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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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Unusual temperatures this winter
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Unusual temperatures this winter

Warmer climate impacts students and staff
Matthew Plant
A thin layer of snow covers the forest by Minikahda Vista Park Jan.15. This park is great for sledding, but the lack of snow has limited that.

There’s been a lot of talk about the abnormal warm temperatures and the lack of snow this winter. It’s actually the warmest winter ever recorded. This unexpected warmth has the potential to impact the normal daily activities students and staff participate in. 

According to sophomore Hannah Muehlhausen, the warm weather has had the most impact on her job as a ski instructor.  

“This winter it’s been very warm,” Muehlhausen said. “It’s really sad for me because I’m a ski instructor so snow is nice.” 

Science teacher Al Wachutka said the unexpected warmth could be due to a number of components. 

“There are many, many factors that can be attributed here potentially,” Wachutka said. “Probably the biggest is that we’re looking at the El Niño winter. We’re not getting the polar cold coming down so our weather has been coming from the Pacific side, (which makes it) drier and warmer.”

According to sophomore Audrey Martin, the climate has lowered her motivation level. 

“It has a negative effect,” Martin said. “It’s warmer out so I feel like I should be outside. When it’s colder, I feel like I get more work done.” 

Muehlhausen said the weather has caused a delay in the ski season as well as location shifts. 

“For skiing, there’s not much snow so we had to wait to ski,” Muehlhausen said. “Sometimes we had to change locations.” 

 According to Wachutka, expenses are saved because there is no need to clear snow from the streets. 

“A lot of communities are saving a whole lot of money because we’re not spreading the same amount of chemicals on the roads,” Wachutka said. “We’re not sending the plows out, which is a very large expense for communities every year.” 

Martin said the temperature difference was recognizable as early as November. 

“It’s noticeable, there’s barely any snow on the ground. I started noticing it in November, when it usually starts snowing,” Martin said. “(I) definitely (noticed) by December when it still didn’t snow.”

According to Muehlhausen, the absence of snow has affected her enthusiasm for winter. 

“I still feel like it’s fall,” Muehlhausen said. “It just doesn’t seem like it’s the holidays at all. It’s impacted my daily life because I can’t go outside and play in the snow.” 

Wachutka said the abnormal weather can negatively impact winter recreation as well as those who sell products specific for winter. 

“There is a concern that there are some losses because without cold weather, the typical winter activities that we do (we can’t do),” Wachutka said. “People aren’t selling goods for the snowmobiles, the skiing places and the ice fishing, none of that has been happening to the extent that it would have been otherwise.”

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About the Contributors
Alex Driver, Echo Staffer
Hey! My name is Alex, I’m a sophomore. This is my first year of Echo, when I’m not writing I’m playing soccer or seeing my friends. I love skiing, hiking, baking, and listening to music. I’m so excited to be a part of Echo this year! 
Matthew Plant, Echo Staffer
Hey, my name is Matthew and I am a junior. This is my first year on Echo and I am excited to be a part of the Echo team. When I’m not in school, I like to ski, play baseball, and hang out with my friends.   

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