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Probably fewer than the students would like. In the past five decades, UW–Madison has seen only eight snow days. And when we say “snow day,” we mean classes fully cancelled, not late start or early release. The first (documented) snow day was on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) in 1965, when more than six inches of snow and freezing rain prompted Chancellor Robben Wright Fleming LLB’41 to call off classes. The next was January 26, 1978, when the governor’s office cancelled all classes in the Madison area. Thirteen inches of snow shut down the UW nearly a decade later on December 15, 1987. Some brave (or reckless) Badger captured the next snow day on tape — December 3, 1990, when Madison was hit with more than 17 inches of snow. Nearly two decades passed before the next cancellation. An estimated 20 inches of snow coupled with wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour caused classes to be cancelled on February 6, 2008. The classes of 2012 and 2013 got lucky, seeing three snow days in their time on campus: December 9, 2009; February 2, 2011; and December 20, 2012.

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