Severe Weather Expected Across Central N.C. on Thursday

alert

[Updated: Thursday, March 18, 2021: 8:06 p.m.]

The tornado watch for Durham has been canceled. 

[Updated: Thursday, March 18, 2021: 6:42 p.m.]

A tornado warning has been issued for Durham, including Duke's main campus. Future updates will be posted to the DukeALERT website

[Updated: Thursday, March 18, 2021: 5 p.m.]

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for Durham County, including Duke's main campus and other Triangle areas, until 9 p.m. Thursday.

A storm system moving from the east could bring severe weather across central North Carolina, including tornadoes, hail and lightening.

A “tornado watch” means conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in and close to the watch area. During a tornado watch, the weather service suggests that people should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings. For more information about Duke's emergency response plan for tornadoes, visit the Duke Emergency Management website.

A "tornado warning" indicates a tornado has been sighted or indicated on radar. In the event of a “tornado warning” that includes Duke's main campus in Durham, Duke officials will activate the sirens on campus and send a text and email notification to faculty, staff and students directing them to seek shelter immediately.

Members of the Duke community who have not registered for text messaging can find instructions on the Duke Emergency Management website.

 Additional updates will be communicated as needed.

[Updated: Thursday, March 18, 2021: 7:45 a.m.]

The latest forecasts have reduced the severe weather assessment from Level 4 “moderate risk” to Level 3 “enhanced risk” for central North Carolina with the worst of the storms expected between noon and 5 p.m. today.

There remains a possibility of powerful straight-line winds, large hail, tornados and lightening as part of the severe thunderstorm system. Numerous downed trees and power lines, power outages, and structural damage are all possible with severe storms and tornadoes.

Clinics

Certain Duke Health clinics may close early based on local conditions. Details about the status of clinics will be posted on the Duke Health website. Please check regularly for updates. Clinic leaders will communicate specific information to staff regarding site operations.

During the storm, Duke Police and facilities crews will be prepared to respond as needed. Below are contact numbers for reporting issues:

Flooding:

  • Campus:  919-684-2122 (Facilities Management)  
  • Duke Hospital/Medical Center:  919-684-3232 (Engineering & Operations)

Downed trees/power lines:

  • 919-684-2444 (Duke Police)

Power outage:

  • 919-684-2122 (Facilities Management)

Duke’s Facilities Management Department will coordinate with Duke Energy on any power outages for Duke-owned or leased buildings. Building managers in leased buildings should also notify the building landlord. 

During heavy rains and winds, individuals should remain indoors to avoid the possibility of falling limbs and trees or flying debris.

Additional updates and information will be posted on this website and on the Working@Duke Twitter account

 

[Original Post: Wednesday, March 17, 2021: 4:30 p.m.]

The National Weather Service has elevated its severe weather assessment to Level 4 “moderate risk” for central North Carolina on Thursday with the possibility of powerful straight-line winds, large hail, tornados and lightening.

The worst of the storm is expected to come through the Triangle region between 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. on Thursday. Duke officials are monitoring the forecasts, and crews securing loose items such as temporary signs before the storm. Schools and departments should also secure or bring inside any loose items to limit potential damage from flying debris.

At this time, Duke is operating under normal conditions, and there are no plans to activate the severe weather policy for Duke University and Duke University Health System. Those who are scheduled to report to work tomorrow afternoon/evening should monitor weather conditions and use caution when traveling.

Given the forecast, a “tornado watch” may be issued prior to the storm. A watch means conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in and close to the watch area. 

A "tornado warning" indicates a tornado has been sighted or indicated on radar, and individuals should seek shelter immediately. In the event of a “tornado warning” that includes Duke's main campus in Durham, Duke officials will activate the sirens on campus and send a text and email notification to to faculty, staff and students directing them to seek shelter immediately. Members of the Duke community who have not registered for text messaging can find instructions on the Duke Emergency Management website.

During a tornado watch, the weather service suggests that people should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings. For more information about Duke's emergency response plan for tornadoes, visit the Duke Emergency Management website.

Additional updates will be communicated as needed.