Winter Weather Expected This Week

Two winter weather systems expected to impact central North Carolina this week

[Updated - Jan. 21, 2016: 6:00 p.m.]

Duke has activated the severe weather and emergency conditions policy on Friday, Jan. 22 from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. All classed scheduled during that time have been canceled. All future updates will be posted on the DukeALERT website

[Updated - Jan. 21, 2016: 8:15 a.m.]

As Duke officials monitor the weather forecast for potential impacts, crews have completed pre-treating 75 percent of campus roads for snow and ice, and they will continue treating parking lots.

Facilities Management staff will work in two, 12-hour shifts starting Friday to Sunday and will also respond to hazardous areas to treat with sand or salt, although treating the wintry mix will be challenging if there are layers of snow and ice on pavement.

Duke community members who see hazardous or dangerous icy spots during severe weather may call Facilities at 919-660-4280. Contractors are also on standby to respond to areas of campus and the medical center.

At this time, campus events and athletics games are scheduled to continue.

[Updated - Jan. 21, 2016: 6:30 a.m.]

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning from Friday, Jan. 22 at midnight through Saturday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. Latest forecast from the National Weather Service indicates that snow will begin in the early morning hours on Friday before turning to sleet and freezing rain later in the morning and throughout the day. Precipitation is expected to return to snow Saturday morning. 

Duke remains on a normal schedule for Thursday, Jan. 21. Details about Friday's operations will be posted as information becomes available. 

[Updated - Jan. 20, 2016: 3:50 p.m.]

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Durham and surrounding counties beginning at 3:44 p.m. Wednesday until 6 p.m. Saturday. 

Snow showers are expected to start in the Durham area  around 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday. Temperatures will drop below freezing and may lead to some icy patches on roads and elevated surfaces.The bulk of the winter weather should taper off around 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday. Accumulation is expected to be less than an inch.  

A second winter storm is expected to come through early Friday morning beginning around 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. Precipitation will likely begin as snow before turning to freezing rain around 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Freezing rain is expected in the Durham area throughout the day until air temperatures drop below freezing later that night and precipitation turns to snow again.

Duke officials expect to remain on an normal schedule Wednesday night and Thursday. Additional information will be posted as conditions warrant. 

[Original Post]

Duke officials are closely monitoring forecasts for the Triangle region that include light snow showers Wednesday late afternoon and evening, as well as projections for a second winter system expected Friday and Saturday. 

The National Weather Service expects light snow showers to move across the Triangle late afternoon and evening. Light accumulations of a dusting up to 1 inch are possible, and icy spots could develop on elevated surfaces. A second system is projected to impact central North Carolina beginning Friday with freezing rain which is expected to turn to rain and then snow on Saturday.  

Duke officials expect to operate on a normal schedule Wednesday and will continue to closely monitor the forecasts. Facilities crews have begun to pretreat Duke roads and lots in anticipation of winter weather. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to review the priority clearing map to determine the preferred paths of travel during severe weather, which may differ from normal routines.

If Duke activates the Severe Weather and Emergency Conditions policy, officials will send notification via the DukeALERT system, including text message, email, the DukeALERT website and the web alert bar. A message also will be recorded on the severe weather/emergency conditions telephone line at 684-INFO (4636). Faculty and staff who are not already registered should sign up for text message updates from the DukeALERT system.

Given the possibility of severe weather, staff should review Duke's severe weather and emergency conditions policy to ensure understanding of their role for what they should do if the policy is activated.

During times of severe weather, some staff positions require on-site presence to continue operations. All jobs should be assigned a service category by the manager to ensure continuous operations of patient care, student support and research functions. Managers should ensure staff members are aware of the service category for their position and how they will be notified if the severe weather policy is activated. The three categories are:

  • Essential Service: during severe weather/emergency conditions, essential service staff report or remain at work. Transportation service and childcare services may be provided for those required to work during severe weather/emergency conditions. 
  • Reserve Service: during severe weather/emergency conditions, reserve service staff are assigned a status at the time of severe weather/emergency condition.
  • Delayed Service: during severe weather/emergency conditions, delayed service staff do not report to work or remain at work.

More information about the policy, including a map of priorities for clearing roads, lots and sidewalks, checklists and answers to frequently asked questions, is available at the DukeALERT emergency website. Additional updates will be posted as conditions warrant.