Despite recent history, a 'cold day' closure still possible for UConn

A student is seen walking at the UConn campus in Storrs, Connecticut during a snow day on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

There has never been such a thing as a "cold day" at UConn – cancelling classes because of extreme temperatures – but it could happen, especially after the record-breaking temperatures in Connecticut this past weekend.

“The university's official policy on emergency closings is broadly worded enough to encompass any potential need to close the campus,” said university spokesperson Tom Breen.

Safety is the key decision factor in the emergency closing policy.

“Like any other type of inclement weather, a decision to close because of cold would depend on the potential impact to the personal safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors, as well as our ability to keep our facilities in running order during the period of bad weather,” said Breen.

With Sunday’s lowest recorded temperature in Hartford at minus 12 degrees, staying outside for too long was risky.

Prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures like Sunday’s lowers the body temperature, which can lead to hypothermia. If the body temperature goes below 95 degrees, the situation is an emergency, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection.

Approximately 1,260 people died in the United States in 2014 from exposure to excessive natural cold or hypothermia, according to a CDC National Health Statistics report.

If raw skin is exposed in these types of extreme temperatures, frostbite also becomes a risk, most commonly affecting the nose, ears, cheeks, chin and fingers, which are often not covered, according to the CDC.

Temperatures are expected to rise for the rest of the week though, with Tuesday’s forecast in the 50s being the ultimate contrast to Sunday’s.

UConn may not be seeing a "cold" day again this semester. Temperatures are not expected to go into the minuses for the rest of the month.


Annie Pancak is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at annie.pancak@uconn.edu. She tweets @APancak.