It’s not much of a stretch to say that this winter has been abnormally warm and snow-free. Take the weekend of February 17-19, for example, when pictures of seemingly the entire Northwestern student body on the lakefill, soaking up the warmth of the sun, permeated Snapchat and Instagram.
This is a photo-story comparing past winters on the Evanston campus to this one. I stopped by the University Archives, where donated pictures dating from 1917 until about 1990 are kept, and scanned some fascinating images to share.
All photos from this year were taken by Amos Pomp. All weather data are from https://www.wunderground.com/history/.
December 28, 1977. Not too shocking. The historical average temperature on this date is 25 degrees.
February 17, 2017. No snow. The average temperature on December 28, 2016 was 32 degrees.
Now let’s take it way back. The bottom photo reads, “An off-shore scene from N.U. campus. 1917-1918. VI – Ice formation near shore-line.”
January 1918 marks the first time Northwestern cancelled classes.
January 18, 2017. The historical average temperature on January 29 is 24 degrees, the same as the average temperature on January 29, 2017. But there was much more snow and ice in 1918!
January 18, 2017. These muddy ice formations hardly compare to those of 1918. Historical average temperature, January 18: 23 degrees. January 18, 2017: 34 degrees.
Sheridan Road, 1920.
Students on Sheridan Road, date unknown.
January 18, 2017. A view of the Arch and a small patch of ice.
Winter fun, date unknown. I haven’t seen any snowmen like this one this year, let alone any skiers!
February 17, 2017. Winter fun. Historical average temperature: 28 degrees. February 17, 2017: 46 degrees.
From 1975-1984, Northwestern held Winter Warmth Week, and then Winterfest.
The idea was to get people smiling in the winter cold. January 1979 marks the third time Northwestern cancelled classes. Visit http://www.northwestern.edu/magazine/winter2012/campuslife/then-wildcat-warm-up.html to learn more.
University Hall, circa 1880.
Evanston Campus, early 20th century.
January 18, 2017.
February 17, 2017.