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Students, families encouraged to plan ahead for weekend winter storm

December 15, 2016
Photo: Graduates in Kohl Center

Graduates link arms to sing “Varsity” at the end of UW–Madison’s Winter Commencement ceremony at the Kohl Center on Dec. 20, 2015. Photo: Jeff Miller

Updated 3:45 p.m. Dec. 16

With a winter storm warning declared for southern Wisconsin this weekend, UW–Madison students, parents and families are encouraged to make preparations for safe travel to final exams and commencement ceremonies.

A winter storm is expected to bring 8-11 inches of snow beginning Friday afternoon through Saturday, followed by gusty winds on Saturday and subzero temperatures on Saturday night, Sunday and Monday.

View the latest forecast

The university expects to be open for normal operations, which include all final exams, the 10 a.m. Sunday winter commencement ceremony at the Kohl Center and other scheduled campus events.

Students, faculty, staff and visitors are urged to dress appropriately for the cold, use caution in travel and allow extra time to reach campus. Remember that some parking lots (labeled in green on map) are available for general use on weekends.

Students with questions or concerns about final exam scheduling or travel to campus should contact their instructors.

In the event that employees cannot safely travel to campus, they should notify supervisors and use paid time off for any absences. For more information, please review the campus Inclement Weather Guidelines or contact your supervisor or HR rep.

Staying safe in the cold

To assist with snow removal, the university will have crews working on clearing sidewalks, streets and parking lots.

Commencement Details

Those attending commencement are reminded to allow time for a security screening before entering the Kohl Center.

All UW Campus lots are free on Sunday, Dec. 18.  Recommended lots that are closest to the ceremony are 46, 83, 91, and 29.  Parking is on a first come first served basis.  The Kohl Center will open to the public at 8 a.m.

A shuttle service will be operating from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  The shuttle will operate along Johnson and Dayton Streets, stopping at all blue Madison Metro bus stops. 

Participating in the ceremony itself does not affect a student’s status as a UW–Madison graduate. Students and parents are also able to attend Spring Commencement ceremonies. For those unable to attend, the ceremonies will stream live at

Updates will be added to this post as they become available and will be shared via Twitter at @UWMadison.