By Claudia Hardy | Staff Writer
‘Tis the season for February weather, a time when folks anxiously wait for warmer temperatures and clouds that are not so heavy with snow.
Every winter has its random warm days that lead us to think that we can bring shorts and tank tops out for good. This winter, however, has been beyond strange. Record high temperatures hit last week, resulting in students resuming daily activities outside.
The city of Pittsburgh has always been known for its cold and snowy weather. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), winters usually lay comfortably in the low-20s, and remain there from December until mid-March. Snowfall during these months is also increasingly high, ranging from 17 to 30 inches.
Like any city, some winters can experience more snow than others. The NWS records show that 1950 Pittsburgh accumulated 82 inches of snow.
The week of Feb. 19 to the 25 brought out record high temperatures that the city has not experienced since the 1900s, per the NWS’ records. Friday, Feb. 24 hit a whopping 76 degrees, falling one degree short of beating the overall warmest temperature in the second month of the year.
During this time, students had the opportunity to spend their days enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. A-Walk and Rooney Field were both filled with an abundant amount of cornhole and frisbee games, not to mention relaxation.
“The weather last week was great,” freshman Natalia Steen said. “It gets me very excited for spring break. My friends and I were playing four square on A-Walk almost every day.”
Freshman Morgan Montgomery took the nice weather as an opportunity to get some homework done.
“I found that doing homework outside made me feel more relaxed, allowing me to get it done faster,” she explained.
Others found the weather to be quite irritating, as it was only present for a short amount of time.
“It was misleading and too good to be true,” freshman Sydney Diehl said.
Some professors also held class outside. Rockwell Hall and Fisher Hall were surrounded by classes sitting in inviting circles while learning course material.
“Instructors honestly want to enjoy the weather as much as our students,” said English department teaching assistant and instructor Courtney Druzak. “It provides us with a different learning atmosphere. We all become members of a classroom working together and sparking communication.”
By Saturday, temperatures fell back to a more typical 42 degrees. Nevertheless, this is still considered high for the given time during the season. As the week progresses, the temperature will continue to remain in the 30s-40s.
When compared to previous years, January and February have fallen on the warmer side of the spectrum. It has still been cold, but the average temperature for January was 28 degrees, with February sitting at 31. According to the NWS, at this time in February back in 2015, the average temperature was 18 degrees.
Whether we experience another spring-like week or not, no one saw this small wave of warm weather coming, not even Punxsutawney Phil. The weather may have felt like a slight tease, but it can only get campus more excited for the more permanent warmer temperatures to come… and, of course, spring break!