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Harvard’s campus was rocked by gusting winds and sub-zero temperatures this weekend as an arctic blast cooled the Boston area Friday and Saturday, breaking records for the region.
According to the National Weather Service, the minus 10-degree Fahrenheit low on Saturday morning was the first double-digit negative temperature recorded in Boston since 1957. The rest of the Northeast region saw similarly low temperatures and high wind speeds over the weekend.
Students largely remained indoors through the below-freezing temperatures, ushering in a quiet weekend on campus.
Angela P. Caloia ’23 said avoiding the biting cold took priority over weekend plans for her and her friends.
“We didn’t make any plans when we saw the weather,” Caloia said. “We were like, ‘Okay, Saturday is an indoor night.’”
Nick Y. Gu ’24 said he did not appreciate the “fickle” Boston weather.
“Sometimes I ask myself, ‘Why did I go to this school?’ and this is one of the reasons why I ask myself that question,” Gu said.
The Dean of Students Office sent an email to undergraduates Friday instructing students to wear appropriate clothing in order to avoid “risks associated with prolonged exposure” including “hypothermia and frostbite.”
University shuttle services were expanded over the weekend in order to reduce wait times, according to the email.
Upperclassman house administrators also sent out warnings of their own.
“CLOSE YOUR WINDOWS!!” wrote Lowell House Dean Annie Park in an email to residents Friday. “This is not a joke and can cause really serious damage and life disruptions for many in the house.”
Still, some housing infrastructure did succumb to the cold snap.
Some Winthrop House residents were forced to briefly evacuate into the cold after a pipe burst in Standish Hall Sunday morning, according to an email sent by Winthrop Resident Dean Remei Capdevila Werning.
“It wasn’t the best way to wake up,” said Caloia, a Winthrop House resident.
Residents of The Inn at Harvard were also affected by the extreme cold overnight. Inn resident Andrew C. Nober ’25 woke up at 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning to a burst pipe and blaring fire alarms.
“The fire alarm went off and it was a bunch of water pouring from one of the pipes in the back of the Inn,” Nober said.
“The fire alarm went off two more times before we could go to sleep,” he added.
By Sunday morning, temperatures had risen into the forties, to the relief of many students.
“It was so nice,” said Evie Coxon ’23. “It was like the past few days hadn’t really happened.”
—Staff writer J. Sellers Hill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SellersHill.
—Staff writer Nia L. Orakwue can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @nia_orakwue.
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