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Saturday, August 30, 2014 | Last updated: 5:10am

UA facilities, campus community weather Tucson's cold snap



A recent cold spell sweeping Tucson has UA campus-goers bundling up and compensating for the change in climate.

Tucson’s average overnight January temperature is 38.9 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, but Monday night’s low was 22 degrees. While some students and staff may simply add a scarf to their daily wardrobe, campus buildings require more maintenance.

After incidents experienced during a February 2011 cold front that produced the second coldest morning in Tucson history on Feb. 3 at 18 degrees, according to Tucson Weather, numerous adjustments have been made around campus.

“The proactive measures facilities took over the last couple of years is paying off in this cool snap we’re having,” said Chris Kopach, assistant vice president of UA Facilities Management.

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Robert Alcaraz / Arizona Daily Wildcat Freshmen Kyle Jackson, Ayo Odeneye and Julz Jenney huddle in front of Manzanita-Mohave on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. With Tucson seeing lower temperatures, UA students have been dressing warmer.

In February 2011, facilities experienced “major problems,” but Kopach said the the university is currently “doing well.”

Blankets, fitted similarly to a sleeve, have been placed over pipes located outside of buildings to stop piping from bursting or freezing. Air handling units around campus have been adjusted, which in the past, when unchanged, had frozen, burst and flooded areas, Kopach said.

Similarily, outside of buildings, standing water in fire extinguishers was drained this past weekend to prevent freezing. Furthermore, plants have been covered with tarps to prevent them from dying.

These undertakings, which are done manually, according to Kopach, are measures students can take at home to avoid problems.

Daryn McCluskey, a hot dog cook at Simon’s Stand, located next to the bike valet and Nugent building, said the weather has helped business, but that students are less inclined to use Simon’s outdoor seating, bypassing it for the warmer indoors.

However, while some try to avoid the cold, others are enjoying the change in weather.

“I enjoy it,” said Cara Gwinn, a senior studying psychology. “I think we only get about 14 days of it a year. I really hate a 100 plus weather, so whenever it’s cold like this, I just remind myself that in six months time it’s going to be really hot and disgusting and enjoy it while it lasts.”

While the cold has caused her to “double down” on drinking coffee, Gwinn added she’s unpacked jackets and sweaters she’d forgotten about.

“During the day it’s really nice. Man, it gets my mind thinking,” said Daniel Rosales,a graduate student studying music. “When the sun comes out it gets a little warm, feels a little nice and it’s cool. So both worlds.”

According to The Weather Channel, overnight lows are expected to stay below freezing until Wednesday when the temperature is expected to be in the low 60’s and increase throughout the week.


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