Winter Weather Awareness

By: Chief Meteorologist Brian Bledsoe Email
By: Chief Meteorologist Brian Bledsoe Email

Gov. Bill Ritter has proclaimed the week of October 19th through the 25th as Winter Weather Preparedness Week across Colorado. It is always good to review again what products the National Weather Service issues, how to receive that information, and how you can be as safe as possible during hazardous winter weather. Seven public information statements for Winter Weather Preparedness Week are on our Web site. The following schedule of topics is courtesy of the National Weather Service in Pueblo:

MONDAY: WINTER WEATHER AWARENESS INTRODUCTION

GOVERNOR BILL RITTER HAS PROCLAIMED THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 19TH THROUGH 25TH AS WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK IN COLORADO. THIS IS AN EXCELLENT TIME FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS...FAMILIES... BUSINESSES...SCHOOLS...AND MEDIA OUTLETS TO REVIEW THEIR WINTER STORM PREPAREDNESS PLANS. IT IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT FOR ALL NEW ARRIVALS TO THE STATE TO BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WATCH AND WARNING DEFINITIONS… AS WELL AS WINTER SAFETY PROCEDURES.

HEAVY SNOW IN THE MOUNTAINS IS IMPORTANT FOR THE SKI INDUSTRY AND FOR FILLING UP RESERVOIRS. HOWEVER...WINTER STORMS ALSO CAUSE TRAVEL PROBLEMS AND CAN RESULT IN LIFE THREATENING CONDITIONS.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILL ISSUE PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS THROUGHOUT THE WEEK TO DISCUSS:

WINTER TRAVEL SAFETY…MONDAY
WATCHES...WARNINGS...AND ADVISORIES…TUESDAY
HIGH WINDS…WEDNESDAY
WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES AND HYPOTHERMIA…THURSDAY
AVALANCHE SAFETY…FRIDAY
WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK IN REVIEW…SATURDAY

ANYONE WHO NEEDS INFORMATION ON WINTER STORMS IN COLORADO SHOULD CONTACT THEIR NEAREST NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE.

BOULDER OFFICE.........................303.494.3210
GRAND JUNCTION OFFICE..........970.243.7007
GOODLAND KANSAS OFFICE.....785.899.7119
PUEBLO OFFICE...
IF YOU LIVE NEAR PUEBLO CALL...........................719.948.3371.
IF YOU LIVE NEAR COLORADO SPRINGS CALL...719.573.6846.
IF YOU LIVE NEAR ALAMOSA CALL........................719.589.3232.

TUESDAY: WINTER TRAVEL

WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK CONTINUES THROUGH SATURDAY OCTOBER 25TH...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. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ROAD REPORTS FROM OTHER STATES CAN BE OBTAINED FROM A WEB SEARCH OR BY CALLING INFORMATION.

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.

WEDNESDAY: WATCHES, WARNINGS, AND ADVISORIES

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILL INFORM YOU ABOUT CRITICAL WEATHER WITH
OUTLOOKS...WATCHES...WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN.
NOW IS THE TIME TO FIND OUT…DURING THIS COLORADO WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK.

THIS LIST HAS THE WATCH...WARNING AND ADVISORY CRITERIA FOR COLORADO
EAST OF THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE. SAVE THIS LIST FOR USE THROUGHOUT THE
WINTER. CRITERIA WEST OF THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE WILL BE PROVIDED TODAY
BY THE GRAND JUNCTION OFFICE.

HEAVY SNOW CRITERIA FOR EASTERN AND CENTRAL COLORADO ARE REPRESENTATIVE VALUES APPLIED OVER A LARGE GEOGRAPHIC AREA...

MOUNTAINS...8 INCHES OF SNOW IN 12 HOURS
12 OR MORE INCHES IN 24 HOURS.

LOWER ELEVATIONS...6 INCHES OF SNOW IN 12 HOURS
8 OR MORE INCHES IN 24 HOURS.

WINTER WATCHES AND WARNINGS...

A WINTER STORM WATCH IS ISSUED WHEN WINTER STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 48 HOURS...BUT THE TIMING...INTENSITY...
OR OCCURRENCE MAY STILL BE UNCERTAIN.

