Wet weather hits Western Mass.

By Herb Scribner

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It’s wet in the Pioneer Valley this fall.

Emily White/Collegian

Emily White/Collegian

The Pioneer Valley has been hit hard recently with  rain and cloudy conditions, prompting students at the University of Massachusetts to take cover under umbrellas and don rain boots to survive the slippery weather.

More than water-cooler talk, the weather has become a high-point of discussion on campus.

On Tuesday, the rain continued in heavy doses across campus which caused much disapproval from the student body, who continually discussed the frantically-changing weather in classroom discussions.

“It’s terrible. I have to bring my umbrella to class which is terrible. It definitely has an effect on my mood,” said junior Josh McAuliffe. “It’s no fun walking and getting wet.”

“It looks pretty depressing,” he added. “No one wants to walk in the rain, it doesn’t look very pretty.”

Junior Tory Gordon had similar sentiments about the weather, comparing the fall season to winter. This coincides with the fact that days are getting shorter because of the oncoming winter season.

“It’s driving me nuts,” said Gordon. “I like to be outside in the sunlight. It’s like early winter with the darkness.”

The rain-dominated weather comes on the heels of a hellacious summer season which featured a tornado, a microburst and a tropical storm in the Pioneer Valley. The dampening conditions still appear to be coming and going, according to graduate student Murtaza Merchant.

“It’s not very good at all,” said Merchant. “It’s so out of place. It’s these storms coming and going. It’s very frantic.”

Merchant’s viewpoint of the weather is accurate, as one day the weather has been filled with heavy rain, and another with light drizzle amid humid air.

Still, the weather is excessively damp.

However, Merchant has embraced the recent weather, though he still calls for less rain and the continuation of clouds.

“I like rain. It’s pretty good for me, but I prefer cloudy [weather], no rain,” said Merchant.

Part of the reason students have disliked the recent weather is because it adds extra luggage to bring to class, according to junior Tory Gordon.

“You have to find your rain boots and hope your stuff doesn’t get wet,” said Gordon.

Gordon and McAuliffe both acknowledged the recent weather to be a depressant, which ultimately acts as a roadblock for students attending class.

“I feel like people use it as an excuse to skip class,” said Gordon.

However, students will find a break in the soggy weather today as according to WWLP-22 News’ website, the rain will cease in the morning for the Pioneer Valley. However, the page indicates that frosty conditions are on the way.

News channel WWGB-40 also predicted oncoming frost, as it posted on its Twitter account on Tuesday, “Frost and Freeze Alerts Possible for Wed[nesday] and Thu[rsday] night … It will be dependent on Wind speeds which may spare us from freeze conditions.”

According to WWLP, rainfall reached 47.23 inches in 2011 on Tuesday, which is above the yearly average of 42.35 inches of rain. This included .14 inches within the first four days of October. September saw 3.41 inches.

The National Weather Service, WWGB-40/FOX-6 and WWLP-22 could not be reached by phone or email for comment.

The Pioneer Valley isn’t the only part of Massachusetts suffering from heavy rain. The North Shore was recently pounded with six inches of rain in places such as Peabody, Swampscott, Salem, Lynn and Beverly.

According to an NECN article, Peabody schools were cancelled. Additionally, people in Peabody and Lynn suffered such heavy flooding that citizens have been sitting on top of broken-down vehicles waiting for assistance.

Herb Scribner can be reached at [email protected]