A taste of spring for Evanston

Sean Lavery

Students ditched their coats and enjoyed the outdoors Sunday after higher-than-average temperatures overtook Evanston just two weeks after a historic blizzard rocked the city.

Evanston saw a high of 45 degrees Sunday after a week of temperatures that were well below freezing, according to the National Weather Service. And the sunlight made it feel even warmer.

The historical average high for Feb. 13 in Evanston is 34 degrees according to NWS data, and the record high occurred in 1938 when the temperature hit 63 degrees. Temperatures are expected to remain above average for the rest of the week, with highs above 50 by Thursday before returning to average or below-average levels next week, NWS spokesman Bill Nelson said.

The sudden, short burst of warmth is a phenomenon that Nelson called a delayed “January fall.”

“It’s not all that unusual,” Nelson said. “We usually see this in late January where we’ll see a sudden warming period for about a week and then temperatures will go back to average.”

Weinberg freshman Keyra Ogden said the warm weather made her walk from North Campus to South Campus on Sunday afternoon much more enjoyable.

“This is the first time I’ve gone outside since October without my heavy coat,” Ogden said. “And I’m from Texas. I’m not used to the cold.”

Weinberg freshman Sam Gbur said she is looking forward to spring after going through the “worst winter” the Chicago native has experienced. Transportation was causing her particular trouble.

“I can’t wait to not have to take the shuttle,” Gbur said. “I’m tried of scheduling my day around the shuttle times.”

Nelson said the main concern of the NWS going forward is runoff and flooding from a rapid melting of the still-abundant snow in the area.

The flooding could potentially be damaging, he said.

“We’ll be monitoring the amount of moisture entering nearby rivers,” Nelson said.

NSA data indicated that no flooding had been reported in the Chicago metropolitan area as of Sunday night. The NSA typically forecasts 48 hours ahead of problematic flooding.

Ogden said the melting snow prevents her from enjoying the warmer weather.

“I want to get out and enjoy it more, but it’s wet and gross out,” Ogden said. “I enjoy walking, and I would walk if I could, but the cold is unbearable.”

Gbur said she thought the weather could be described as a net positive.

“There are massive puddles everywhere,” Gbur said. “I still need to wear my rain boots, but I’m not complaining. I’d rather it be warm.”

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