Boston-area weather reports are forecasting nearly two feet of snow for later today. MIT has announced several weather-related precautions for students, staff, and alumni. Unfortunately, a late-spring snowstorm is not unprecedented. In April 1997, an early-spring storm closed MIT and dropped 27 inches of snow around Boston.
Because the Institute was closed for four weather-related emergencies earlier this year—losing valuable research and class time—MIT will remain open on Thursday. In lieu of closure, the Institute has announced the following updates and precautions that will take place during the storm:
- MIT subzero materials scientists will test a new hydro-polymer solution on sidewalks adjacent to 77 Mass Ave. The substance can resist snow accumulation, keeping it floating several inches above the walkway until it can be swept aside.
- The MIT Department of Crystalline Fluid Conservation will preserve snow from campus, as part of a new federal grant that will research the connection between snow fall and the loss of sense of humor.
- Alps of MIT, the five-story snow mound on Albany St., featured on TripAdvisor and the Boston Globe, will remain open through April 30. Hot cocoa, baked croissants, and fresh strudel will be served daily at 8:00 a.m., with live music from the Alpgorithms, MIT’s student yodeling club.
- The MIT community is encouraged to use public transportation to arrive on campus. In the event that public transportation is shut down, the community is encouraged to sled.
- MIT's crew and sailing teams will use modified “skate boats” equipped with eight-foot blades to practice on the still-frozen Charles River.
- A structural engineering competition, Snow Castles in Killian Court, will take place tonight at midnight. The winning team will receive a three-person sled for use on the Alps of MIT.
- The Media Lab’s Relocation Correlation Group will conduct surveys to measure the emotional impact of Boston’s winter—including a longitudinal study on the increase in applications to graduate schools in warm-weather climates.
The MIT Edgerton Center had some April Fools’ fun as well with a story on a new infant program.