The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Webb sweats through record-setting California heat wave

Brandon Arteaga
The Webb football team practices in heavy helmets and shoulder pads despite temperatures exceeding one hundred degrees. The scorching heat beats down on the players causing them to feel more fatigued during drills. “We had to persevere through the heat despite how our bodies felt,” said Jordan McCray (‘24), a football player. “I saw a couple of my teammates throwing up, it was so bad.”

Students race into the shelters of their cold dorm rooms moments after their afternoon activities end. They embrace the incredibly chilling air conditioning, a stark contrast from the exhausting heat and blinding sun outside, and are about to sit comfortably with a snack, when they feel the heat rising in the room once again.  

The lights flicker. The Webbie attempts to send a text to their friends, the Wi-Fi cuts out. The power has gone out.  

California is notorious for its warm weather; however, recently, “warm” has been an understatement. Record-setting temperatures throughout California have threatened the state’s power grid and lives, and caused forest fires. California is experiencing a “heat dome,” which is a period of time, typically at the end of the summer, where the heat is trapped and causes days of high temperatures. 

Prior to the start of the year, Webb installed air conditioning in all the dorms. This had unforeseen benefits during the heatwave; students hid in the comfort of their rooms.  

“We were just seeing a trend, when I started here twenty years ago, we might have had a few hot days, but we never had these long periods,” said Janet Peddy, Director of Finance, Planning, and Operations. “It was a real design-build operation, the first quotes we got were very high, but we had a generous donor come forward. We had to find different solutions for different dorms so that they were as energy efficient as possible.” 

Before the era of air conditioning, dorm heads and faculty had to find other methods to keep students away from the heat.  

“We used to work to find students cool places to sleep on campus,” said Sarah Lantz, Dean of VWS. “There would be times when we had large sleepovers in Jackson library, Fawcett library, and any other big, air-conditioned spaces.” 

The fall sports teams were heavily affected, as the heat posed a real danger to Webb’s athletes. Some athletes even almost fainted after practice.  

“As I walked back to my dorm room, my vision became so bright and faint that I couldn’t see at all, and my body felt like jelly,” said Ryan Ho (‘25), a cross country athlete. 

According to Mayo Clinic, excessive heat can cause low blood pressure, muscle cramps, and confusion. Sprinklers were deployed and athletes were reminded to drink extra water to remedy these problems. In addition, games and events were shifted to earlier or later in the day, and sometimes canceled entirely.  

With temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, students across campus were exhausted from the scorching weather. Yet this was not the worst to come.    

On Monday, September 5th, all buildings lost power from 4 p.m. until around 6:30 p.m. The lack of air conditioning was felt by the whole community, who were all trying to escape the heat, not sit in it for longer. Unfortunately for boarders, they were unable to flee the power outage.  

“It was very hot, the air conditioning that we had in our dorm was the thing that kept the boarding students cool.” said Andy Pan (‘25), Alamo resident. “Since Alamo is made out of bricks, the heat gets trapped easily, and we barely have any windows, so I was sweating like crazy.” 

Southern California Edison was contacted quickly and helped to resolve the campus-wide power outage. 

“It affected us in many ways, we lost all of our air conditioning to all of our dorms, we lost control of most of our gates and luckily, we’ve already installed our backup generator for our servers, so if you were off campus, we could still get texts and emails and stuff, but it was very disruptive.” said Dan Fraley, Facilities Manager. 

The dining hall was miraculously able to serve food on time, although students ate in the dark. Day students were still asked to leave campus, and the boarders were gifted two hours of open pool, the perfect way to cool down.  

From the low hundreds that have fluctuated to low eighties, the heatwave seems to be coming to an end. On Sunday, September 11th, right as the first Sunday chapel concluded, thunder and lightning struck. Students ran through the cold rain and watched as the zaps of lightning left stunning streaks across the sky. The coming weeks will have averages in the eighties and low nineties, with some spikes back into those high nineties. 

It is safe to say that Webb is relieved to return to 90-degree weather days, and that we have all learned a thing or two about how to survive a hot summer’s day. The Webb Canyon Chronicle recommends eating fruit-flavored popsicles, taking advantage of open pool, and drinking ice-cold water in the shade.  

Enjoy the warm weather while it lasts and get ready for chilly mornings in October! 