A WINTER STORM WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN HEAVY SNOW IS OCCURRING OR
WILL DEVELOP IN THE NEXT 18 HOURS. THE HEAVY SNOW MAY BE
ACCOMPANIED BY WIND GREATER THAN 15 MPH AND BLOWING SNOW.

A BLIZZARD WATCH IS ISSUED WHEN BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE IN THE NEXT
12 TO 24 HOURS.

A BLIZZARD WARNING IS ISSUED IN LOWER ELEVATIONS WHEN THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED FOR AT LEAST 3 HOURS...
SUSTAINED WINDS OF 35 MPH OR GREATER.
CONSIDERABLE FALLING AND OR DRIFTING SNOW LOWERING
VISIBILITIES TO LESS THAN 1/4 MILE.

A BLIZZARD WARNING IS ISSUED IN THE MOUNTAINS FOR THE CONDITIONS ABOVE...BUT WITH WINDS IN EXCESS OF 50 MPH AT THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS.

A WIND CHILL WATCH IS ISSUED WHEN WIND CHILL WARNING CRITERIA ARE POSSIBLE
IN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS.

A WIND CHILL WARNING IS ISSUED FOR WIND CHILLS OF AT LEAST
MINUS 25 DEGREES ON THE PLAINS...AND MINUS 35 DEGREES IN THE MOUNTAINS.

A FREEZE WATCH IS ISSUED WHEN FREEZE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE IN THE NEXT
12 TO 24 HOURS.

A FREEZE WARNING IS ISSUED DURING THE GROWING SEASON WHEN WIDESPREAD
TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO DROP TO BELOW 32 DEGREES.

A HIGH WIND WATCH IS ISSUED WHEN HIGH WIND CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED TO DEVELOP IN THE NEXT 12 TO 36 HOURS. SOMETIMES IT WILL
BE ISSUED LATE IN THE FIRST FORECAST PERIOD...6 TO 12 HOURS...IF THE
POTENTIAL FOR HIGH WIND EXISTS...BUT THERE IS SOME UNCERTAINTY.

A HIGH WIND WARNING IS ISSUED FOR THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS...
SUSTAINED WINDS OF 50 MPH FOR AT LEAST 1 HOUR OR GUSTS TO 75 MPH
FOR ANY DURATION IN THE MOUNTAINS AND FOOTHILLS.

SUSTAINED WINDS OF 40 MPH FOR AT LEAST 1 HOUR...OR GUSTS TO 58 MPH
FOR ANY DURATION AT LOWER ELEVATIONS AWAY FROM THE FOOTHILLS.

ADVISORIES...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN GENERAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS ARE EXPECTED
BETWEEN 4 AND 8 INCHES IN 12 HOURS IN THE MOUNTAINS...AND
BETWEEN 3 AND 6 INCHES IN 12 HOURS AT LOWER ELEVATIONS.

WHEN FALLING SNOW IS ACCOMPANIED BY BLOWING SNOW TO CAUSE
TRAVEL PROBLEMS DUE TO LOWER VISIBILITIES.

WHEN WIND BLOWN SNOW WILL OCCASIONALLY
REDUCE VISIBILITIES AND CREATE A HAZARD FOR TRAVELERS.

FOR FREEZING DRIZZLE OR A MIX OF PRECIPITATION TYPES...SUCH AS
SNOW AND SLEET...THAT WILL IMPACT TRAVEL CONDITIONS.

A DENSE FOG ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN WIDESPREAD FOG WILL
REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO 1/4 MILE OR LESS.

A WIND CHILL ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN WIND AND TEMPERATURE COMBINE
TO PRODUCE WIND CHILL VALUES OF MINUS 18 DEGREES TO MINUS 25
DEGREES.

A FROST ADVISORY IS ISSUED DURING THE GROWING SEASON WHEN TEMPERATURES ARE
EXPECTED TO DROP TO BETWEEN 32 AND 35 DEGREES ON CLEAR CALM NIGHTS.

A BLOWING DUST ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN BLOWING DUST REDUCES VISIBILITIES
TO BETWEEN A QUARTER OF A MILE AND A MILE.

THIS WEEK IS WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK IN COLORADO. PUBLIC INFORMATION
STATEMENTS WILL BE ISSUED THROUGHOUT THE WEEK TO GIVE SAFETY INFORMATION...AND
HELP YOU KNOW HOW TO RESPOND WHEN WINTER WEATHER THREATENS.

