What’s the Deal with the Cherry Blossoms?

Cherry+Blossom+Path_forWebArguably one of the best things about going to Georgetown is being able to experience Washington in the spring. The birds are chirping, Healy beach lawn is bubbling with excitement and D.C.’s cherry blossoms are beautifully bursting into in full bloom. At least you think they will be.

With the strange wintry weather we’ve been experiencing lately, you might be wondering how the cherry blossoms are going to be affected … and if they’re even going to bloom properly at all. Here at 4E, we’re all licensed cherry-bloom-ologists, and we’ve got the scoop on everything you need to know about how the recent weather will affect the cherry blossoms. Here are 3 questions you wanted to know about the D.C. cherry blossoms but were too afraid lazy to ask:

1. What’s the deal with the cherry blossoms? Are they going to bloom in this weird weather?

Yes. They might just be a little bit late. As we’ve already explained here on 4E, cherry blossom bloom dates are determined by temperatures. Basically, the colder the spring temperatures, the later the cherry blossom bloom dates. Check out this nifty graph to see the correlation:

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Every Hoya can attest to the wacky cold weather we’ve experienced this spring, and for that reason, this year’s bloom is projected to be one of the latest in recent history. The Capital Weather Gang at the Washington Post even revised their peak bloom date projections from April 9 to April 13.

2. Will the snow affect the blooms?

No. Like we explained above, cherry blossom blooms are affected by temperature, not precipitation. The blooms would only be affected if there was so much snow that tree limbs would be damaged, and – thankfully – we haven’t had that much.

3. Is there anything positive about this weather?

Yes! Believe it or not, cold weather actually makes cherry blossom blooms last longer. Warm weather can cause the cherry buds to burst quickly and limit bloom times to around 4-5 days. Cold weather, on the other hand, can double peak bloom times, making for beautiful spring sights that last around 2 weeks.

In other words, things are about to get beautiful – and stay beautiful – around here really soon. Stick it out for a few more days, Hoyas. Spring awaits!

Photos: The Washington Post, strawberrymilkevents.com

Friday Fixat10ns: D.C.’s Weather Bender

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The weather these past few weeks has been ridiculous. Cold, warm, snow, ice and back to warm again … that stupid groundhog from Pennsylvania (not even gonna take a crack at how to spell his name) had no idea what he was doing this year. The only good to come from this crazy weather has been the one day of classes off and the joy of seeing snowmen spring to life all over campus – albeit only to be melted a few days later. Enjoy the warm weather while it lasts, because come the start of next week, it’ll be back to coats, boots and scarves.

As we enter the final week of February, here’s some music you can jam out to while staying inside, because you can be certain it’s the only place that has any semblance of climate control.

1. I Hate Everything About You – Three Days Grace While the recent change of weather is much appreciated, it’s not going to last. The cold weather’s insistence on remaining in D.C. is really starting to get to me.

2. Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard Who knows, maybe this is what’ll be coming next.

3. Hot N’ Cold – Katy Perry The sudden changes in weather are just too much for me. My closet is a mess.

4. Snow (Hey Oh) – Red Hot Chili Peppers While we all enjoyed the relatively significant amount of snow we got, let’s hope that was the end of it and that we’re slowly transitioning to spring.

5. Skyfall – Adele The perfect way to describe how the clouds have been treating us these past few weeks.

6. Lights and Thunder – Krewella Thankfully, the recent bout of rain that just swept through D.C. didn’t include this, but there are no promises for the near future.

7. Ass Back Home – Gym Class Heroes Only two more weeks until you get to return home to (hopefully) the weather you love!

8. Paradise – Tiësto Give it a little more time, and soon we’ll be in that perfect high 60’s/low 70’s range that’s impossible not to love.

9. Sleep All Day – Jason Mraz I mean, it’s the only viable option right now, isn’t it?

10. Sunshine – David Guetta It’s coming. Just be patient.

Photo: android3dvideos.com

“So, How Was Your Break?”

AwkwardIf you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had about 13 conversations today that have gone like this. It begins with an awkward hug, and then:

Person 1: Hey! How was your break?
Person 2: Good! How was yours?
Person 1: Good!
[Conversation ends even more awkwardly than the hug.]

4E doesn’t like awkward post-winter-break conversations. That’s why we’ve made this handy dandy list of alternative conversation starters for you to use instead of “How was your break?”

1. What was your favorite part about your break?

2. What are you looking forward to most about this semester?

3. Did you make any good New Year’s resolutions?

4. How about that Auburn-FSU game?

5. If you were a Harry Potter character, who would you be and why? (Not break-related, but always important to know.)

6. What did you give your family for Christmas?

7. [Insert political topic.] Suggestions include the Chris Christie email scandal, marijuana legalization in Colorado and/or Obamacare. Be wary, though. These might get heated.

8. Have you applied to The Fourth Edition yet? Because you really should.

9. Do you like green eggs and ham? Why or why not?

10. What’s your favorite/least favorite part of the first day of classes?

And if all else fails…

11. How about this weather?

Photo: thekavanaughreport.com

Weather Wusses? Actually, Yes.

