Winter 2022-23: Time to review Western's winter weather closure policy

Contact: Deanne Puca

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—With the winter season just around the corner, this is a good time of year to review Western Michigan University's closure policy.  

University closures

Western rarely closes or delays classes, so always assume campuses are open. In the absence of notification via one of the methods listed below, all normal operations will continue as scheduled.

When the University does close, regardless of the reason, the closure is announced on the:

The status of the University's regional locations will vary due to conditions in their individual areas, and they will be announced on the WMU homepage.

In the event of a weather closure, check the University events calendar to confirm whether an event is canceled. Those who have posted items to the calendar must update the posting to indicate whether the activity will go on as planned or is canceled.

To review WMU's Closure Policy, visit the policy website

Dress appropriate to the conditions

When outdoors in sub-freezing weather, always cover your head, ears and hands. Wear a hat or knit cap that fully covers your head, insulated gloves and a scarf.

Layer clothing to prevent chilling and overheating. Three or four relatively light layers are better than one or two thick layers. It's best to wear loose-fitting, windproof and water-resistant outer layers. Remove layers as your body warms to avoid overheating. Perspiration wets skin and clothing, and water conducts heat away from the body about 30 times faster than air at the same temperature.

Proper footwear is extremely important. Frostbite most frequently occurs in the extremities—fingers and toes. Wear socks and sensible shoes, such as insulated walking shoes or boots with rubber soles, for best footing on icy walks.

For more information on how to stay safe in wintry conditions, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Winter Weather webpage and the National Weather Service's Cold Weather Safety webpage.

Weather-related University closings since 1999

  • 1999, Jan. 4-5—Heavy snowfall delayed the start of spring semester.
  • 2000, Nov. 21-22—Thanksgiving recess began Tuesday because of snow.
  • 2006, Dec. 1—An ice storm downed trees and caused power outages.
  • 2007, Feb. 5—Extreme cold and snow closed many Michigan colleges.
  • 2008, Feb. 1—WMU closed due to snow.
  • 2009, Dec. 10—Blizzard conditions closed WMU.
  • 2013, Jan. 31—Snow and icy conditions closed WMU.
  • 2014, Jan. 6-7—Significant snowfall and expected severely cold temperatures prompted many Michigan colleges to close. The closure delayed the start of spring semester.
  • 2014, Jan. 27—Snow and cold temperatures closed WMU.
  • 2014, Nov. 18—Heavy snowfall closed WMU.
  • 2015, Feb. 2—A widespread snowstorm closed WMU and many others schools around the state.
  • 2016, Feb. 25—In an otherwise mild winter, a heavy snow accompanied by high winds closed WMU.
  • 2018, Feb. 9—Severe winter weather prompted WMU to close at noon.
  • 2019, Jan. 23—A mix of sleet, freezing rain and snow closed schools throughout the region.
  • 2019, Jan. 29—Severe weather prompted WMU to close 5 p.m.
  • 2019, Jan. 28—A snowstorm covered the Kalamazoo area in several inches of snow and closed many schools throughout Michigan.
  • 2019, Jan. 30—Snow and dangerously low temperatures due to wind chill prompted schools throughout the upper Midwest to close.
  • 2019, Jan. 31—Continued frigid temperatures and dangerous wind chills close many Michigan universities for a second consecutive full day.
  • 2019, Feb. 13—Freezing rain followed by heavy snow closed the University.
  • 2022, Feb. 2—Worsening winter weather prompted WMU to close at 1 p.m.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.