Brace yourselves: worse winters are coming

BY NOUHAD ALAME, Staff Writer

After the strong snowstorms that welcomed the new year of 2013-2014, the harsh and snow-filled winter last year still brings back dreadful thoughts as we anticipate yet another bitter snow season for the academic year of 2014-2015.

Many of us are wondering just what this winter might bring in terms of getting from place to place, what to expect from the roads, and how the 2014-2015 academic year will be affected. We definitely hope we will not be breaking records in the Detroit area and Flint as they occurred just a year ago.

However, forecasts predict that red flags may be on the alert the first 10 days of January and the first week of February, as the precipitation and strong winds sweep across the Great Lakes area and into the northern states.

Once more, the Farmers’ Almanac edition of the winter of 2014–15 emphasizes that the coldest outbreak of the season will come during the final week of January into the beginning of February, with below-normal temperatures for just about three-quarters of the nation.

While some of us may simply be filled with glee at the thought of countless snow days here at the University of Michigan-Dearborn,, others feel that the money spent on tuition should be negotiated in the case that repeating snow days should occur, putting courses behind.

Do the Great Lakes and Detroit Metro area stand a chance against this outbreak? Unfortunately, not quite. As the frigid air blows across the Great Lakes, snow showers are predicted to drop heavy amounts of snow into lakes, ranging from stinging to normal snowfall.

How does the UM-Dearborn plan on alerting its students, faculty and staff? Campus closings due to inclement weather will be determined by the Chancellor and Senior Officers. Decisions to officially close the campus due to inclement weather and hazardous driving conditions are transmitted to all major radio and television stations for broadcast early morning as staff members wander the roads to clear potentially hazardous conditions. Staff members are on the roads well before 5 a.m., checking weather conditions to ensure safety for the sake of students, faculty, and staff.

In cases of emergencies, the emergency “fan-out” system will be implemented during specific conditions, which includes weather conditions so severe that it mandates movement to designated shelter areas on campus, or shelter at homes.

UM-Dearborn students should anticipate heavy snowfall warnings when an expected snowfall of four inches in a 12 hour period or six inches in a 24 hour period have covered the roads. This also includes slippery, blocking, and reduced visibility on the roads, which would make it hard for students to reach campus safe and sound.

It certainly looks like another long winter of shivery and misery at its peak. Some quick tips for this year’s winter season…sturdy snow machines and new tires. Not to mention, sweaters and hot cocoa, of course.

Should you have any questions or concerns, or are unsure what to possibly expect when the next heavy snow fall sweeps across Dearborn and neighboring areas, please contact Public Safety at 593-5333.

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