Responding to reports of heavy snowfall on Friday, Cornell University cancelled all Friday classes and said the University would shut down at 5 a.m.
The Ithaca campus “will be closed and classes are cancelled,” read an updated version of a Cornell emergency alert.
Cornell said officials will monitor the storm’s progress and provide updates by email and on the University’s emergency website.
The National Weather Service predicted about six inches of snow for the Ithaca area and issued a winter storm warning, which lasts from 9 p.m. on Thursday to 1 a.m. on Saturday. The service said there is a 10 percent chance that Ithaca will receive 16 inches of snow by Saturday morning.
Cornell Weather, which is made up of student meteorologists, predicted on Twitter that Ithaca may see between 10 and 15 inches of snow, warning that the heaviest snow would be early on Friday morning.
“I’m so surprised,” Marc Alessi ’18, president of the Cornell chapter of the American Meteorological Society, told The Sun. He said he did not expect Cornell to cancel Friday classes so early on Thursday evening, if at all.
Last year, the University was forced to cancel classes for an entire day because of a winter storm, the first time Cornell had closed for a full 24 hours since 1993.
Students and at least one Cornell official celebrated the news on social media.
“Snow day tomorrow @Cornell!” tweeted Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life.
Earlier on Thursday, Rick Burgess, vice president of infrastructure properties and planning, told The Sun in an email that officials were monitoring the situation.
Cornell said in the emergency alert that “personnel responsible for providing essential services should report to work per their department’s instructions.”
“Travel will be very difficult, including during the morning commute on Friday,” the warning said. “Winds gusting as high as 45 mph Friday afternoon will cause areas blowing and drifting snow, along with scattered power outages from any downed trees or power lines.”
Because of the hazardous travel conditions, the National Weather Service recommended that people who must travel should keep an extra flashlight, food and water in their vehicle in case of an emergency.