As the cooler weather begins to move in, how will it affect ETSU? It’ll almost certainly be a mixed reaction among students, with cold weather tending to be a love it or hate it type of issue, with few people feeling indifferent.
A 2005 poll by Gallup, found that 36 percent of Americans say either the autumn or winter is their favorite month, compared to 36 percent for spring and 27 percent favoring summer nationwide. This trend has remained largely consistent since 1947, though the number of Americans who listed winter as their favorite season has been on the rise since 1962, plus 7 percent change.
Tennessee has a mostly temperate climate, though the mountainous and high elevated area of East Tennessee tends to see colder temperatures and more snowfall. According to data collected by the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture, the average winter temperature in East Tennessee is roughly four degrees lower than the state’s western counterpart.
The temperature difference, as well as more than double the average snowfall, can come as quite the shock for those who come from West Tennessee cities such as Memphis and those who move here from various parts of America and the world.
Of course, snow and ice can cause issues for students during the winter months especially for those who commute to and from campus, though that may not be an issue this winter.
Since the winter of 2016-17, Johnson City’s snowfall total has fallen, failing to meet 50 percent of the “normal” – 38 percent in 2017, 45 percent in 2018 – snowfall totals for Johnson City from 1981-2010, according to the NOAA’s annual National Climate Report. In 2016, however, Johnson City received 175 percent of their average 10.4 inches of snow per winter.
Last winter, ETSU only faced two days where classes were cancelled due to inclement weather or ice, in addition to one day where campus closed early. Winter of 2016-17 didn’t cause any campus closures, while the winter of 2015-16 saw Johnson City blow past its snowfall average and cause a total of five days lost to inclement weather and ice.
Unfortunately, for those who enjoy snow, Johnson City’s snowfall total has fallen in consecutive years.
According to AccuWeather’s long-term weather forecast, the area isn’t expected to see snow until early December. While average snowfall has been down the last two years, it has risen, albeit marginally, in consecutive years. Will it continue to rise this year and reach average levels? Or will it remain far below average? The official start of winter is Dec. 21, but Johnson City may know before then just how extreme or not winter will be this year.