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Winter Weather Awareness Week - Winter Travel

The recent storm system that moved into the mountains may have you thinking about how to prepare for Winter.  Well, it is right around the corner and our good friends at National Weather Service Office in Pueblo always have some good ideas.  Below is some good information if you have travel planned when harsh Winter weather is expected:

Traveling in the Winter across Colorado 

WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK CONTINUES THROUGH SATURDAY OCTOBER 30TH...AS PROCLAIMED BY GOVERNOR RITTER.  BEFORE WINTER WEATHER ARRIVES IN EARNEST...IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU PREPARE YOUR CAR OR TRUCK FOR WINTER TRAVEL.

A WELL EQUIPPED VEHICLE HAS ADEQUATE TIRES...TIRE CHAINS...TOW ROPE...SAND OR CAT LITTER FOR TRACTION...SHOVEL...TOOL KIT... WINDSHIELD SCRAPER AND BRUSH...BATTERY CABLES...FIRST AID KIT... FLASHLIGHT...EXTRA BATTERIES...BLANKETS AND SLEEPING BAGS... EXTRA CLOTHING...CANDLES... WATERPROOF MATCHES...HIGH CALORIE PACKAGED FOOD FOR QUICK ENERGY...AND AN EMPTY CAN TO MELT SNOW FOR DRINKING.

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.  INFORMATION ON ROAD CONDITIONS IN COLORADO IS AVAILABLE ON THE WEB AT

WWW.COTRIP.ORG

OR BY DIALING TOLL FREE 1.877.315.7623.  WHEN CALLING FROM ANYWHERE IN COLORADO...DIALING 511 WILL ALSO ACCESS THE COLORADO ROAD REPORTS. ROAD CONDITIONS FOR NEIGHBORING STATES CAN ALSO BE OBTAINED ON A LINK FROM    WWW.COTRIP.ORG.

IF YOU SHOULD BECOME STRANDED DURING A WINTER STORM...STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE AND DO NOT PANIC.  IF ACCOMPANIED BY OTHERS...TAKE TURNS SLEEPING.  RUN THE MOTOR EVERY HOUR FOR ABOUT TEN MINUTES TO MAINTAIN WARMTH...BUT KEEP WINDOWS OPEN A LITTLE TO PREVENT THE BUILDUP OF CARBON MONOXIDE.  MAKE SURE THE EXHAUST PIPE IS NOT BLOCKED.  KEEP THE CAR VISIBLE WITH BRIGHTLY COLORED CLOTHS TIED TO THE SIDE VIEW MIRRORS...DOOR HANDLES...OR EXTERNAL ANTENNA.  EXERCISE PERIODICALLY BY VIGOROUSLY MOVING ARMS...LEGS...TOES...AND FINGERS.

IN THE MOUNTAINS...AVALANCHES BECOME A POSSIBILITY IN THE WINTER...ESPECIALLY BELOW STEEP SLOPES.  AVALANCHES OCCASIONALLY COME DOWN ACROSS ROADS...WITH LITTLE OR NO WARNING.  HOWEVER...AVALANCHE CONTROL WORK IS PERFORMED ON MANY AVALANCHE PRONE ROADS IN COLORADO...MAKING THE ROADS SAFER TO TRAVEL.  CAUTION IS ADVISED WHEN TRAVELING ALONG AVALANCHE PRONE ROADS...ESPECIALLY DURING AND SHORTLY AFTER A HEAVY SNOWSTORM OR DURING PERIODS OF RAPID SNOWMELT.

VERY STRONG DOWNSLOPE WINDS OCCUR AT TIMES MAINLY ALONG THE FRONT RANGE OF COLORADO.  THESE CHINOOK AND BORA WINDS CAN HAVE GUSTS EXCEEDING 100 MPH.  PERSONS TRAVELING IN LIGHT WEIGHT OR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES SHOULD AVOID TRAVEL DURING THESE STRONG WIND EVENTS ESPECIALLY ON NORTH SOUTH ORIENTED ROADS.

ROADS WHICH APPEAR TO BE CLEAR IN THE WINTERTIME MAY ACTUALLY BE COATED WITH A THIN LAYER OF ICE...COMMONLY KNOWN AS BLACK ICE. THIS NEARLY INVISIBLE ICE LAYER CAN CAUSE YOU TO RAPIDLY LOSE CONTROL OF YOUR VEHICLE.  BLACK ICE IS MOST COMMON DURING THE NIGHTTIME HOURS. IF YOU DETECT BLACK ICE...YOU SHOULD REDUCE YOUR SPEED.

WHEN BRAKING ON ICY AND SNOWPACKED ROADS...IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU APPLY STEADY PRESSURE TO THE PEDAL JUST TO THE POINT OF BRAKE LOCKUP...ALLOWING PLENTY OF EXTRA STOPPING DISTANCE. FOR THOSE WITHOUT ANTILOCK BRAKES...ANOTHER SUGGESTION IS TO GENTLY TAP ON THE BRAKE PEDAL SEVERAL TIMES JUST PRIOR TO APPLYING STEADY PRESSURE.

Stay safe this Winter!

Chief Meteorologist Brian Bledsoe

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