Weather WussesToday, the Washington Post ran a piece by Clinton Yates that defended the District’s winter weather habits. The article argued that lack of regular snowfall, large amounts of commuter traffic and D.C. jurisdiction nightmares simply make winter storms a bit tough for the District. We don’t disagree with the logistics, be we at 4E do believe that D.C. is still a bunch of “weather wusses.” Here’s why:

Federal Government employees were given the option today to take unscheduled leave or work from home.

Winter Weather Mid AtlanticOthers also warned of the blustering cold, which would drop D.C. temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Things are looking chilly, folks!

Even Georgetown University had a delayed start today.

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That would all be fine and dandy…

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…except Boston just received approximately 14 inches of snow (compared to D.C.’s 2-5 inches).11730759313_81875100b0_b

And meanwhile in Canada, it’s been as cold as the surface of Mars.

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That’s right. Mars.

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In comparison, it looks like we’re the weather wusses after all.

Photos: thegrio.com, Washington Post, Georgetown University, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Universe Today, patriciaheatherington.blogspot.com

Georgetown Fall Epidemics: Weather, Fashion and Other Horrific Plagues

Fall EpidemicsIt’s that time of the year again, Hoyas: Georgetown is being plagued by the autumn and fall epidemics of every sort are spreading like Chicken Finger Thursday madness, and there isn’t anything we can do to stop them. I have nobly taken it upon myself to guide you through this insanity with some survival tips! I’ve compiled a list of the top four worst epidemics, so let’s go through them together and hopefully make it out alive:

Fall Weather Epidemic The winds are changing – literally. If you haven’t noticed the drastic difference in weather, look up: Between the dark, looming clouds, the chilled winds and that week of incessant rain that pounded the Hilltop (although that could have easily been the birds and insects crying over D.C., lamenting the government shutdown), it’s clear that D.C. weather has arrived. The weather may have been nice today, but don’t be fooled! D.C. Fall Weather Epidemic comes and goes faster than you can say, “Oh, look! The catastrophic rain stopped!” Just know that surviving these fall weather disasters is all about mindset. Be confident in your sweaters and umbrellas, move quickly when outdoors and don’t let that hurricane-level wind tunnel between Healy and Copley knock you down!

October Midterm Epidemic When your friends at other universities ask you when you have midterms and you reply, “forever,” you know that you’re caught up in the October Midterm Epidemic. Here at Georgetown, we don’t really have “midterm season”. Midterms begin at the beginning of October and continue until finals start. Unfortunately, every Hoya must trudge through weeks of studying, writing and testing until their fingers are bruised from typing, their notebooks are ruined by the tears and their pencils and spirits have broken. But, wait, there’s hope! Surviving midterms is difficult if you make it difficult. Keep calm, study early and don’t get caught on Lau 2 at 3 a.m. talking about all the work you need to do but aren’t doing.

The Flu Epidemic You didn’t think I would forget about actual epidemics, did you? I know as well as you do that the flu is not a game, but if it were we would all lose. In the middle of the October Midterm Epidemic, the Flu Epidemic would surely destroy us all. Nobody looks forward to taking their midterms or stays up all night studying with a smile on their face, so imagine how unproductive we would be with the flu on top of everything else! In order to skirt this terrible epidemic, stay on top of your health game. Also, make sure you drop by Yates on Oct. 22nd, Oct. 30th, Nov. 7th, Nov. 13th, or Nov. 19th at the designated hours to get your free vaccination – holla!

Georgetown Fall Fashion Epidemic Goodbye to Nantucket Red, hello thrift store flannel (Blog editor Lindsay Lee is rejoicing)! Because of this epidemic, every Hoya and their Jesuit father will start swapping their flashy summer garb for something more suitable for the temperature. To survive, blend in with the crowd: say goodbye to your favorite pair of shorts and cover those gams with something a bit warmer. Maybe dust off that winter coat you never unpacked from your move-in day luggage bag. But, here’s my favorite tip: it’s officially in-style to dress for comfort, which means comfy pajamas (my specialty), over-sized scarves and ugly sweaters are a go! However, make sure to avoid peacoats and artisan woolen socks: these are tell-tale signs that you are doing too much and need to do less … or you will face being sucked in to the epidemic.

That’s all of the epidemics for now! If you see me out there owning these epidemics, I’ll be the sleep-starved, brain-fried one in flannel pajamas finally done with his midterms crying over his flu shot and avoiding the outdoor weather at all costs. Hopefully, I’ll see you surviving as well! Keep calm and good luck!

Springtime Weather Woes: The REAL Madness of March

Springtime weather

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. In case, you’ve no place to go… HOLD ON! It’s springtime, right?!

If you think the weather has been a bit weird lately, you aren’t alone. According to the Capital Weather Gang at The Washington Post, March 2013 was (on average) 13 degrees cooler than March 2012. In fact, it was the 59th coldest March in DC on record since 1871 and the second coldest March since 2000.

