Is Maryland’s crazy weather normal?

By Gracie Riley
Staff writer

The state of Maryland is notorious for its bipolar weather. Out-of-state students quickly learned the skill of layering. It’s the best way to stay warm during the frigid mornings, yet ditch the sweatshirts as the day warms up.

Lauren Anne Carroll, a freshman from sunny Florida, remembers having to make this adjustment.

“It definitely was something I had to get to used to,” the government and politics major said. “The weather here changes a ton compared to where I’m from, where it is the same temperature all year.”

Photo by Rebecca Torchia
Photo by Rebecca Torchia

But not even Punxsutawney Phil, the famous meteorologist groundhog, could have predicted Maryland’s oncoming bipolar weather when he called for an early spring.

Maryland saw a blizzard one weekend, followed by sunny and 60 degree weather the next. While residents of the state do occasionally experience all four seasons in one day, some seem to think that a larger phenomenon is to blame.

The concept of global warming is widely debated, but freshman government and politics major Emma Davis admits it could definitely be a possibility.

Photo by Rebecca Torchia
Photo by Rebecca Torchia

“I don’t know enough to be able to say if global warming has had an impact, but it doesn’t seem normal to be able to go from freezing temperatures to sunshine,” she said.

Davis’s roommate Maddie Gresh, a freshman psychology major, agrees that global warming could be at fault for this polarizing weather.

“Our world is dying,” she claimed. “Why isn’t global warming to blame?”

Professor Timothy Canty, who teaches atmospheric and oceanic sciences, doesn’t blame global warming. He believes other factors could be behind Maryland’s drastic weather this winter.

“Whenever we get extreme weather events, people like to use this as proof of climate change, or proof that it doesn’t exist,” Canty explained. “This past December was very warm leading, and some people pointed to this as proof of climate change … it was more likely due to the very strong El Nino.”

While the December temperatures were a pleasant surprise for many, the tone changed quickly after the turn of the year.

“Recently we’ve had snow and cold temperatures, and some people are saying climate change doesn’t exist because of that,” Canty said.

Either way, students are enjoying their snow days and have yet to complain about wearing short-sleeved shirts outside during winter.

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