8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday August 2, 1999
~Daiy taf Reporter
B ehind University President Lee Bollinger's house,
there is a small clearing that provides shade from
Friday's scorching 94 degrees. SNRE senior Erica
Raffo. a University grounds crew worker, found refuge in this
little recluse from this summer's muggy weather.
Armed with a garden hose, Raffo sprayed the potted plants
sitting on the wood chips in front of the brown chain link fence
which separates the President's House from the rest of campus.
Raffo said she worked through the heat of last summer as a
grounds workerbut that this year's working conditions seem
"This summer is definitely more humid," Raffo said. "I am
just used to it. I don't have air-conditioning at home so it's not
too bad out here."
The persistent sticky atmosphere of the hot July days laid
siege to the University's campus and those who have remained.
The weather has forced students and faculty to take shelter in
the nearest pool, in front of a fan, or in an air-conditioned
building. Or in Raffo's case, under the nearest pine tree.
y testf [xpka
Despite what feels like an exceptiona
recent heat wave isn't breaking any
Weather Observer Dennis Kahlbaum said
will be lucky to break into the top ten a
As of last Friday, this summer ranksI
streak remains consistent, as it did unti
summer will probably end up in the top E
top ten it will only be by a few tenths of a
"This summer isn't unusual," Kahlbaui
two (90 degree) days above normal for t
only had five days above normal."
The cause of the recent high temperatul
system that has settled over the center of t
nation, Kahlbaum said.
The system moves in a clockwise ro
whirlpool. These new air waves bring
Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico int
and the most of the Midwest.
Along with this hot air come
of evaporated water in the air c
air can contain - humidity.
will range between 70-80 perce
70+ degree day, making the air
But when the humidity level
the air will feel heavy, muggy a
When relative humidity rea
range it will often make thet
? degrees higher, making a 90 deb
temperature is in the mid-100s.
High humidity has a stagnant
due to a lack of air movement i
The low pressure area that I
also doesn't allow much wind t
Fortunately, Michigan is at th
low pressure system.
This allows cold fronts to me
and bring much needed wind fr
of storms, putting the sluggish
Rain also accompanies the c
kept Michigan out of a nation
gripped parts of the South, Mid
north as the Ohio Valley.
La Niia has also been men-
tioned as a possibility in the
recent heat wave. La Niia's
cooling air over the Pacific
causes upper air patterns to
shift, forcing changes in the
temperature through wind
"There has been some dis-
cussion, but there's yet to be
any evidence produced to
prove whether La Nina has
had any effect or not,"
"I haven't heard anything
definitive in a direct cause an
this has affected this summer oi
ht " t those at the University to change with the weather. Along with
grounds crew like Raffo working in the shade with running
ly hot summer, the water on hand, many other University employees have had to
records. University seek out the cooler aspects of their jobs.
the summer of 1999 "My trips to the dairy refrigerator often take longer than
nnual daily average they should," cafeteria worker Dave Martineau said.
The LSA junior has been working as a server with East
17th and if the heat Quad Residence Hall dining services all summer.
I this weekend, this Even though the din-
2. If it does miss the ing hall is on ground
degree. level away from the heat
m said. "We're only outside, there isn't any
his July. In June we air conditioning to save
the workers or orienta-
res is a low pressure tion students staying at
he eastern half of the East Quad.
There aren't any open
itation similar to a windows near the serv-
hot air from the ing line so circulating air
o southern Michigan doesn't provide much
relief from the heat orr
s a high percentage the steam from the
ompared to what the kitchen.
Normally, humidity "It's one of the stuffi
int on a comfortable est summer jobs,"
feel light and thin. Martineau said. "I often
reaches 90 percent, take advantage of my
nd wet. free beverage privi-
ches the 90 percent leges."
temperature feel 10 Orientation has also
gree day feel like the been affected by the cur-
rent onslaught of heat
oppressive feel to it and humidity. It's altered k
n the atmosphere. a few of Michigan's tra-
has lowered over us ditions for new students.
o break through. Many of the tour
e edge of this large groups sit in the shade as Ann Arbor resident Breen Rashid and her o
the orientation leader the hot sun Friday on a Fuller Park wat
ove through the area points things out and
rom the down drafts then move to the next shady spot.
air in motion. The traditional walk through Ingalls Mall fountain has
old fronts that have turned into a virtual bathing session for the incoming students.
al drought that has Although they leave the fountain drenched, "they're dry by
west and even as far the end of the tour," said Orientation Leader Stefanie Miller, a
first-year medical student.
Sometimes the heat is so r
"This summer is definitely unbearable the orientation lead- i
er matters into their own
more humid I am just hands.
There have been times when
used to it. I don't have air they have used their key cards
to try to escape the uncomfort-
conditioning at home So able sticky conditions.
"We go into the Carl Cohen
it's not too bad out here Reading Room, because its air
conditioned, and have sleep-
- Erica Raffo overs there," Miller said.
SNRE senior The uncomfortable sleeping t
conditions haven't been con- a
fined to orientation leaders in
d effect on whether East Quad. Several University students have also endured
r not," he said. through the heat and summer classes in student housing that t
---- - often lack air-conditioning.
aiversity "We have two fans and then everyone has one in their bed- r
----- room," Engineering junior Jeane Sneed said.
Af La Nina, the 90 Despite all the extra fans running at once Sneed said that
umidity have forced their electric bill has not skyrocketed and has allowed the her
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: CHRIS CAMPERNEL/Daily
Members of the University grounds crew, working outdoors during the day, have
had to deal with the hot temperatures and muggy conditions of this summer.
With or without the helpc
degree days with 90 percent hi