Powerful winter storm has Ohio State on alert
Heavy snowfall and ice could impact university schedule
The National Weather Service is warning of a severe snowstorm in Ohio over the next 24 hours. Forecast models call for up to 12 inches of snow impacting regional campuses of The Ohio State University and a mix of snow and ice for the Columbus campus.
Students, faculty and staff should remain alert to schedule changes or cancellations.
Closings are rare. The Columbus campus has closed or canceled classes a total of 16 days since 1978. The most recent closure was for dangerously cold weather in January 2019.
The decision to close either the Columbus or regional campuses or cancel classes due to severe weather is made using guidelines that are, by design, very flexible. There is no absolute temperature, snowfall amount or other specific hazard that will automatically determine a closure.
Instead, university leadership consults with medical experts, the Office of Student Life’s Student Health Services, the Department of Public Safety and other groups from around the university that provide information and recommendations. University officials also monitor the latest forecasts from the weather service.
The safety of students, faculty and staff is the university’s top priority. The obligation to provide the full measure of instruction to tuition-paying students is also a critical factor.
Before snow and ice start to collect, the university treats campus roadways and sidewalks. Staff remain on campus throughout the day and night treating and plowing, as needed. However, with significant snow amounts please exercise patience as roads and sidewalks will be covered even when crews are actively working. Plan ahead and allow extra time or avoid travel, when possible.
Students, faculty and staff can monitor the current campus conditions online. The website includes a live weather camera, updated weather conditions and current forecasts.