Winter Weather and Extreme Cold

Princeton can experience severe cold and/or storms during the winter months. Long-term exposure to extreme cold can lead to hypothermia and frostbite.

Severe winter weather can also lead to dangerous walking surfaces and road conditions, falling tree limbs or loss of power or heat.

Being prepared and knowing what to do when severe winter weather strikes can help minimize the hazards.

How to Prepare:

  • Stay informed about severe weather forecasts. For some resources on local Princeton weather, click here.
  • Prepare emergency survival kits in case you are forced to shelter away from home.
  • Make sure cell phones are fully charged, and radios and flashlights have fresh batteries.
  • Review information on how the University responds to winter storms.

What to Do:

  • Stay inside during a storm.
  • Minimize travel. Verify that the University is operating on a normal schedule. If there is a closure, information will be shared via the following methods:
    • InsidePrinceton – The campus status will be found at InsidePrinceton. Please note that closure information will no longer be posted on the University homepage.
    • TigerAlert – All faculty, staff, and students receive an e-mail and text message. Individuals may choose to receive a phone call by setting their preferences in TigerAlert via the portal. See TigerAlert User Portal Registration for instructions. 
    • TigerSafe app – Receive push messages on your mobile device. Download the TigerSafe app from the iOS or Android app store or go to the TigerSafe page for information. Anyone, including those without a campus NetID or affiliation, can download the app and receive messages.
    • SNOW line – As of winter 2023-2024, the 258-SNOW number will no longer be actively updated. Instead, individuals should look to get information on any weather-related closures via TigerAlert, InsidePrinceton, and/or the TigerSafe app.
  • Follow these winter walking safety tips if you must walk in snowy/icy conditions.
  • Keep clothing dry; change wet clothing immediately. Wet clothing quickly transfers body heat and can lead to cold weather illnesses.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite, hypothermia or other cold weather hazards.
  • Follow instructions if there is a power outage.
  • Be careful with alternative heat sources because of the risk of carbon monoxide. Do not use kerosene heaters in University buildings.

For More Information

Princeton has developed an FAQ document for weather-related closures

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published this Guide for Extreme Cold

The National Weather Service has published the guide Winter Storms: The Deceptive Killer