Like last winter? Campus readies for repeat

Winter weather in 2018 will likely be similar to last year with weather events more likely to be wind storms rather than huge snowfall amounts, according to the National Weather Service.

Tom Magnuson, warning coordination meteorologist, National Weather Service, Pueblo, shared his prediction of a La Niña winter with a group of university faculty and staff during a Nov. 3 winter weather workshop organized by the Department of Public Safety.

“Did you like last winter?” Magnuson asked. “If you did, you’re going to like this year.”

Characteristics of La Niña winters in southern Colorado are above-normal temperatures, below-normal precipitation and frequent windstorms. Magnuson pointed to the winters of 2007-2008 and 2010-2012 as examples before detailing the science behind the predictions including careful measurement of Pacific Ocean temperatures.

Like any good forecaster, Magnuson hedged his bet, calling Colorado the most difficult place in the nation to predict weather and encouraging use of resources such as the National Weather Service website to stay current on predictions, warning and conditions (

Campus Closures

In the event of severe weather, public safety, facilities and academic leaders will decide if campus will open for daytime classes by 6 a.m. Decisions about night classes will be made by 3 p.m.

Individuals not considered essential personnel should not come to campus during weather closures, Rob Dougherty, senior executive director, Facilities Services, said. Essential personnel include facilities crews who are working to get the campus ready to open. Campus buildings are locked during weather emergencies and empty parking lots allow crews to more effectively clear them. He encouraged departments to discuss emergency procedures in advance of storms.

The best way to learn of a campus closure is through UCCSAlerts. The system sends texts and email alerts to individual cell phones and email accounts. For more information about the system and to ensure contact numbers are correct, visit

Other methods include

  • On the web: Visit or for detailed closure and emergency information, as well as timely and updated public safety information.
  • On the phone: Call the campus closures line at 719-255-3346 for recorded information and updates related to campus closures.
  • On social media: Like UCCS Emergency Management, UCCS Police, and UCCS on Facebook, and follow @UCCS, @UCCS_Prepared, and @UCCSPolice on Twitter.
  • On traditional media: Local television and radio stations will also carry information about UCCS closures.

A WeatherBug camera is in place to show real-time conditions of Austin Bluffs near the Alpine Parking Garage and Field.

The City of Colorado Springs traffic cameras provide real-time travel condition.

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