THURSDAY: WIND CHILL

EXTREME WIND CHILL...POTENTIALLY LIFE THREATENING AND OFTEN OVERLOOKED...

THE COMBINATION OF WIND AND LOW TEMPERATURES IN WINTER CAN BE DEADLY. WINTER STORMS OFTEN BRING HEAVY SNOW TO COLORADO WHICH RESULTS IN SLIPPERY ROADWAYS...TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS AND STRANDED TRAVELERS. WHILE THE ATTENTION OF MOST PEOPLE IS FOCUSED ON EXPECTED SNOW ACCUMULATION BEFORE A STORM ARRIVES...MANY IGNORE THE LIFE THREATENING COMBINATION OF EXTREME COLD AND STRONG WIND WHICH OFTEN DEVELOPS AFTER THE STORM PASSES. WIND CHILL IS A MEASURE OF HEAT LOSS FROM THE BODY DUE TO WIND AND COLD AIR. FROSTBITE AND HYPOTHERMIA ARE TWO CONSEQUENCES OF WIND CHILL.

THE WIND CHILL INDEX HELPS YOU TO DETERMINE WHEN DANGEROUS CONDITIONS DEVELOP THAT COULD LEAD TO FROSTBITE OR HYPOTHERMIA. IT TAKES INTO ACCOUNT HEAT LOSS FROM THE HUMAN BODY TO ITS SURROUNDINGS DURING COLD AND WINDY WEATHER. THE CALCULATION UTILIZES WIND SPEED IN MILES PER HOUR AND TEMPERATURE IN DEGREES FAHRENHEIT. FOR EXAMPLE...A TEMPERATURE OF MINUS 5 DEGREES OCCURRING WITH A 20 MPH WIND GIVES A WIND CHILL NEAR MINUS 30 DEGREES. THIS MEANS THAT YOUR BODY WILL LOSE HEAT AT THE SAME RATE AS IT WOULD IF THE AIR TEMPERATURE WERE MINUS 30 DEGREES WITH NO WIND. WIND CHILL VALUES NEAR MINUS 25 DEGREES MEAN THAT FROSTBITE CAN OCCUR IN AS LITTLE AS 15 MINUTES.

FROSTBITE FIRST AFFECTS EXPOSED BODY TISSUE WHERE BLOOD CIRCULATION MAY BE LIMITED...SUCH AS FINGERS AND TOES...AS WELL AS YOUR NOSE AND EARS. TO MINIMIZE FROSTBITE...MAKE SURE ALL BODY PARTS ARE WELL COVERED. WHEN FROSTBITE STARTS...FEELING IS LOST IN THE AFFECTED AREA AND THE FROZEN TISSUE WILL TAKE ON A WHITE OR PALE APPEARANCE. IF YOU SUSPECT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING FROSTBITE...HOLD THE FROSTBITTEN AREA CLOSELY AGAINST WARM SKIN TO RETURN BLOOD FLOW AND WARMTH TO THE AFFECTED AREA.

HYPOTHERMIA IS A DANGEROUSLY LOW BODY TEMPERATURE AND IS THE MOST COMMON WEATHER KILLER IN WINTER. WHEN YOU HEAR OF A HIKER OR CLIMBER...OR A HUNTER OR STRANDED TRAVELER PERISHING FROM COLD WEATHER EXPOSURE...HYPOTHERMIA WAS THE CAUSE. MOST PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED TO LEARN THAT HYPOTHERMIA DEATHS CAN OCCUR WITH TEMPERATURES BETWEEN 30 AND 50 DEGREES. IF YOU OR YOUR CLOTHING ARE WET...THEN HYPOTHERMIA BECOMES EVEN MORE LIKELY.

WARNING SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA INCLUDE UNCONTROLLABLE SHIVERING...MEMORY LOSS...DISORIENTATION...SLURRED SPEECH AND DROWSINESS. IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION SHOULD BE GIVEN TO VICTIMS SUSPECTED OF SUFFERING FROM HYPOTHERMIA. IF NO HELP IS AVAILABLE...THE VICTIM SHOULD BE WARMED SLOWLY WITH WARM LIQUIDS ALONG WITH DRY CLOTHING AND BLANKETS.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN PUEBLO WILL ISSUE WIND CHILL ADVISORIES AND WARNINGS WHEN A DEADLY COMBINATION OF WIND AND COLD AIR THREATEN THE AREA. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WIND CHILL AND TO SEE A WIND CHILL CHART...VISIT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INTERNET SITE AT

http://www.weather.gov/os/windchill/index.shtml

WHEN COLD WEATHER THREATENS COLORADO...FOLLOW THESE TIPS FOR SURVIVAL...

