The University has asked all students to stay home from 3pm today amid an extreme weather warning in place today. Storm Arwen is expected to hit Durham City from mid-afternoon today, bringing very high winds and the potential for snow showers.
The University has said all in-person teaching and learning will be either cancelled or moved online, but this may not be possible given the short notice.
The Met Office has issued a red weather warning for wind, starting from 3pm on Friday and lasting until 2am on Saturday. It comes as gusts of over 80mph are expected to hit the area. The warning will then be downgraded to an amber and then a yellow wind warning on Saturday.
A red warning for wind means a potential risk to life. There will likely be damage to trees, temporary structures, and buildings, with flying debris likely to lead to injuries. Power cuts and the closure of some roads and bridges are also anticipated, according to the Met Office website.
In addition, there is the potential for snow showers to hit the city overnight according to some forecasts, but no official warning for snow has been issued for Durham City as of today. However, it is almost certain that heavy rainfall will hit the region during the storm.
Temperatures are also set to plummet over the next 24 hours. The official forecast predicts temperatures will struggle to reach above three degrees Celsius, but wind chills will mean it will feel like the temperature is below freezing.
Storm Arwen is the first named storm this year to hit the UK. It is expected to pass over the majority of Scotland and northern England overnight before hitting southern regions tomorrow, with winds, snow and rain all in the forecast. Coastal regions are most at risk of damage during Storm Arwen.
Image: Thomas Tomlinson