Students run between the Columns in a snow ball fight.

Students run between the Columns in a snowball fight.

A winter storm hit Columbia Tuesday, Feb. 4, covering Mizzou in snow, closing the campus and inspiring students to spend their day off frolicking on Francis Quadrangle.

Mother Nature greeted new chancellor R. Bowen Loftin with a chilly welcome his first week at Mizzou, but the (former) Texan made the most of it. He took to Twitter to incite snowball fights and hold a #snowbowtieger snowman-building competition judged by “snow princess” Karin Loftin, Mizzou’s new first lady. The prize is lunch with the chancellor.

While students and faculty took the day off, Campus Facilities employees toiled in the brisk weather, clearing sidewalks and stairs of snow and ice.

Snow continued to fall Tuesday evening, with meteorologists expecting an accumulation of 8 inches by morning. The MU campus is closed and classes are canceled again Wednesday, Feb. 5.

This week’s cancellation of classes is only the eighth in the university’s history, but it marks the fourth time severe weather has shut down Mizzou in the past decade. The campus closed Dec. 1, 2006, Jan. 31 — Feb. 3, 2011, and Feb. 21, 2013.

For more information about severe weather and other emergencies, visit MU Alert. Remember to sign up for notifications.