Winter Storm Watch - Thursday Feb. 18

February 17, 2021

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for New York City and its surrounding areas, in effect beginning Thursday morning (February 18) through Friday afternoon (February 19). 

Heavy snow is possible, with the National Weather Service currently forecasting 4 to 8 inches in the city and surrounding areas and other outlets predicting up to 11 inches. Expect very difficult and slippery travel conditions that could impact the morning and evening commutes. Use mass transit when at all possible, and exercise extreme caution when traveling during the storm. Be sure to check the Columbia Transportation website for changes or delays to University shuttles, and refer to the Columbia Preparedness website for other impacts to University operations. 

Please stay safe, exercise caution and allow extra travel time.  

Ahead of the possible snow, help protect your home or office to prevent property damage: 

  • Take precautions.   

  • Close and lock all windows, including in spaces not normally occupied. (It is in these “forgotten” rooms that, in addition to wasting energy, an open window can cause freezing and split pipes and resulting damage. It may be useful to designate someone to this task, so it is not forgotten.)   

  • Leave all radiator valves and fan coils turned on to ensure adequate heating and to avoid freeze damage. Fan coils should be set to the slowest speed setting. If you have questions about valve or coil settings, please contact Facilities—for Morningside/Manhattanville, call (212) 854-2222; for CUIMC, call 212-305-HELP (4357), option 3.  

  • Clear clothing or furniture away from heaters to avoid inadequate heating that may cause freeze-ups and damage.   

  • Make sure all faucets are off.   

  • Close fume hoods when not in use and shut down non-essential lab equipment.   

  • Be in touch. If you see an unsafe condition on campus including leaks, opened windows and doors, or other issues, please immediately contact Facilities at 212-854-2222 at Morningside/Manhattanville, and 212-305-HELP (4357) option 3, at the Medical Center. For students living in the Morningside residence halls, the Hartley Hospitality Desk can be reached 24/7 at 212-854-2779. We are open 24/7 and are prepared to handle your calls.   

For any other emergency, please contact Public Safety at 212-854-5555 (Morningside), 212-853-3333 (Manhattanville), 212-305-7979 (CUIMC), or 911 if appropriate. 

The Emergency Management Operations Team is monitoring the situation and will keep you updated by email and/or text as well as via the Columbia Preparedness site, the University homepage, and the Medical Center Operations site should new information become available that impacts you or our campus. We also recommend checking your school’s website for any weather-related changes. 

For the latest information on weather and transit, please visit: 

The Emergency Management Operations Team