Time to prepare! Review Winter Safety Before the Snow Gets Here!

Don’t be this person! Snow will slide off on to the road that has just been cleared. It will slide into the car windshield of the person behind you and has caused serious injuries. Or it will slide down your windshield at the first stoplight and you’ll be jumping out in traffic to clear it. Get a brush/broom now and take time to fully clear your car before setting out down the road. In Colorado, you can be ticketed if ice and snow on your windshield obstructs your view or flies off your windshield!

Thursday – 20 Oct 2022 – 7:30pm

Weather Ready Nation Winter Safety

Mark has been telling us about snow coming this weekend. “This is an excellent time for all individuals, families, businesses, schools, and media outlets to review their winter storm preparedness plans.” National Weather Service, Grand Junction has shared some great information. For some of you this will be a review, but for others spending your first winter in a snow location, this is essential information.

“Snow in Colorado is important to the farmers, the ski areas, and for filling up reservoirs. However, winter storms often bring heavy snow, bitterly cold air, high winds, low visibilities and slick roads. This can lead to dangerous travel conditions and other life threatening situations such as avalanches and very frigid wind chill temperatures.”

Winter Travel Safety

“Before winter weather arrives in earnest, it is highly recommended that you prepare your car or truck for winter travel. Then make sure your vehicle has an adequate supply of survival gear before venturing onto the highway.”

“The best way to prevent treacherous winter travel is to avoid it. This can be done by staying informed about the current weather and road conditions, as well as the latest weather forecasts.”

Every winter, Pagosa Weather receives requests for winter travel advice. We cannot give you advice as to whether it is safe for you to travel to Durango or over Wolf Creek Pass. We do not know what sort of driving experience you have, what sort of vehicle you have or what sort of tires you have. We can tell you how much more snow is expected over an area to help you make the decision.

“Information on road conditions in Colorado is available on the web at “www.cotrip.org” or by calling 511 from any location in Colorado.”

Travel Safety
Survival Gear may include a blanket, extra clothing, handwarmers, and energy bars.
Safety msg
Snow can really impact how long it takes you to slow down. And ice is worse!

Watches, Warnings and Advisories

“When a warning is issued during the winter season, will you know what it means and how to respond?”

“Be READY”: A Hazardous Weather Outlook provides information on potentially hazardous weather out to 7 days into the future.

“Get SET”: A Winter Storm Watch is issued when hazardous winter storm conditions are possible within the next 3 to 4 days, but the timing, intensity, or occurrence may still be uncertain.

“Take ACTION”: A Winter Weather Advisory is issued when low-impact winter weather conditions are imminent or occurring.

In contrast, a Winter Storm Warning is issued for potentially life-threatening winter storm conditions, such as heavy snowfall or a combination of snowfall and blowing snow, which are likely to occur within the next 1 to 2 days.

A list of winter weather warning and advisory products, as well as the criteria for each type of warning and advisory, can be found here: “www.weather.gov/gjt/gjt_criteria” or by visiting “weather.gov/gjt ” and clicking on the “Preparedness” link under the “WEATHER SAFETY” menu area near the bottom of the page.

Weather Waring Advisory

High Winds in Winter

“Strong winds in winter can result in blowing and drifting snow, causing reduced visibility. They can also result in dangerously cold wind chills and cause significant damage such as downed trees and power lines. If high winds are forecast for your area, you should bring lightweight objects indoors, tie them down outdoors or move them so they do not become dangerous airborne missiles. Any downed power lines should not be approached. Traveling on roads running perpendicular to strong winds can also be dangerous. If you drive a lightweight or high profile vehicle, you may want to wait until the high winds die down.”

Winds
Sand bags in the trunk or bed of lightweight vehicle can help.

Wind Chill Temperatures and Hypothermia

“Wind Chill is a potentially life-threatening and often overlooked killer. Wind Chill is a dangerous combination of wind and low temperatures that can be deadly and lead to hypothermia or frostbite. Frostbite is the freezing of skin and the body tissue just beneath it. To minimize frostbite, make sure all body parts are well covered. Hypothermia is a dangerously low body temperature and is the most common winter weather killer. If you or your clothing are wet, then hypothermia becomes even more likely. Minimize your exposure to the outdoors on very cold days and dress properly, making sure all body parts are well covered. The Wind Chill Index can help you determine when dangerous conditions develop that could lead to frostbite or hypothermia. The National Weather Service will issue wind chill advisories and warnings when a deadly combination of wind and cold air threaten.”

Wind Chill
You can lose up to 30% or more of your heat through the top of your head. Wear a hat to avoid hypothermia.

For more information on winter weather safety, go to: “weather.gov/safety/winter”.

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I grew up in Montana where my love of the mountains is rooted. I was in the Air Force, forecasting aviation weather, for 24 years. I had eight assignments and my favorites were Colorado, Alaska, Korea, and Germany. I deployed a number of times including to Iraq and Afghanistan. After RV traveling for nine years, we found paradise in Pagosa. Here we enjoy playing outside in the spectacular San Juan mountains!
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This website makes no guarantees about nor bears any responsibility or liability concerning the accuracy or timeliness of the weather information published on this website. All weather information published on this website is for educational and weather enthusiast purposes only. We do not issue Storm Watches, Warnings or Advisories as that ability falls with the National Weather Service, who is the only institution allowed to issue such warnings by law. We are not in any way linked nor affiliated with the National Weather Service, although we do share information and relay weather watches/ warnings, etc. Use of the information on page is at your own risk/discretion, and we are not responsible for any personal/property damages, injury or death associated with weather forecasts, reports or other information as well as communication exchanged in private messages and/or person.

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