Winter Weather

What to do:

Stay Informed

  • During winter weather season, notices concerning SUNY Cortland’s operation will appear on the home page, campus video message screens, Facebook and Twitter. A text messages may be sent via the Campus Emergency Notification System.
  • Monitor NOAA Weather Radio or NOAA’s website to stay informed of winter weather watches and warnings.
  • Be alert for local weather warnings on commercial radio, television and the Internet. For a full description of what to listen for, and an explanation of different weather terms, refer to the National Weather Service Safety page.


  • Winterize your car:
    • Store blankets in case you’re stranded on the roads.
    • Keep your gas tank full.
    • Consider carrying a small shovel and a road salt canister to help free your car if stuck.
  • Familiarize yourself with Central New York winter weather terms:
    • Freezing Rain creates a coating of ice on roads and walkways.
    • Sleet is rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes roads to freeze and become slippery.
    • Winter Weather Advisory means cold, ice and snow are expected.
    • Winter Storm Watch means severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.
    • Winter Storm Warning means severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.
    • Blizzard Warning means heavy snow and strong winds will produce a blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts and life-threatening wind chill.
    • Frost/Freeze Warning means below freezing temperatures are expected.


  • Plan to stay inside and make it on your own, at least for a period of time.
  • Have some food on hand in your room in case the dining halls are unable to provide food service.
  • Know of both a cell phone and landline phone you can use to call home if service is affected in one or the other.