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Winter is coming

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Russell Oliver

10/13/2015


 

Winter is coming.

While University at Albany students don’t have to worry about the imminent threat of White Walkers, get ready for three to five months of chilly temperatures, unpredictable snowfall, nasty road conditions and using the underground tunnels as much as possible. The upcoming winter is dependent on what Mother Nature decides to throw at us.

Last year was cold. It was a very chilly winter for this region and, as many weather outlets noted, February was the second-coldest February on record for the area. Last winter was noted to have frigid temperatures as low as the teens and negatives and unpredictable snowstorms, especially in the second half. Many climate analysts have already predicted that this wintertime will have fewer frosty conditions.

According to an early weather report from Matthew Holliday of First Hand Weather, the northeast will have an overall milder winter. He states that warm waters will create a heightened jet stream that will push Artic air south. The amount of snowfall is hard to predict but the region should expect much less compared to last year.

Science stuff aside, it sounds like we won’t be shivering as much this year. This will be noticeable in the early months as the later months of the season are harder to predict. Albany’s winters are usually random and unpredictable. As an Albany native they can go either way: harsh and long or mild and short. There have been winters with constant snow and winters with barely any.

On average the temperature is 25.6 degrees Fahrenheit for the Albany area, according to data collected by the National Weather Service. Past winters, such as the 2001-02 and 2011-12 ones, are in the top 10 warmest winters of the area. Maybe this is a sign that this winter could be a nicer one.

Still, it’s important to prepare for whatever is to come. Don’t wait until it’s too late to get winter clothes: go out and get plenty of them as early as possible. No one wants to go winter shopping in February and have everything sold out (this has happened to me).

Remember that layers are everything this time of year. They are the key to staying warm. Make sure to have blankets, a heavy jacket, and other winter essentials. I’m talking about fuzzy socks and furry mittens.

Driving in the winter can also be treacherous and it’s important to prepare for this. Two words: snow tires. They make such a difference in driving during this time and it’s a good investment to keep people safe. This is highly recommended for commuters like myself out there.

Another tip for commuters especially is to save those precious unexcused absences for when they are really needed…in the winter. These can be lifesavers during tough winter times, like when a street doesn’t get plowed for some reason or classes aren’t cancelled even though there’s a blizzard for example. We’ve all had those days trekking to class in the snow when we don’t want to.

And have fun during this time. It’s easy to become a hermit during the winter but one can still enjoy the snow. The UAlbany Ski and Snowboard Club takes regular trips to nearby mountain resorts to ski and snowboard during the season. If skiing and snowboarding is not an option for someone, then go sledding with friends one weekend. There are plenty of activities to participate in to enjoy during the winter while school is out. But, most importantly, remember to stay warm.

 

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