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Bloomington should brace for a cold winter, or maybe not


IU student orientation leaders give campus tours to high school students in front of the Fine Arts building. The tour group wore warmer clothing due to the outdoor temperatures being in the 30s and 40s.  Alex Deryn Buy Photos

Students not only had to brave the first day back from break but also the cold Monday. Pompom hats and puff coats were seen everywhere. People packed onto buses, hoping to avoid a long walk in the cold wind. As the day went on, the sky grayed and left a dusting of snow flurries on buildings and benches.

Senior Allie O'Rourke is used to the cold weather from growing up in Indiana but said the sudden change in temperature was still unpleasant.

“It’s shocking when you change from warmer to cold weather, regardless of where you are,” she said.

The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a very cold winter for the Midwest. Its website listing Indiana in the “biting cold, snowy” category.

Its long-range forecast also predicts above normal precipitation, possibly meaning lots of snow.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the harsh winter is expected to persist for a while, and there is going to be a late start to spring weather. 

Though the Farmer’s Almanac and the weather outside might say differently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association is predicting a mild winter for the country. 

In an Oct. 18 press release, NOAA said they predict a mild winter for much of the United States. 

However, the document is unclear if it will truly be a warmer winter for Bloomington.

“The Southeast, Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic all have equal chances for below, near or above average temperatures,” the article said. 

NOAA predicts average to possibly drier conditions for the Northern Ohio Valley area. 

So far, Bloomington has already seen low temperatures and a skiff of snow, causing students to brace for a cold winter. 

“Compared to what we have seen recently, this is a few days of cold weather that is unusual for November,” atmospheric science professor Cody Kirkpatrick said.

He said Monday was an especially rare phenomenon as the temperature dropped about 10 degrees as the day went on due to the cold air blowing in. Usually the temperature rises during the day.

He said the average daytime temperature for November in Bloomington is 50 degrees, while the average nighttime temperature is 32 degrees.

The next couple days, the low temperatures are going to be around 15 degrees.

This is caused by a mass of cold air coming down from Canada, Kirkpatrick said. 

He said a warm front from the south is coming by the end of the week. This back and forth in temperatures in Bloomington is typical because of our latitude. 

Freshman Claire Squire, who is from Marietta, Georgia, said she is not used to the cold weather.  

“It was different because I’ve never seen snow in November before,” Squire said. “It snows about once or twice a year where I’m from.”

She said the possibility of cold weather was a drawback for her when making her college decision but is excited for the new experience. She would really like to go sledding during the winter season if she can find somewhere hilly enough.

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