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Worst Wind Tunnels On Campus

Stepping outside in the Central Pennsylvania winter can feel like this:

Wind Blowing GIF - Wind Blowing Kid GIFs

When the wind sweeps down through the valley, it seems like it is always hitting you in the face no matter which direction you are walking. However, the wind simply hits differently in certain areas on campus, as the layout of some buildings generates wind tunnels that would make even NASA jealous.

If you prefer not to get blown away on your walk to class, here are the places that you should probably avoid — or at least pack some extra books in your bag to weigh you down on your commute.

Westgate Building

Westgate, formerly known as IST, may have actually been engineered to be a literal wind tunnel. Conveniently located between open fields and Pollock road, the building’s chute-like design captures all East-West winds and concentrates them into one strong blast. No hat is safe on a walk through the Westgate building.

College Ave.

Nothing says wind tunnel like several miles of relatively flat, straight road with very little to block east-west winds. It’s probably the closest thing to walking across the windy great plains that most Pennsylvanians will ever experience. I wouldn’t be surprised if a tornado ever forms on College Ave. in the right conditions. One thing’s for certain though, the wind on this street can really take the fun out of cold morning commutes.

Stairs Under Beaver Hall

If you’ve ever lived in Pollock, or cut through South to get to class, chances are you have traversed the stairwell that runs under Beaver Hall. The stairwell leads to a narrow passage through the middle of the hall, and on a particularly windy day, it is a bitter cold path to travel. The wind intensifies in the opening of the building, but as soon as you get to either end of the stairwell it decreases drastically.

Under Hammond

Just like the stairs that go through Beaver Hall, the small gaps in the Hammond Building’s College Ave entrances really let the winds blast through. One second you’re walking along, protected by the horizontal skyscraper (groundscraper?) that is Hammond, and the next a blast of wind hits you in the face.

Between Forest Resources & East Parking Deck

The path that links North Halls to East is a haven for gusty winds. Somehow, the wind just feels colder the more North you go on campus. I know it’s not by much, but it is further away from equator, after all. When the wind sweeps between the Forest Resources building and the East Parking Deck on a cold day, it could blow the frozen tears right out of your eyeballs.

Alumni, now is your chance to tell us how awful the wind was in East when there was nothing but a wide open parking-lot-tundra up there. It’s not going to stop us from complaining about the wind, but we’d like to hear your stories too.

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About the Author

Anthony Fiset

Anthony is a senior *gasp* majoring in Economics and a lifetime Costco Executive Member. If you are an employer, please hire him. Otherwise, direct all complaints to [email protected]


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