Odd weather patterns affect student life

El Niño and warm weather is affecting snow days, students participating in winter sports, and daily life world wide

The months of November through March are usually filled with chilling winds and mounds of white snow. As of this year’s winter, and despite the on and off snow and temperature fall, the months have been quite warm, but why? El Niño takes place every few years as a result of trade winds seizing to blow. This can cause stormy weather in relatively dry areas and drought in relatively wet areas. El Niño affects northern regions, too, by altering the route of arctic winds.

Considering the lack of snow, Michigan has experienced a not-so white holiday season and many grassy days following. The effects of El Niño have gone much farther than causing a stir in the weather. Students who participate in winter sports are missing out on their winter snow activities.

“We’re usually able to go snowboarding before Christmas,” junior Charles Fromm said. “El Niño feels like it’s shortening the season.”

The lack of snow isn’t the only issue regarding winter sports, however. Ice is just as important to aid and create the fun for other seasonal sports.

“It’ll be hard to do things like snowboarding outside,” sophomore Jacob Keary said. “Sometimes in winter, we can play pond hockey, but not when the water isn’t frozen.”

Though the warmer weather is highly concerning to winter athletes themselves, lots of businesses based around the much needed snow fall have also grown alarmed. Ski resorts like Pine Knob, Alpine Valley, and Boyne Mountain had no choice but to open later than anticipated due to lack of snow in the beginning of the season, just when it was needed most.

“There’s nothing people can really do about the Ski resorts,” senior Dana Apfel said. “El Niño has had a devastating effect on the economy and our skiing.”

Student’s participation in sports this winter was not the only thing El Niño has affected. Due to the lack of cold, the lack of snow, and the lack of ice, snow days have been put on hold.

“I’m kind of disappointed there weren’t any snow days,” junior Daisy Lopez said. “I’m glad the school is making something out of it and giving us the day off in March, though.”

In comparison to the rough weather taking place in past school years, just around this time of year, snow days seemed a thing of the past. But some light has been shined on the thought of no unplanned days off this year. The school board has decided to give us a much needed break March 8, which is Election Day.

“I miss having snow days, but I don’t miss the snow,” senior Nicole Miller said. “I’m just glad that the school is giving us the day off so I can shop for spring break.”

Bracing the cold, whipping wind and slippery snow is not the easiest thing in day to day life for a northern state patron. Even though fans and participants of skiing, snowboarding, outdoor hockey, and so on have had their time cut shorter, and the amount of snow days given out through the 2015-2016 school year have whittled down to zero, the warm weather may be more in favor over the average weather expected from the months November to March.

“I’m really happy there wasn’t that much snow,” Lopez said. “I hate snow. The roads get bad and you can’t go out.”
Looking more on the positive side of these warmer months, students do not have to face the dangerous road conditions and hefty chores that come with the snow fall.

“The weather is nice,” sophomore Randy Karana said. “I like it because I don’t have to shovel that much snow.”

No matter how unbelievably awesome the weather may be for some, it is something we have to still take in with worry. What El Niño can cause is very unpredictable, so it is best to prepare for anything because keeping safety is a top priority.

“I haven’t plowed or shoveled snow, so I thank El Niño for that,” principal Tom Lietz said, “but I look at the other side of it and I dislike it and all of the dangerous effects it has.”

Though some people may be overjoyed about the lack of snow, other states will not say the same about the weather they have come face to face with. Each year, we experience the effects of El Niño, some years being more noticeable than most. As for the weather in the United States these past months, the wrath of El Niño is at its strongest. States like Missouri, Mississippi, and both North and South Carolina have experienced dangerous levels of flooding with waters strong enough to even move a house.

The most recent horrors brought into the news was a huge blizzard that had headed for the North Eastern states stretching from Alabama to Vermont. The major winter storm has caused mass hysteria. Residents of the states have been clearing grocery store shelves to stock on goods and the storm has possibly been the cause of at least 38 deaths, according to CNN News. The winds traveling with the storm are so mighty that trees have fallen over and on to cars and roads as a result. This may not be a result of El Niño, but these conditions are frightening and bizarre all the same.

“When I lived in New York, we had a couple of bad snow storms,” senior Esmeralda Ferrara said. “It was hard to get to school and work; I know what some of the people who are in the snow storm have gone through. They’re having trouble going to the store for food and doing other things they are used to doing on a daily basis.”

El Niño is a strange anomaly with very little known about it. This year’s contact with the weather oddity is not only one of the strongest, but one of the first to show very minor comparisons with past El Niño’s. It is also the first time scientists can link these changes in weather to human actions.

“There are some pretty strange stuff going on, but the Earth is good at restoring order, whether humans are a part of that process, who knows,” Lietz said. “It’s all frightening, but in the meantime, we have to do as much as we can to make a difference. My family will do even the little things like recycling or shutting off the water when my daughter is brushing her teeth will help.”