By Mitch Holt, Staff Writer
Throughout this season, the United States has seen quite a variety of weather patterns, both wintry and warm.
The New Jersey area, which is familiar with snow, has experienced a mild, sunny winter so far.
“Winter in New Jersey can be very unpredictable,” said Deborah Howe, sophomore music major from Colts Neck, N.J. “This winter has been uneventful so far. It has been sunny-temperatures averaging between 30 and 40 (degrees). There have been no snowstorms, sleet or rain.”
The mid-South was hit considerably hard by snow. Tennesseans and many cities in the Southern states received their first white Christmas in years. New Orleans was blanketed by a couple of inches of snow, making it the city’s first snow in more fifty years.
Nate Johnson, chief meteorologist for Abilene’s KTXS-TV, said the United States is facing a mild El Ni¤o, the warming of the waters in the eastern Equatorial Pacific. The change causes topsy-turvy weather.
“With that in mind,” Johnson said, “we can expect more of the same: stretches of unseasonably warm weather punctuated by dramatically cold weather.”
Fortunately, weather hasn’t been much of a hindrance to returning ACU students as the area has experienced warm temperatures the past week, but more winter weather is in store for Abilene before spring.
“Jayme Smith is the only student who was delayed” by the weather and didn’t return to school on time, said Wayne Barnard, dean of students. “She was involved in an accident and needed a little more time to recover.”
Although the weather is currently rather mild, winter weather is a possibility in the remaining months of winter.
“With these particular patterns in place, my gut tells me that winter is far from over,” Johnson said. “We may see a round or two more of wintry weather.”