UW Emergency Management

Winter storm

UW inclement weather – suspended or modified operations

In the event of snow, ice, high winds or other dangerous conditions, campus leadership will assess conditions and will usually make a decision no later than 5 a.m. about whether to suspend operations, modify operations for the entire day or operate on a delayed schedule.

UW’s campus in Seattle, UW Bothell and UW Tacoma each have its own inclement weather plan. The plan guides senior leadership in the decision-making process and includes procedures for the UW to assess current and forecast weather conditions, solicit input from key campus stakeholders, consolidate situational assessment, convene key leaders for rapid decision-making and notify students, faculty and staff.

Where to get information about UW operations


If UW suspends or modifies operations in Seattle, information will be shared via:

UW Tacoma

UW Bothell

Snow routes

Preparing for winter weather

Stay safe during winter travel

Be prepared for a power outage


Other resources

Winter storm watches and warnings

A Winter Storm Watch indicates that severe winter weather may affect your area. A Winter Storm Warning indicates that severe winter weather conditions are definitely on the way or have already begun. A Blizzard Warning means that large amounts of falling or blowing snow and sustained winds of at least 35 miles per hour are expected for several hours.


In a car or truck

  • In extreme cold or in heavy snow, stay with your car until you can be rescued.
  • Run the motor about ten minutes each hour for heat.
  • Open the window a little for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked, which would cause dangerous fumes to backup inside the car.
  • Make yourself visible to rescuers. Tie a bright cloth to your antenna or door to alert rescuers.
  • Turn on your dome light, at night, when running the engine.
  • Raise the hood indicating trouble after snow stops falling.
  • Exercise from time to time by vigorously moving arms, legs, fingers and toes to keep blood circulating and to keep warm.