Throughout the month, scientists recorded an average temperature anomaly of three degrees Fahrenheit on the cold side. The month was so cold that the highest temperature of the month was only 63 degrees– the first time March did not have a high temperature of 70 degrees or higher since 2001.

Although last March was also one of the driest March months on record, when it did precipitate, the cold temperatures were especially conducive to snow. Dulles Airport set two separate snow records (3.3 and 3.2 inches on March 6 and 25, respectively) and Reagan Airport bolstered the highest snowfall measurements since 1990.

According to WaPo meteorologists, the weird March weather was caused by “a powerful atmospheric ‘blocking’ pattern that formed over northern latitudes over the course of the month. As a result, cold air was released into typically warmer areas, including North America and Europe.

However, the blocking pattern is no reason to get your knickers in a bunch. As of right now, the blocking pattern is currently breaking, and as a result, the National Weather Service has predicted a warmer-than usual April. And you know what that means, Hoyas.

In conclusion: IT’S BEEN COLD AND WE’RE SICK OF IT. THE SUN IS ON ITS WAY. HAPPY APRIL!

What to Bring Back from Break

Although it seems like Spring Break 2k13 just happened yesterday, Easter break is officially upon us, which means it is time to restock on lots of college life necessities in order to help get us through the rest of the school year. We know that you are all probably stressing about last minute papers and exams before the 5 day break so just in case you didn’t have time to think about it, here are just a few things to keep in mind while heading home:

Summer Clothes Despite the off and on snowy, freezing weather we have been experiencing lately (make up your mind, Mother Nature), spring is usually a sign that warmer days are heading our way. With that in mind, wardrobe swaps may be needed. In order to make room in your cramped closets, consider packing your heavy sweaters, puffy jackets, and turtlenecks in exchange for some more tank tops, T-shirts, and shorts (Don’t forget your sunglasses, either!) We are praying to the temperature gods that the weather will be magically warm everyday after Easter but, just in case, leave a few warm(er) items behind.

Shoes Boots and Timberlands have been seen way too much this winter season and, with the arrival or spring, those flip-flops and sandals may finally be able to make an appearance.  If you happened to bring these spring/summer necessities home, don’t forget to bring them back! It is also safe to assume that those super warm, super furry Uggs tucked in the back corner of your closet can go back to the homeland.

Ink Cartridges/Toiletries/Other Appliances Going to a Target or Walmart around here can be tricky (and, lets face it, we are all too lazy to go through that trouble anyway). Be smart when you are at home and stock up on the things that are a pain in the butt to get here. Consider making a list of the different things you are running low on so you don’t forget and try to think about potential things you might need for the events coming up in April (fanny packs for Gtown Day or Calvin Harris, anyone??)

Food from Home Although Leos is super fantastic and delicious and all, there is nothing like a classic home cooked meal from mom. Or maybe there are certain foods you can only get in your hometown. Have your parents pack some of your favorite at-home snacks (whether they be home-made or from the store) so that you have lots of delicious things to munch on when you return. Trust me, you will not regret it.

Money/gifts Perhaps you will score a couple five dollar bills on your Easter egg hunts this year or your grandma is feeling super generous/happy about your return. If you happen to be so lucky to receive some special gifts while you are home, bring ’em back to good ole Gtown. Lord knows you will probably need them. After all, we got one month left, people! Let’s make it count.

Have fun at home! And bring an extra suitcase for all of these things.

The Neighbors Want You to Put a Shirt On

While the warm spell that we’ve been experiencing lately has brought students out of Lau and into the sunlight, some of our neighbors aren’t too happy about the way students are choosing to enjoy the weather. DCist uncovered a particularly funny nugget on a Georgetown listserv in which one resident described the menace of student sunbathing. Here’s what they had to say:

The joy of these recent beautiful, sunny days have been somewhat mitigated for me by the sight of bare-chested, boxer-shorted GU students sunbathing on their front stoop right out on the sidewalk. To add insult to injury, these men are sprawled out on old beat up lawn chairs. I am not talking about a real porch here, but rather the top stair of the front entrance of their run down student house. The sight is very down-market, low rent, college dorm and affects the property values of our homes in this section of Georgetown, as well as the pleasure of walking our charming streets. These people have a back yard! Let them use it for their sunbathing activities. 

It is bad enough that the neighbors have to put up with the students’ relentless drunken and disorderly conduct, but to host a slew of Dewey Beach antics on our Georgetown streets is too much! They were recently flipping burgers on a barbecue grill out there, too!!

I hope that the off campus life office at GU requires their students to follow the rules of conduct required for living in a community of permanent residents and remind them that they ARE NOT LIVING ON CAMPUS!!!

It’s okay, not being invited to the barbecue would have made me upset too. So what’s the lesson we learn here? Limit  your tanning to Healy Lawn – it’s lowering property values.

Photo: Flicker user pianoman75 via DCist