Severe Weather Expected Across Central N.C. on Thursday

 March 17, 2021

TO:Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers
FROM:Kyle Cavanaugh, Vice President, Administration
RE:Severe Weather Expected Across Central N.C. on Thursday

The National Weather Service has elevated its severe weather assessment to Level 4 “moderate risk” for central North Carolina on Thursday with the possibility of powerful straight-line winds, large hail, tornados and lightening.

The worst of the storm is expected to come through the Triangle region between 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. on Thursday. Duke officials are monitoring the forecasts, and crews securing loose items such as temporary signs before the storm. Schools and departments should also secure or bring inside any loose items to limit potential damage from flying debris.

At this time, Duke is operating under normal conditions, and there are no plans to activate the severe weather policy for Duke University and Duke University Health System. Those who are scheduled to report to work tomorrow afternoon/evening should monitor weather conditions and use caution when traveling.

Given the forecast, a “tornado watch” may be issued prior to the storm. A watch means conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in and close to the watch area. 

A "tornado warning" indicates a tornado has been sighted or indicated on radar, and individuals should seek shelter immediately. In the event of a “tornado warning” that includes Duke's main campus in Durham, Duke officials will activate the sirens on campus and send a text and email notification to to faculty, staff and studenst directing them to seek shelter immediately. Members of the Duke community who have not registered for text messaging can find instructions on the Duke Emergency Management website.

During a tornado watch, the weather service suggests that people should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings. For more information about Duke's emergency response plan for tornados, visit the Duke Emergency Management website.

Additional updates will be communicated as needed.