For more information on KU's inclement weather policies and procedures related to the university closing, please refer to the following links:
The Douglas County Emergency Management Office tests the outdoor warning siren system on a regular basis. The test occurs at noon on the first Monday during the months of August-February and on the first and third Monday during the months of March-July. Tests are canceled for potential or occurring severe weather and in the event of extreme cold or ice on the sirens.
In March, siren activation is done as part of a statewide tornado drill in conjunction with Severe Weather Awareness Week. These drills are typically conducted on Tuesday or Thursday afternoon.
Sounding of the Siren
The outdoor warning sirens for any or all of the cities in Douglas County are activated when the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning or when a local determination is made that a tornado threat to the area exists. This determination is made by Douglas County Emergency Management staff and will be based upon evaluation of all available information. This may include, but is not limited to, National Weather Service watch and/or warning text, weather radar and reports from trained weather spotters or law enforcement officers.
Anytime you hear the sirens sound, take immediate safety precautions. Listen to a NOAA weather radio or local media for updates. In Lawrence, local stations are KLWN 1320AM and KANU 91.5FM. Note: There is NO all-clear siren.
Cancelation of classes and university closure because of weather rarely occurs.
Severe Thunderstorm Watch
A severe thunderstorm watch is issued by the National Weather Service whenever weather conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms or tornadoes, in and close to the watch area. A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when a severe thunderstorm is detected by radar or a spotter reports a thunderstorm producing at least 1 inch hail or 58 mph winds. In case of a severe thunderstorm watch or warning:
Be alert to the possibility of high winds and/or hail. Also, be aware that severe thunderstorms can produce tornadoes with little or no advanced warning. Should a storm develop, move away from outside windows into a protected area of a hallway or interior room until the danger is past.
If circumstances warrant, general information can be obtained from the following sources:
While emergency conditions exist, 864-SNOW is used for emergency information year-round.
KU Info, 785-864-3506
University radio stations KJHK 90.7 and KANU 91.5 will broadcast information specific to campus; local radio and TV stations provide on-going community emergency information.