Community, Features, Weeklies

Odd Weather in Boston

Mother nature is at it again.

On Saturday it was 75 degrees out. Twenty-four hours later the temperature dropped to around 45 degrees. This weekend was a perfect snapshot of this year in Boston – hot to cold, and dry to wet. While Halloween brought in the worst snowstorm of the winter in Boston, the spring had a handful of unexpected weather extremes with the hottest, record-breaking day happening in March.


Each season has had its own oddities. In September and the beginning of October, students walked up and down Comm. Ave. barely wearing more than speedos. The parks were full of college students and Bostonians enjoying the outdoors.

Then came Halloween, which seemed to be foreshadowing the upcoming winter. Students were hit with a snowstorm while venturing around in their less-than warm costumes. The next day, Nickerson Field was dotted with the annual “BC Sucks” sign marked out in snow, and it seemed like winter had come early to Boston.

Rain and wind dominated the colder months. Those days in Boston where it is not cold enough to snow brought about a sleet-type of rain where  the wind was blowing all over. Many umbrellas filled the streets and littered the trashcans.

Boston reached March, usually the month of rain and misery, and instead it had a number of sunny and pleasant days. The case has been the same for April so far as well. Although spring is in its early stage, it has been the most tranquil time in Boston.


College of Arts and Sciences senior Maria Hadley said she thinks it is just a typical year for New England.

“Having lived in Massachusetts my whole life, I’m use to this,” said Hadley.  “You just have to be prepared. Sometimes the weather channel will say its sunny out and you go outside and it is, but then half an hour later it starts downpouring.”

Hadley said she suggests an umbrella or raincoat. However, some students are not as accepting of the weather and the preparation it needs.

Sheena Banergee, a freshman in the School of Management, is a California native who is not used to such extreme temperatures.

“Yeah, it’s pretty cold here,” she said. “I’m not use to it being in the 50’s in February. Even sometimes at Christmas it’ll be in the 70s or 80s [at home]. It’s always sunny in California.”

College of Communication freshman Melissa Vartanian, another California native, said she dislikes the weather.

“I’m not a big fan of New England weather,” Vartanian said. “I had to buy my first real winter coat.”

Other students, such as COM sophomore Danielle Hibbard, said the aforementioned Californians are complaining too much.

“I think everyone who’s complaining about the weather is being a baby,” she said. “The rain is bad, but it’s nothing compared to last year’s winter. There was so much snow it just piled up on the sidewalks, the city didn’t have anywhere else to put it.”


A Daily Free Press article published on Jan. 19 titled “Sorry, skiers: Fewer than 3 inches of snowfall this year,” said that in mid-January Boston had accumulated only about three inches of snow. The snow accumulation for January during the 2010-11 school year alone was 38 inches, and the whole winter season accumulated an enormous 80 inches.

Maybe it is not the extreme snow or cold that has made this weather so peculiar. March 2012 showed record-breaking 80-degree days, including on Patriots’ Day.

The weather deterred several from competing in the Boston Marathon. The Boston Athletic Association found 427 of whose who picked up their bids for the Boston Marathon did not appear at the starting line, according to an April 16 Free Press article.

College of General Studies Freshman Severiano Michelotti said he was amazed by the runners’ endurance in such extreme heat.

“I can’t even imagine running in that kind of weather,” he said. “I was just standing there watching the runners, and I was sweating like crazy. If I tried running I’m sure I would have passed out.”

Walk up and down Newbury Street on a hot weekend, and you will see the streets packed with tourists and Bostonians alike. Everyone is getting an early start on their summer clothes list and the ice cream shops have lines out the doors and down the street. Some clothing stores are noticing a change in buying trends.

Bri Jump is the manager for the store Free People located at 800 Boylston St. She said she has noticed a change in what costumers are purchasing, and that most costumers were hoping this warm weather would just “plateau” and stay hot.

“There is definitely noticed a surge in girls wanting dresses and shorts,” she said.

However, Jump said that customers’ purchasing pattern depends on the weather the day they are shopping as well. On hotter days, customers buy more dresses, while on colder days they are purchasing sweaters. As a result, she said Free People is still offering both winter and summer apparel.


There are severals reasons for the odd weather that has occurred. One simple answer is that it is not odd weather at all. Like many Bostonians have mentioned, Boston in notorious for random and less than ideal weather. It could simply be that people forget each year what the weather’s like until it occurs again each following year. For those that do believe the weather has been peculiar, it could be chalked up to the evolving climate and global warming.

A study published on Feb. 14 in Nature Climate Change, showed that for low-lying cities like New York and Boston increased rain production and storm surges were likely to increase. Because of green-house gases and CO2 emissions, the earth’s temperature has been rising steadily and making storms occur more frequently and more powerful.

Whether or not this year’s weather has been one of the oddest or hottest in recent years, some things never change: Newbury Street will always have visitors, students will use any snow day to demonstrate their hatred for Boston College and the incoming class will always think they are experiencing the worst weather here in Boston.

For more on weather, check out our blog for some of Boston’s craziest weather moments at

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