A series of heat waves hitting the University of Connecticut Storrs campus have left students and residents sweltering, as temperatures reached 94 degrees Fahrenheit several times in the last week of August before climbing again for Labor Day according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA.)
The current heat wave is expected to last until Friday. NBC weather predicts temperatures will return to normal and the humidity levels will drop precipitously.
Students complained of both the heat and humidity, which reached 85 percent humidity on Tuesday evening, according to NOAA measurements.
“The air is so thick you can cut it with a knife”, undeclared first-semester student Hunter Woitowitz said. “The humidity has exacerbated the already high heat.”
Heat waves that occur in the Northeast are generally understood to be caused by the formation of high pressure air patterns that trap warm, moist air and drag it north, causing high temperatures and humid conditions while the air formation persists, according to NOAA.
The NOAA states that heat waves in September aren’t unheard of; highs of 92 degrees well into the second week of the month are not uncommon, based on past records. However, these temperatures are outliers based on previous averages for Tolland county, according to NOAA.
Climate change has been impacting and increasing both the frequency and intensity of such outlying weather events, according to The Hartford Courant, with average temperatures soaring over the past few decades.
These soaring temperatures have contributed to drought in Storrs campus in the past, with the Fenton Tract being banned from municipal water use, and UConn instating water restrictions in previous years.
Peter Goggins is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org