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Class Cancellation Announcement Procedures

OHIO UNIVERSITY SOUTHERN IMPORTANT WEATHER INFORMATION POLICIES & PROCEDURES


Guidelines for Weather-Related
Cancellations and Closings

Winter Weather Terminology


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In cases of emergency or severe weather affecting students and employees on the campuses of Ohio University Southern, different means of communication will be used to share important information with students and employees.

If you choose, you may enroll in the emergency/weather notification program to receive either e-mails, telephone voice messages, or text messages on your cell phone.


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IMPORTANT INFORMATION

When weather conditions are such or are anticipated to be such as to merit consideration for altering the normal operations of the campus, the following guidelines will be used:

1. In the event of severe weather (e.g., tornado, ice storm, blizzard), the Dean or designee will have the final authority to make the decision to cancel classes or close the campus.

2. Decisions will be based on the most current weather information available at the time gathered from a variety of sources including the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, National Weather Service forecasts, and OUS Facilities Management Department.

3. The decision to cancel off-campus course offerings, including operations in Proctorville and the Ohio Horse Park, will rest with the Dean or designee. Courses held at off-campus locations outside of University control will be subject to the policies and procedures of the governing authority (e.g., workshops / classes held at a public school building).

When inclement weather threatens and forces delays, cancellations, and / or closures, notification will be made to area radio and television stations as noted below.

The media venues listed below will also be asked to announce campus-wide class cancellation information. The correctness of their broadcasts cannot be guaranteed and should be double-checked against the OHIO homepage or campus phone message system when possible.

Station Channel/Dial City
TELEVISION
   
WOWK--TV
13
Huntington
WSAZ--TV
3
Huntington
RADIO
WAMX
106.3 FM
Huntington
WCMI
1340 AM
Ashland
WDGG
93.7 FM
Huntington
WIOI
1010 AM
South Shore
WIRO
1230 AM
Ironton
WKEE
100.5 FM
Huntington
WLGC
105.7 FM
Greenup
WNXT
1260 AM & 99.3 FM
Portsmouth
WPAY
104.1 FM
Portsmouth
WRVC
930 AM & 92.7 FM
Huntington
WTCR
103.3 FM
Huntington

Ohio University Southern

GUIDELINES FOR WEATHER-RELATED CANCELLATIONS AND CLOSINGS
 
CANCELLING OR DELAYING CLASSES

If one or more of the following conditions exist, the Dean or designee will consider Delaying or Canceling Classes:

  • The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office issues a Snow Emergency (SEE NOTE BELOW).

  • Area college campuses (e.g., Shawnee State University, Marshall University, Ashland Community College) close because of inclement weather.

  • Facilities Management Department personnel are unable to clear Campus roads and parking lots to a sufficient degree as to allow safe travel.

  • One or more major access roads (i.e., US-52, SR-141, SR-93, SR-243) to OUS is/are closed because of unsafe road conditions.
CLOSING THE CAMPUS

If one or more of the following conditions exist, the Dean or designee will consider
Closing the Campus:

  • The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office issues a LEVEL 3 Snow Emergency
    (SEE NOTE BELOW).

  • The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office issues a LEVEL 2 Snow Emergency
    (SEE NOTE BELOW), and conditions on campus are so severe that access to parking lots and buildings is unsafe.

What is a Snow Emergency?

Under the guidelines developed by the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association, SNOW EMERGENCIES are classified in one of three ways:

1. LEVEL 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads are also icy.
Drive very cautiously.

2. LEVEL 2: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roadways. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work.

3. LEVEL 3: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be out during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roadways may subject themselves to arrest.

