In the closing days of 2010, UVA Today looks back on some of the University's top stories of the past 12 months.
December 22, 2010 — It was a difficult year for weather at the University of Virginia.
The winter of 2009-10 was a record-setter, dropping more snow on the University than it had ever seen. The 55 inches of snow broke the seasonal record, but closed the University for only one day.
Those 55 inches caused a lot of headaches for employees, including grounds crews that worked around the clock to keep University roadways and sidewalks passable and facilities, including the Medical Center, open. The employees were honored in March for their efforts.
But the impact of the blizzards did not go away when the snow melted. Many aspects of U.Va.'s landscape were damaged by the snow and snow removal efforts. Nor was the winter the only factor in landscape damage. Sudden, violent storms in the warm weather did extensive damage to trees and shrubs on Grounds and surrounding communities. The University closed out the year by launching a massive tree planting effort, replacing not only storm-damaged trees, but those felled by old age and disease. More than 200 new trees should be in place by the spring.
Adding to the mix of heavy snowfall and the sudden summer storms, the region experienced an arid summer and early fall, creating an agricultural drought. It was the fifth-driest summer on record, and the hottest on record, going back to 1895, according to University climatologist Philip J. Stenger.
Some weather-related highlights of 2010:
Storm Was 'Snow' Fun for U.Va. Employees (Jan. 31)