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Severe Weather/School Closing

These are the National Weather Service's warning terms: 

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

When this has been issued for your area, there are currently no severe thunderstorms. The thunderstorm watch means that the conditions of the atmosphere are suitable for the formation of thunderstorms containing strong winds, dangerous lightning, and possibly hail.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

When this has been issued for your area, you should stay indoors, and away from any windows in the house (it also helps to close the drapes to slow the progression of flying glass if a window happens to break.) There is heavy wind, lightning, and hail.

Tornado Watch

This means that conditions in the atmosphere are suitable for the formation of tornadoes, not that there is a tornado already on the ground. When this has been issued, you should pay attention to weather reports to keep informed regarding the formation of tornadoes throughout the day.

Tornado Warning

Take cover. A tornado warning for your area means that there is a tornado on the ground, or a possible tornado has been indicated by doppler radar, or there is a funnel cloud in your area.

Severe Weather/ Winter Weather School Closing

Cancellation or delay of classes and events at Southwest Minnesota State University happens only occasionally, and closing the university is a rare occurrence.

Any decision to cancel/delay classes and events and/or close offices is made after consultation, as appropriate, with the Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Weather Service. In the event of non-weather-related situations, a decision involving closing, cancellation or delay is made after consultation with Student Health Services, Public Safety or others as appropriate. SMSU makes every effort to announce any closing/cancellation before 5 a.m. regarding day classes and events and before 3 p.m. for evening classes and events. In addition to campus-wide Star Alerts and e-mail and university website closings/cancellations are announced on these radio and television stations:


• KMHL /KARZ/KARL- Marshall
• KSOO- Sioux Falls
• kWOA- Worthington
• KLOH- Pipestone
• KLGR- Redwood Falls
• KWLM/Q102- Willmar


• WCCO-TV- Twin Cities
• KSFY-TV- Sioux Falls
• KELO-TV Sioux Falls
• KEYC-V- Mankato

Messages regarding weather-related decisions will most likely take one of these forms:

• Classes cancelled
• Evening classes cancelled
• Classes cancelled, offices closed
• University closed

When classes or events are cancelled or delayed, employees are expected to perform their regular duties unless specifically noted; employees who cannot report to work must use leave time. During actual closings only designated “essential” employees report to work. In the interest of the safety and well being of our campus community, the university urges students and employees to use their good judgment in making decisions about attending class or work. Contact your supervisor if there’s a need to consider alternative arrangements.

Last Modified: 7/19/22 1:35 PM | Website Feedback