s NRCC.

Between Jan. 4 and 24, Ithaca has not had less than nine inches of snow on the ground, and during that time, there have been only three days without snowfall.

For the first week of classes this year, average temperatures were in the range of 6 to 17 degrees Fahrenheit, with lows below zero.

The same five dates last January had a range of average temperatures between 18 to 44 degrees Fahrenheit, and a range of 17-27 degrees Fahrenheit in January 2001.

Almost universally, students agreed that the conditions have taken a toll on their daily life and activities.

Many students reported that the weather has often hindered their evening plans.

“Sometimes I just don’t feel like going out at night because it’s too cold,” Matt Greenberg ’06 said.

Arch sings , and even some pledging events, have been canceled — the typical aspects of January campus life.

“If it had not been rush week, I don’t think I would have gone outside,” Maggie Leisten ’06 said.

However, students interviewed were much less reluctant to use weather as an excuse to miss class.

Justin Green ’06 noted that this struggle would be made easier if not for the “icy, non-maintained roads. There’s a lot of places that are really difficult to get around.”

Some students with cars admit they are much more willing to park on campus illegally to best avoid the sub-zero temperatures.

Still others report an increase in their use of public transportation to avoid the slippery roads and sidewalks. “You just take cabs or buses anywhere,” Isabelle Rostein ’06 said.

However, as the month comes to an end, Cornellians can look forward to milder days ahead, according Eggleston.

Archived article by Amy Green