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Thermometers screamed towards a record-high 81 degrees at around noon yesterday, and students cast off their thick scarves and wool sweaters to enjoy summer's last gasp. Abandoning their books, they crashed on College Green with frisbees and asked, rather rhetorically, "Can you believe this weather?" Well, most of them couldn't, since yesterday's heat wave was the warmest November 15 the Philadelphia International Airport has seen since 1973, when highs reached 74, said National Weather Service meteorologist Don Miller. If it hadn't been for the withering leaves that covered much of campus, yesterday would have seemed more like a day in early May than a day in oft-dreary mid-November. Recitations moved outside, students ditched classes and loose dogs pounced on now-exposed limbs and errant footballs. If anything, the warmth enlivened the spirits of the University as it gripped for another round of midterms and 12-page papers – and temperatures expected to drop into the more seasonable 60s today. "We should get out from the building and have more classes outside," said Wharton graduate student Nyno Miya, as he studied for a test outside Van Pelt Library. Just a few feet away, Chris Jones and Dan Aronson were preparing for their latest test. Jones, a College freshman, was not ready for the warm weather. "When I came back from class, I had jeans on and I was dying," he said, clad in a pair of shorts. Wharton freshman Aronson said the warmth "makes it so much easier to study. There's a little less stress." Even a visiting film crew from Seoul, South Korea, basked in the new-found heat. They had just traveled from Minnesota, where temperatures bottomed at 10 degrees and an inch of snow covered the ground. "It was a nice day for our cameras," said Nora Choi-Lee, who was assembling a documentary on education in America. "Everyone was out." "We were really surprised." Meteorologist Miller offered a scientific explanation for the "surprising" weather. "Basically, what we had was a strong ridge of high pressure which was located off the western Atlantic and the clockwise flow was pumping southwesterly air to the Atlantic area. "It's a typical pattern of the summer." But, for most students unaware of meteorological phenomenon or complex airstreams, yesterday was just a welcome break from November monotony. "Everyone is out and about," Jones said. "It's the atmosphere."

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