So, How About That Weather?


Brian Luppy/Villanovan Photography

This unpredictable weather gives us nice days by the Oreo one day and frozen tailgates the next.

Isabella Ledet, Staff Writer

Several weeks ago, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow, and we all anxiously awaited his reaction to the sunlight. This year, he saw his shadow, letting us know that we would experience six more weeks of winter.

At first, he seemed to be quite mistaken. In greater Philadelphia, the weather has been gorgeous. It got so warm, in fact, that I had to ask for my mother to ship me my lighter-weight coat, since I had not brought it, thinking that the temperature could not possibly reach into the 60s in February.

Back home in Albany, NY, schools are still getting snow days and activities are being canceled due to inclement weather. But, here in Philly, one can find students lounging around the Oreo, soaking in the sunlight and warmth.

We were all beginning to lose faith in our friendly neighborhood groundhog, until we checked our phones to see the weather for the Wells Fargo tailgate and game on Saturday, February 25, and discovered that it would be below freezing.

What is going on?

When I was watching the news one evening at home over Winter Break, one of the local weathermen reminded me of an important distinction that I often forget. “Weather” is the short term event of what is happening outside, whereas “climate” is the long-term trend of an area. 

Typically, the weather in February in Philadelphia varies, but, much to my surprise, I have found that it does occasionally dip into the 60s at this time of year. This is particularly shocking to me because I am used to winter extending fairly far into March, regardless of what the groundhog might see on February 2.

It is true that Philadelphia is certainly farther south than my home town of Albany and thus rests in a different climate – its weather is historically warmer overall, not just day-by-day. So, when I see people bundled up in huge coats when it is in the 40s, I figure that they are simply from somewhere south or southwest, where it is always warmer. 

Conversely, people wearing shorts when it is in the 20s must be from Maine, Canada or Alaska. I cannot imagine how people become immune to the cold in this way.

However, although the February climate here in southeast Pennsylvania is so predictably unpredictable, the buildings around campus can never seem to get it right. The other morning, my classmates and I realized that our classroom in St. Mary’s had reached a balmy 79.9 degrees, and there was nothing any of us could do about it.

Since the weather can fluctuate so much during this time of year (which has been verified by trends for years), I wish there was some kind of better climate control system in buildings that could be adjusted more easily. One day we might be baking, and then the next we are icicles.

I think that it is wonderful that the weather can get so warm during this time of year here. I really enjoyed working outside a few days ago; it makes everyone on campus excited and hopeful that spring really has sprung.

This phenomenon is exciting, until the ever-fluctuating climate of this region hits tailgaters with a “32 and snowy.”