As most of you know, weather around the Midwest seems to change everyday, especially during the winter season and as we transition into (hopefully) spring. In February, we can have sunshine days that reach up to 40 degrees, and we can have blizzard days with wind chills in the negative double digits, all within a week.
While it’s nice to hope for more of the former weather, the harsh truth of Iowa winters is just that: harsh. Especially with that good old Iowa wind, it’s important to dress appropriately when you head out for class. The Iowa State Daily Editorial Board encourages you to take caution when crossing campus in these winter weather conditions, and below are some ways you can do that.
CyRide is an extremely helpful service that not only can take you across campus but can take you across Ames. While a walk across campus to your 8 a.m. in the fall may be quite nice, that same walk may be able to cause frostbite if you aren’t properly dressed and covered. It's especially important to take advantage of using CyRide during these less-than-ideal weather conditions, and make sure to thank your bus driver for driving in winter weather so you don’t have to.
But if you are walking across campus, ensure to take your time, especially if it’s very icy out. With temperatures dropping and rising so quickly, a lot of pools of water on campus can freeze overnight quickly.
Take short steps and walk slowly; oftentimes, “walking like a penguin” can be beneficial. If you do feel that you’re falling, try to avoid landing on your arms and fall with your “sequential contacts at your thigh, hip and shoulder.”
Make sure to take designated walkways without cutting through snow. All you will end up with are frozen pant legs and wet socks.
When it comes to clothing, it’s all about layers. Long socks and winter boots are a must for snowy and cold days. Make sure to wear clothing that is tighter to the body, cover up your fingers with gloves and wear a hat on your head. According to Mayo Clinic, in windchill temperatures below minus 15, the risk of frostbite is increased, and in windchill temperatures below minus 27, frostbite can begin on exposed skin in less than half an hour. So don’t be that one kid wearing shorts just to be cool; there can be serious impacts on your health.
All of those years of your mom reminding you to put your gloves, scarf and hat on were for an important reason!
The Iowa State environmental health and safety department website has more tips and tricks on dressing for the weather, driving, cancellations and more. Stay warm out there, Cyclones.