Weather conditions in Murray were anything but normal this past week, with the community experiencing a tornado warning and snowfall within a three-day period.
Several students were woken up late on Jan. 29 to the sound of sirens as a tornado warning was issued in the area.
Justin Holland, rainfall for the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky., said weather conditions last week were perfect for tornadoes, and the area of Murray is located in what is known as “Tornado Alley.”
“We have been experiencing very odd weather these past few years,” Holland said.
Holland said there is no reason to believe Murray will be out of this severe weather pattern any time soon.
The region also experienced odd temperatures, with highs reaching the 70s on Jan. 29, then dropping back down to 19 degrees on Jan. 31.
Holland said he encourages students to purchase a weather radio, which can be tuned to give updates on what the weather conditions are in Calloway County.
“The tornado sirens on campus are not made to warn people who are inside the buildings, but rather warn those outside,” Holland said.
The safest place for students to go in the event of extreme weather is the lowest level of a building and away from any windows, Holland said. Bathrooms, closets or basements are the safest areas to go. Holland also said students should also take precautions when extreme weather conditions affect the area by driving slowly on roads and allowing extra time to get to where they need to be.
Students are also finding it difficult to stay healthy with the unusual and constant weather changes the region has been experiencing.
Olivia Deppen, sophomore from Louisville, Ky., said the repeated weather shift has caused her to get sick and has affected schoolwork.
Judy Lyle, interim associate director of Health Services, said although they have seen a slow start in the amount of illness on campus so far this semester, they have been seeing some weather-related symptoms among students.
Lyle said students can attempt to avoid illness by washing their hands frequently, getting plenty of rest, exercising regularly, eating healthy food and, of course, staying away from those who are already sick.
On Dec. 7, the National Safety Council will designate the University as a Safe Community. Murray State is the first public university to be recognized as an international Safe Community.
Story by Rebecca Walter, Staff writer.