Inclement Weather

In case of Inclement Weather Conditions

Storm Hotline

Some resources when bad weather strikes:


Even when Western Washington University is open, snow and ice may remain on surface areas used by pedestrians (including pathways and sidewalks) and vehicles (including parking lots). The university recommends that anyone coming to campus take appropriate precautions for safety, including the use of appropriate footwear for conditions and selection of walking routes. Facilities Management at WWU has published a plan of their snow-removal procedures.

The use of slip-on traction devices is recommended, but all users should remove those devices before entering any buildings, as the devices can be quite slippery indoors.

Can't safely get to campus? Stay home!

Students, faculty and staff who are unable to get to Western because of dangerous conditions may decide to remain home, even if the university is open. Each decision is a personal one and should be made according to individual judgment. Staff should contact their supervisors if they will be unable to get to work on time because of the weather conditions. See Western's Inclement Weather and Suspended Operations policies for more information. Faculty should make every effort to notify students of any class cancellations. Also see directions for using Canvas to make announcements.

What happens if the university is open during a day of bad weather but the faculty member can’t make it to class? What do students do?

Our policy is to empower individual faculty to make their own decisions regarding cancellations. This reflects Western’s view that individual faculty members know the circumstances of their classrooms best. In the vast majority of circumstances, this approach works exactly as it should. Faculty members communicate to students via e-mail well ahead of time if they have to cancel a class. Similarly, most students who cannot get to class do let their faculty know. We have always recommended that faculty members communicate ahead of time as much as possible if a class must be canceled. The recommended method for faculty to apprise students of class cancellations is via announcements in Canvas. More information on class cancellations from ATUS.

If class is not canceled but a student can’t attend because of bad weather, will the student be penalized for not making it to class?

The university advises faculty members to balance concern for student learning and accountability with concern for student safety. We trust faculty to be fair in such circumstances and believe that our faculty strike this balance very well. However, students who feel that they have been unfairly penalized for classes they missed due to bad weather should first speak with the faculty members involved. If those conversation do not resolve the issues, students should contact each faculty member's department chair.

Is the student shuttle running?

Student shuttle service may be cancelled if severe weather causes unsafe driving conditions. For updated information on the student shuttle, call 360-650-6500. To receive text alerts when the shuttle is cancelled due to weather or other emergency, text “follow wwushuttle” to 40404.

What is the difference between the Western Student Shuttle and WTA?

The Western Student Shuttle service is a late night bus service for Western students only. The service is funded by the Student Transportation Fee and managed by the Student Transportation Program. A valid Western ID is shown to the driver when boarding. Service may be canceled during ice and snow conditions because roadways are not sanded or plowed during late night hours. WTA is a local public transit service serving Bellingham and Whatcom County. A WTA bus pass or cash fare is required for boarding. During ice and snow, some WTA routes may be detoured or delayed. Both services provide Twitter alerts for service updates. For more information, see

If the university closes, does that mean the dorms close too?

No, not at all. When the university closes, it cancels classes. However, university residence halls remain open and the residential and retail dining outlets will remain open per scheduled hours as much as possible. Other university services will generally continue to be provided.

How do I get more information?

As conditions change, the WWU website, the WWU emergency website and the storm line/emergency hotline at 360-650-6500 will be updated with current information.

Local radio stations that may carry closure info:

  • KGMI AM-790
  • KUGS 89.3 FM
  • KPUG 1170 AM
  • KBAI 930 AM
  • KAFE 104.3 FM
  • KISM 92.9 FM
  • KWPZ 106.5 FM
  • KVOS-TV Channel 12 (7 to 7:30 a.m.)


Also see: how we decide whether to close or delay opening of the University