Rock You Like a Wind of Force 12 on the Beaufort Scale

The nor’easter that rolled in a week or so later was a wilder storm than Hurricane Sandy was around here: Boston only caught the edges of the hurricane, so we got a fair bit of rain and wind, but it veered off towards Ohio before it did too much damage.
20121204-161516.jpg(Satellite image.)

Classes did get canceled on Monday, but I suspect that that was more for the sake of the professors and staff who live out-of-town than for the school itself.

On Putz, we started our day off by deep-cleaning the kitchen and putting away all of the dishes, in case the power went out or the water had to be cut off temporarily due to flooding. A few people from a different hall were doing something with an enormous tarp in the courtyard, and we had a very good view of them from the kitchen windows. I’m still not sure what they were trying to do, but it looked like some kind of sail-tent contraption. Whatever it was, it was entertaining to watch!
20121204-165850.jpgWe also wandered around campus after the wind died down a bit, because mortal peril makes any Monday more interesting. I think this is the only time I’ve seen Mass Ave so empty during the day.20121204-165959.jpgWe also managed to snag the EAPS (Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences) sign as a trophy — the wind ripped it from its grommets, and we were there as soon as the last grommet tore off. (Because the grommeted edges were ripped completely off the banner, it wouldn’t have been salvageable anyway.) The banner now has pride of place in our lounge, and takes up the better part of an entire wall. 20121204-170146.jpgIn recitation the next day, my solid-state chemistry TA regaled us with stories about what he’d seen on Monday (his office hours and an exam review were canceled because of the hurricane). He said that when he was crossing the Harvard Bridge, he saw a bunch of frat boys climbing onto the railing that separated the walkway from the road, flinging themselves off it toward the river, and then letting the wind push them back onto the sidewalk — where they’d land right before they got pulled into traffic. Very silly stuff.20121204-181725.jpgFor me, the best part of the hurricane day actually happened a week or so after the hurricane itself: two alumnae who are now Ocean Engineering grad students gave an informal lecture about the currents and weather patterns that produce hurricanes, and why Sandy had been such a massive storm. (Apparently NOAA’s forecasts for Sandy’s path and duration
were dead-on; their models are getting much better.) 20121204-170824.jpgAll in all, it was a nice break from routine and an interesting day, but I’m mostly just incredibly glad we only caught the edge of the storm.

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