In any normal year, late November is the time to break out the mittens, dig up those old packets of instant hot chocolate and invest in a stockpile of firewood. But this year, November 28 will be remembered as the day that Harvard students felt more inspired to sunbathe than to sleigh.
To the delight of many, temperatures yesterday soared into the 70s, breaking a previous record of 68 degrees set on November 28, 1896, according to meteorologist Charles Foley of the National Weather Service. The average high temperature for late November is in the mid-40s, Foley added.
Foley said the near-tropical weather was caused by a high pressure system over the Atlantic "transporting mild air from the Southeastern United State to New England."
But meteorological explanations seemed far from the minds of students frolicking in the Yard, tossing footballs and flinging frisbees in a state of carefree bliss.
"It's terrific," said John A. Haddon '94, a first-year student from Canada who spent yesterday afternoon reading under a tree in the Yard. Haddon admitted, however, that "sitting outside does make it a bit more difficult to concentrate on studying."
Several students from warmer climates said the 73-degree weather reminded them of home. "It's bitchin', man, just like January in San Diego," said Michael A. Jobst '94, giving the weather an enthusiastic "thumbs-up."
Carlos Ruiz '92 echoed Jobst's sentiment. "I come from Puerto Rico so this really isn't much of a change for me," he said. "But, of course, I like it."
Harvard Square was bustling with activity yesterday, as the warmth and sunshine lured people out of their dormitories and offices. Street musicians played to unusually large audiences, and several local businesses reported increased sales.
"Business is up 100 percent," said Stephen Latzanakis, owner of the Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream store on Massachusetts Avenue. "We love to see this because it helps our cash flow in what is normally the slow season."
But even some of those celebrating the warmth expressed concerns about the environmental origins of the freakish weather. "Something's not right," said Dana Embrose, an employee of Emack & Bolio's Ice Cream. "It's the ozone layer or something...I don't know."
"Who says global warming is all that bad?" joked Robert Kwong '94 as he enjoyed the sunshine in the Yard yesterday.
Fortunately, the National Weather Servicereported that yesterday's temperatures hadabsolutely no connection to the greenhouse effect."This is a short-term phenomenon expected to endFriday," Foley said. "Global warming takes placeover decades."
Today's temperatures are expected to besignificantly cooler, with highs in themid-50s--still warmer than usual for this time ofyear. The weather is expected to be breezy andcloudy with a chance of rain