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MIT student blogger Kevin S. '19

What is weather? by Kevin S. '19

...and what is rain?

Before iOS7, Apple’s weather app icon always showed that it was 73 degrees and sunny.

That basically sums up my prior experience with weather. Coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, the weather out west is as amazing as the icon makes it out to be.

Last Tuesday the high was 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Not too bad, but warmer and more humid that I’d prefer.

Last Wednesday it was just as hot and even more humid–and it rained. Here’s the thing: One does not simply experience heat and/or humidity in the Bay Area. It doesn’t exactly rain too often either (read: we’ve long been in a drought). Combined, heat and humidity are killer. But when you add in hot and humid rain, well, that’s like putting a kangaroo in the middle of the tropics. (OK, bad analogy, but you get the point.)

I was well prepared though. A few weeks ago, I found this app called Dark Sky that sends out alerts for weather reports and updates when needed. I also bought my first umbrella and poncho, in the event that rain, sleet, snow, or anything in between happens. Before I walked out of Burton Conner, I had my umbrella in hand, poncho over my backpack. I was ready to conquer rain!

OH, is that actually water falling out of the sky?!

And it falls sideways?!

And why is the water warm???

I managed to take this Snap while trudging over to my first class:

IMG_3229.png <– Or maybe I’ve been accustomed to drought conditions for too long

Two days later the temperature suddenly dropped 30 degrees. T–h–i–r–t–y d–e–g–r–e–e–s. Up until this point, my closet consisted of shorts, jeans, and t-shirts. Just as I was adapting to the hot and muggy New England summers, it suddenly became cold and dry. Yay.

So on Saturday, to prepare for the worst, I went winter shopping. I scouted several clothing stores around MIT to find winter coats and jackets and sweaters and quarter-zips and boots and basically any article of clothing that could help me withstand puddles and rain and anything, for that matter, coming at me at a 45-plus-degree angle.

IMG_3303.jpg  <– Me spotted at the local Patagonia store

 <– So I bought real clothes

This past Wednesday it started heating back up again. I tucked away my brand new winter gear and pulled out my shorts and flip flops for a refreshing 72-degree and sunny day. That was a welcome change.

And then today happened. It’s back to being cold and rainy again. Bye bye shorts and t-shirts. See you again sometime next year?

I literally don’t even know what to expect with the weather anymore. And it’s not even winter yet. Will it be hot and humid tomorrow, and then start snowing the next? Is that how weather works when you’re not in California?

Every morning I’ve resorted to obsessively checking the weather app to make sure what I’m wearing will be appropriate for the rest of the day (read: will keep a Californian alive and well). That may also very well translate to me carrying around a sweater, a poncho, and an umbrella if there’s the slightest chance of rain later in the day. Maybe that’s a bit overboard, but the rain is something new and scary.

On the flip side, the transition to the fall climate has been bringing some pleasant changes to the campus scenery. The leaves are starting to change colors, and the Boston and Cambridge skyline looks on point from the Harvard Bridge. Sunsets + MIT + fall weather = perfect photo opp.

tl;dr: The weather is currently bipolar, but fall is (generally) beautiful here in Boston. And the campus looks amazing. :)