Lawrence County Ohio Sheriff's Office: http://www.lawcoso.com

Lawrence County Ohio Sheriff's Office Snow Emergency Guidelines:
http://www.lawcoso.com/snow-emergency-guidelines.html

Ohio Department of Transportation's interactive Map: http://www.buckeyetraffic.org 



WINTER WEATHER TERMINOLOGY

The following is a list of forecast and warning terms that you may hear during the winter months. All of these severe weather warnings and advisories are issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). http://www.nws.noaa.gov/

Local Weather: http://weather.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/iwszone?Sites=:kyz026#t1

Winter Weather Warning Terms

The following terms WARN the public of more serious winter weather situations that may cause impossible traveling conditions and could pose a threat to life and property.

PRODUCT

DESCRIPTION

WINTER STORM OUTLOOK

Issued when there is sufficient confidence that a major winter storm may cause a significant hazard to public safety. This product is generally issued from three to five days in advance of an event.

WINTER STORM WATCH

Issued when conditions are favorable for the development of hazardous weather elements, such as heavy snow or sleet, blizzard conditions, significant accumulations of freezing rain or drizzle, or any combination thereof. Watches are usually issued 12 to 48 hours in advance of an event.

WINTER STORM WARNING

Issued when hazardous winter weather conditions are imminent or very likely, including any occurrence or combination of heavy snow, wind-driven snow, sleet, and/or freezing rain/drizzle. Winter Storm Warnings are usually issued for up to a 12-hour duration, but can be extended out to 24 hours if the situation warrants. The term "near-blizzard" may be incorporated into the "winter storm warning" for serious situations which fall just short of official blizzard conditions.

BLIZZARD WARNING

Issued for winter storms with sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable falling and/or blowing snow reducing visibility to less than 1/4 mile. These conditions are expected to last at least 3 hours.

HEAVY SNOW WARNING

Issued for expected snowfall amounts of 4 inches or more in 12 hours or 6 inches or more in 24 hours. Snow is the only precipitation type expected.

ICE STORM WARNING

Issued when damaging ice accumulations are expected during freezing rain situations; walking and driving becomes extremely dangerous. Ice accumulations are usually 1/4 inch or greater.

SLEET WARNING

Issued when accumulations of sleet covering the ground to a depth of 1/2 inch or more are expected. This is a relatively rare event.

SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT

Issued when the forecaster wants to follow up a blizzard warning with important information on the progress of the blizzard.

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT

Issued to update weather information pertaining to the watch or warning, assuming the area and temporal extent of the event does not change.

SHORT TERM FORECAST (NOWCAST)

A short term forecast designed to give specific, detailed forecast information for the next 1 to 6 hours on a county-by-county basis. Non-severe watch and warning information are contained in these forecasts which are routinely issued several times per day, and more often during busy weather periods.

 

Winter Weather Advisory Terms

The following advisories will be used to ALERT the public of situations that may cause some inconvenience or difficulty to travelers or people who must be outdoors.

PRODUCT

Description

BLOWING/DRIFTING SNOW ADVISORY

Used when wind-driven snow intermittently reduces visibility to 1/4 mile or less. Travel may be hampered. Strong winds create blowing snow by picking up old or new snow.

FREEZING RAIN OR FREEZING DRIZZLE ADVISORY

Generally used only during times when the intensity of freezing rain or drizzle is light and ice accumulations are less than 1/4 inch.

SLEET ADVISORY

Issued for expected sleet accumulations of less than 1/2 inch.

SNOW ADVISORY

Used when snowfall amounts are below warning criteria, but nonetheless pose a hazard to the public. Issued for average snowfall amounts of less than 4" in a 12 hour period. Forecast amounts would be 1-2", 1-3", 2-4", or around 3".

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY

Used when a mixture of precipitation is expected such as snow, sleet, and freezing rain or freezing drizzle, but will not reach warning criteria.

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT

Issued to update weather information pertaining to the advisory, assuming the area and temporal extent of the event does not change.

SHORT TERM FORECAST (NOWCAST)

A short term forecast designed to give specific, detailed forecast information for the next 1 to 6 hours on a county-by-county basis. Non-severe and advisory information are contained in these forecasts which are routinely issued several times per day, and more often during busy weather periods.