October sky, record high

Bryna Greenlaw

Gathering under a colorful canopy of trees and clear blue skies, many on campus took advantage of Monday’s unseasonably warm weather.

Students lounged on the green grass of Central Campus, eating lunches from brown bags, crocheting and socializing as temperatures reached 89 degrees.

The high was 29 degrees above the average for this time of year, according to the National Weather Service. The record high had been 88 degrees, set in 1947.

Andrea Burkett, sophomore in pre-law, lay in the shade of an orange-leafed tree Monday. She said she finds it hard to concentrate on school work in such ideal temperatures. The horse she houses in a nearby barn constantly tempts her away from her studies.

“It’s really hard to get stuff done,” Burkett said. “I’d just rather be at the barn.”

Carrie Todd, freshman in communication studies, said she enjoys the warm temperatures, but, like Burkett, finds the weather distracting. Todd began the day studying in the library, but couldn’t resist the lure of the summer-like weather and chose to read outside instead.

Dressing for such weather also causes some difficulties, she said.

“It’s kind of confusing because it’s warm one day and cold the next,” she said. “It makes it hard to find something to wear each day.”

Doug Harjes, a groundskeeper for Iowa State, planted grass seeds by the Campanile. Harjes said he prefers working in the fall to any other season. He said he accomplishes more work in the “pleasant conditions.”

“I’ll always take the warm weather over the cold,” Harjes said.

Raymond Arritt, professor of agronomy, said warm winds from the south brought unseasonably high temperatures to the Midwest.

Dry conditions across the state are the most important factor in the warm spell, Arritt said. In the absence of clouds, sunlight is allowed to enter the atmosphere freely.

“Dry air and heat are going to tend to go together,” Arritt said.

Arritt said he doesn’t expect the fall to stay unusually warm. However, he did predict higher than average temperatures for the rest of the week.

The National Weather Service predicted highs in the 70s through Thursday, dropping to the 60s on Friday.

Despite his long-term predictions, Arritt said students may continue to experience the warm weather later into the month.

“This time of year, the weather has a way of surprising you,” Arritt said.