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About the Contributors
Heloise Robertson
Heloise Robertson, Chief Copy Editor
Delightful and entertaining Heloise Robertson (‘23) is a cherished personality at Webb for her friendly face and hilarious jokes. Our new Chief Copy Editor is a secretly talented chef, a caring camp counselor, an avid fan of horror literature, and the Webb Canyon Chronicle’s fastest editor. She has learned the importance of teamwork and empathy through participating in basketball and cross country. If you need a hand, hers is out to pick you up. Her personal goals this year are to keep a healthy self-care routine, starting with making her bed every morning before school. Heloise’s vision board for journalism includes making sure every article is timely, ensuring that she spots every grammar mistake, and including the student body in the publication better. Knock on this Head Editor’s Jameson dorm room, and you’ll find her eating sushi, watching Despicable Me, and lying on her stuffed elephant.  “This Charming Man” by The Smiths 
Brandon Arteaga
Brandon Arteaga, Editor of Sports
Shortstop on the Easton Prime baseball team, expert at Mario Kart, and Editor of Sports at the WCC, Brandon Arteaga (‘24) embodies Yoshi a friendly, carefree cartoon dinosaur. And much like a Yoshi, Brandon always brings positive energy to his surroundings, from leading the Webb baseball team and Easton Prime as captain to making goofy jokes around his friends. Just like how Yoshi’s constant exclamations of “Yoshi!” endear him to his fellow dinosaurs, Brandon expresses care of culture through play and language –– seeing Spanish as a medium to reconnect with his dad’s side of the family. Over the weekend, you may find him playing Call of Duty at his home in Upland, chilling with his two dogs, Mambo and Simba, or laughing through the out-of-the-box plot in the Regular Show. In addition to his generosity towards friends and family, Brandon is an avid sunset lover. His fondness for nature blossomed into a passion for climate change activism during his time at Webb, and he hopes to continue raising public awareness around this topic. Looking forward to the year, Brandon hopes to submit his works on time and explore diverse avenues of college baseball, exemplifying Yoshi’s adventurous spirit. And who knows? He may gain another inspiration to tackle global warming during a late-night drive to the beach or spontaneous stargazing venture –– and begin flutter-jumping! Favorite Song: "The Good Ones Go" by Drake
Sohum Uppal
Sohum Uppal, Editor of Science & Technology
Sohum Uppal (‘25) likes to build cars during his free time. Yes, you heard that right — not toy cars or miniature models, but life-sized, mechanical engines used for transportation. Currently embroiled in fixing a motorcycle, he finds peace in tinkering with nuanced components to enliven a fully functional vehicle. Just like how he enjoys fine-tuning wires and relocating structures, Sohum lives for the thrill of transforming numbers and functions when he tries to solve math problems. In fact, he had been learning math during the past summer while making chicken boxes at Raising Cane's and playing with his Siberian husky, Astro. Sohum’s productive break ended a week earlier than most of his peers, because of his new leadership role as the student government’s serotonin commissioner. He loved planning community events such as the Welcome Back Dance and hopes to give students a boost of happiness, especially during stressful times. Sohum looks forward to establishing genuine connections with the Webb community this year through community service and sports. As the Science and Technology Section Editor in the WCC, he strives to increase related articles with his passion for STEM. One thing is for certain: the Tech section is in great hands.   Favorite song: Nascar dashcar- lucki
Eric Luo
Eric Luo, Co-Editor of News
A skilled conductor Eric Luo (‘25) adeptly orchestrates a symphony of diverse talents, weaving together creative writing, music, and culinary arts. This summer, he not only sharpened his writing skills at a Kenyon College creative writing camp but also explored African history at a Stanford summer camp. As a multi-instrumentalist, he is proficient in saxophone and is self-taught in bassoon and piano. He takes this musical passion a step further by creating compositions on digital audio workstations, such as Logic. Alongside his commitment to composing music and writing, Eric is a cooking enthusiast, dedicated to both the scientific and artistic aspects of gastronomy. Eric’s cooking skills venture beyond conventional recipes as he channels his passion toward cheese-making. Driven by his curiosity for food chemistry and biology, Eric started making cheese during the pandemic. While he loves Brie and Gorgonzola, a timeless classic mozzarella is his favorite to create. From his experimentation in culinary science to writing styles particularly in creative nonfiction essays Eric continually challenges himself. This year, he also aims to experiment in the Webb Canyon Chronicle and transition from feature articles to publishing more opinion pieces to foster change by promoting underrepresented points of view in Webb and the world at large.   Favorite Song: "Big Toe" by The Growlers

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