The UR campus livened up this week as students flocked outside to enjoy the warm and sunny weather that came unusually early in the year for Rochester. Stripped down to their summer clothes to deal with the heat and the humidity, many spent as much time as they could outside.

Groups of students across campus were playing football, frisbee, stickball, hacky-sack, sliding on a slip-n-slide in the Eastman Quad, or just laying around to get a tan and enjoy the pleasant day. Others lounged in sofas outside listening to loud music, or camped outdoors for the day to escape the heat of the dorms.

Many classes were held outside, but a lot of the students found that the day was too nice to focus on academics. “No one wants to sit in a boring, dull lecture hall atmosphere when it’s like this outside,” sophomore Steve Oswald said, who was one of many students to skip classes because of the weather.

“I didn’t go to any classes at all. I just relaxed outside and soaked up the sun,” said freshman Mason Donovel as he was playing his guitar, sitting outside a tent next to the Freshman Quad.

This week’s sunshine and high temperatures, reaching up to 85oF, are not normal in Rochester for this time of the year. “It’s unusual, but it has happened before, although rarely,” said Scott Hetsko, chief meteorologist for CBS WROC-TV 8. He attributed the hot weather to influence from “high pressure zones to the east and south. It’s an August-like weather pattern arriving four months early.”

Rochester is not alone in experiencing warmer-than-usual weather. Abnormally high temperatures were recorded all across the mid-Atlantic and northeast regions of the country. This spring, Central Park reached an all-time record high of 96oF, as did Philadelphia with 95oF.

Senior Rachel Heafitz, who is well familiar with typical Rochester weather, agrees that this spring is strange and different. “I got sunburned in the middle of April, which I’ve never done at the time of year before,” she said.

“I’m from around Rochester, and I don’t remember a spring like this in a while,” freshman Meghan Schubmehl said. “It makes it a little hard to go to class,” freshman Emilia Nymander added.

A minor downfall of the otherwise welcome weather was that dorms all over campus were warmed up as a result, gradually becoming hot and stuffy. “It’s twice as hot in my room as it is outside, and I got three fans going,” said freshman Rawley Heimer. To deal with the heat, “I slept with a wet towel for a blanket last night,” said freshman Alex Dusenbery. Heimer, Dusenbery, and other freshmen spent Wednesday evening barbecuing in the Freshman Quad.

Regardless, the weather seems to have boosted the attitude of the student body. “It’s a nice way to end a school year, after a cruel harsh winter,” said freshman Ian MacAvoy of the early summer.

Uzilov can be reached at auzilov@campustimes.org.



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