Campus, News

Snow-where to be found: Boston University snow day met with lack of snow 

By Megan Amato and Samuele Petruccelli

Boston University was not an outlier when it announced a snow day Monday evening. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu had announced a snow emergency and closed public schools for the day. Both Northeastern University and Tufts University also canceled class.

As of Monday afternoon, meteorologists expected over half a foot of snow. 

But there was little to no snow on the ground Tuesday.

Raine Wang, a College of Arts and Science sophomore, catches her hat as the wind knocks it off her head and her umbrella inverts. Boston University’s Charles River, Fenway and Medical Campuses closed for a snow day on Tuesday after Mayor Wu declared a snow emergency, causing public schools and universities in the Boston area to close. ANDREW BURKE-STEVENSON/DFP PHOTOGRAPHER

“I was walking and by seeing flurries and I was audibly laughing,” said K Fajardo, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. “I could blow that away.” 

Instead of the predicted 6 to 8 inches across southern New England, Boston saw just 0.1 inches of snow by mid-day Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Heavy snowfall was seen in New York, Rhode Island, and southeast Massachusetts, but not Boston. The nor’easter storm shifted south after many officials had cautioned preparations.

“Sunday afternoon we were thinking there was a good shot at 8 to 12 inches for pretty much all of southern New England,” said Rob Megnia, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. “It kept trending further southeast and further southeast, so we saw the forecast totals come down dramatically over the last 48 hours.” 

According to Megnia, meteorologists base these predictions off “up to 100” models that show possible outcomes. Minimal snowfall in Boston was a possibility in a slim number of predictions. 

“But since those are very unlikely outcomes, that’s not what we’re going to forecast 48 hours out,” Megnia said. “We’re going to go with the most likely scenario. Unfortunately, the most likely scenario did not turn out the way we wanted it to this time around.”

“The timing of the storm was a key issue in that public transit and street plowing would be impacted and could lead to delays or travel hazards, particularly for faculty and staff commuters,” BU spokesperson Colin Riley wrote in an email. 

Given this, the university made its cancellation announcement on Monday at 6 p.m.

“I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that if you don’t like the weather in New England, wait 10 minutes,” Riley wrote.

Canceled classes and the anticipated weather caused stress among some students. 

Fajardo said she was left with “a combination of really positive emotion and gut wrenching anxiety” after the announcement. She was scheduled to take an exam Tuesday and said her professor changed his mind about canceling it several times.

Camila Zarama, a freshman in the Sargent College of Rehabilitation Sciences, who works on the medical campus, was frustrated by the shutdown.

“I was not excited because Tuesday is the only day I work, so I was going to miss out on my six hour shift,” Zarama said. 

People walk past a puddle in front of the College of Arts & Sciences after light snowfall. ANDREW BURKE-STEVENSON/DFP PHOTOGRAPHER

However, not everyone at BU thought the snow day was bad news.

Wyatt Napier, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said he’s “not mad” about the day off.

“I’m a little bit sick,” said Napier. “I needed to sleep more.”

Not all parts of campus were closed. On-campus essential employees including university police, residence life, dining services, student health services, and BU Libraries, had to report to work as scheduled.

Megina said he hopes the agency can better communicate their uncertainty and avoid similar situations in the future.

“We’re going to go back and look and see what we can do better for next time,” Megina said. “This is definitely a situation where we were pretty sure what was going to happen, but it didn’t happen.”

A snow plow and shovels sit in front of the BU Center for Computing & Data Sciences. Meteorologists predicted 8 inches of snow across New England, but Boston only had 0.1 inches of snow. ANDREW BURKE-STEVENSON/DFP PHOTOGRAPHER
More Articles
More Articles

Comments are closed.