Alert Carolina Informational: The University is monitoring potential severe weather on Thursday, March 18

The University is closely monitoring the potential for severe weather tomorrow, which is expected to hit the Orange County area between 3-6 p.m. This storm system could produce damaging winds, hail and tornados.

If a tornado warning is issued for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area, the Alert Carolina system will be activated, and the emergency sirens will sound. A tornado warning means that a tornado has been spotted, or that radar indicates a thunderstorm circulation that can spawn a tornado, according to the National Weather Service.

If the sirens are activated indicating a tornado warning, you need to take immediate safety precautions:

  • Seek shelter immediately.
  • Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building.
  • Avoid windows.
  • If no shelter is available, lie down in a low-lying area.
  • Protect yourself from flying debris.

In addition to the sirens, Alert Carolina will send a text message to registered phones, as well as a campus email and other alerts. You can register your cell phone to receive notifications.

If the National Weather Service issues a tornado watch, Alert Carolina will send an email notification. A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area. The weather service says people in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching.

The University will continue to monitor the storm and significant updates will be announced on and, as well as via email and text message. You can also download the University’s emergency safety app The Carolina Ready Safety App.

In the event of an emergency on campus, please call 9-1-1. In a non-emergency, contact UNC Police at 919-962-8100.