As temperatures drop and snow falls in the city, there’s little relief in sight for students dressed more for an arctic expedition than a walk to Brody Hall.
It was 8 degrees yesterday in the Lansing area, with a low of minus 4 degrees in the early morning, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids.
Temperatures will rise throughout the rest of the week, reaching a high of 27 degrees Sunday.
But with brisk winds, it will feel like temperatures are dipping below zero, National Weather Service in Grand Rapids meteorologist Brandon Hoving said.
Despite the recent low temperatures, not much snow has fallen on East Lansing, leading to a surplus of salt for the city and campus roads.
According to the National Weather Service, since Dec. 1, 2012, there has been 6.7 inches of snow in East Lansing. During the same time last year, there was 13.2 inches.
Temperatures have been comparable to last year’s averages, but changes in temperature this year have been “more brutal,” National Weather Service Grand Rapids meteorologist Jared Maples said.
Temperatures reached a high of about 43 degrees Saturday, then dropped below 20 degrees for most of Sunday.
Landscape Services Acting Manager Sean O’Connor said he is surprised at the lack of snow this year, which has translated in using less salt.
O’Connor said so far, 300 tons of salt have been used on campus since Nov. 15, 2012. During the same time period last year, 700 tons were used.
“This has not been a normal winter for us,” he said. “To be almost in February and the small amount of snow that we’ve had … it’s surprising.”
Director of the East Lansing Department of Public Works Todd Sneathen said the city used 156 tons of salt between Jan. 1-18. Since the beginning of October 2012, the city only has used a total 177 tons of salt.
Last year, the city used 752 tons of salt in January alone and 1,995 overall from October 2011 to April 2012.
Sneathen said the city will store any remaining salt to be used next year.
About 800 tons of salt are in storage now, the maximum that can fit in available storage bins. The city budgeted for an additional 1,000 tons if necessary.
Packaging junior Jeff Dennis said even in the face of cold weather, it doesn’t deter him from not going to classes.
“Welcome to Michigan,” he said. “It gets cold here.”
There is no strong indication for snowfall for February or a change in temperatures, Hoving said.
That might mean more salt to melt ice next year, both on campus and in the city.
“Unless we have a pretty bad February, I’m guessing we’re not going to use as much salt as last year,” O’Connor said.