Winter weather at ECU can include snow, ice, freezing rain, and sleet generally from late December to early March. Those who have spent several years in the Greenville area understand that the mixing line (transition line between snow and ice) often straddles Greenville; generally leaving snow to our northwest and ice to the southeast. ECU faculty, staff, and students need to become familiar with the Greenville climate and check weather forecasts frequently throughout the winter months. The forecast and conditions can change often.
ECU is designated by the National Weather Service as a StormReady University. Despite our access to the best technology available, forecasts are based on computer models that inherently contain potential for error and weather systems can change. Even slight errors can make a big difference when on the edge of rain, snow, sleet, and freezing rain.
ECU Administrators analyze weather forecasts and conditions as well as monitor the campus roads, parking lots, and walkways in advance of and throughout winter storms to help insure the safety of our students, employees, and visitors. If a winter storm is predicted days in advance, the Severe Weather Response Team convenes to discuss weather forecasts, conditions, and potential impacts to operations and people. A decision may be made 2 -18 hours in advance, although some winter storms require additional monitoring before a decision can be made.
For an overnight storm, the weather is monitored throughout the night and beginning at 4 AM designated administrators check the latest forecasts, drive the roads and check campus walkways and parking lots. For storms occurring during the day, designated administrators drive the roads regularly and communicate with ECU Police and ECU Transit about road conditions. Any concerns are reported to the Severe Weather Response Team.
When decisions need to be made quickly, a conference call is set up with a portion of the Severe Weather Response Team to expedite the decision making process. The recommendation is discussed with the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance who reviews with the Chancellor for a final decision.
Decisions to close the University or cancel classes must be based on local conditions. There have been many instances where neighboring towns and cities were icy and roads were unsafe in those areas, but Greenville and Pitt County roads were passable, so classes were held on their normal schedules. In those situations, students and staff must make judgments based on their specific circumstances and communicate with instructors and supervisors. We don't expect students and staff to put themselves in danger.
Once the University has decided to close, cancel or delay classes, the notification is sent through ECU Alert. This information can be found on the University home page, emergency hotline, campus email, and SMS text messages (users will only receive text if subscribed).
Several health and safety risks are associated with winter weather. The majority of winter weather accidental injuries at ECU are associate with walking and driving.
Are you winter storm ready?