STAY DRY...WET CLOTHING RESULTS IN MUCH FASTER HEAT LOSS FROM YOUR BODY. WEAR WATERPROOF INSULATED BOOTS.

STAY COVERED...WEAR MITTENS OR GLOVES ON YOUR HANDS AND A HAT TO COVER YOUR HEAD. AT LEAST HALF OF YOUR BODY HEAT IS LOST IF YOUR HEAD IS NOT COVERED.

DRESS LAYERED...THE TRAPPED AIR BETWEEN LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING HELPS TO INSULATE.

STAY INFORMED...HAVE A PORTABLE NOAA WEATHER RADIO ALLHAZARDS TO KEEP YOU UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST FORECASTS AND WARNINGS. USE WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES TO GUIDE YOU IN DRESSING PROPERLY FOR THE OUTDOORS. ON VERY COLD DAYS...BE SMART AND MINIMIZE YOUR EXPOSURE TO THE OUTDOORS IF POSSIBLE.

FRIDAY: AVALANCHE INFORMATION

BEWARE OF AVALANCHES IN THE HIGH COUNTRY OF COLORADO...

THOUSANDS OF AVALANCHES OCCUR EACH WINTER IN THE MOUNTAINS OF COLORADO. WITH THE ENORMOUS POPULARITY OF WINTER SPORTS IN COLORADO...THIS POSES A RISK TO SKIERS...SNOWBOARDERS...HIKERS AND SNOWMOBILERS. IN FACT COLORADO LEADS THE NATION IN THE NUMBER OF AVALANCHE FATALITIES IN THE PAST 10 YEARS...WITH AN AVERAGE
OF 6 FATALITIES A YEAR. ANYONE WHO TRAVELS INTO THE HIGH COUNTRY IN THE WINTER SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR AVALANCHES AND KNOW HOW TO AVOID THEM.

THE FIRST THING TO KNOW IS MOST AVALANCHES OCCUR DURING OR JUST AFTER SNOWSTORMS AND MOST OCCUR ON A SLOPE OF 30 TO 45 DEGREES. A SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL MAY RESULT IN AN UNSTABLE SNOWPACK. BY WAITING 36 HOURS AFTER A BIG SNOWSTORM YOU MAY ALLOW THE SNOW TO BECOME MORE STABLE. IF YOU STAY IN VALLEYS AWAY FROM AVALANCHE CHUTES...IN STANDS OF DENSE TREES...OR ON GENTLE SLOPES YOU CAN MINIMIZE YOUR AVALANCHE RISK.

IF YOU ARE A SKIER OR SNOWBOARDER AT A COMMERCIAL SKI AREA THERE IS LITTLE DANGER OF AVALANCHES. HOWEVER RESPECT THEIR RULES AND DO NOT STRAY OUT OF BOUNDS. SKI AREAS WORK TO REDUCE THE DANGER FROM AVALANCHES WITHIN THEIR BOUNDED TERRAIN...BUT OUT OF BOUNDS A SERIOUS AVALANCHE RISK MAY EXIST. MINIMIZE YOUR RISK BY STAYING IN BOUNDS.

IF YOU WANT TO ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS IN AREAS PRONE TO AVALANCHES...YOU CAN MINIMIZE THE DANGER BY FOLLOWING A FEW SIMPLE RULES...

NEVER TRAVEL ALONE. ALWAYS HAVE ONE OR MORE COMPANIONS. EVEN SMALL AVALANCHES CAN BE FATAL. IF YOU ARE ALONE AND GET TRAPPED...YOU MAY NOT BE FOUND UNTIL SPRING.

IF CROSSING A SLOPE THAT MAY BE PRONE TO AVALANCHES...DO IT ONE PERSON AT A TIME. YOU WANT TO MINIMIZE THE IMPACT ON YOUR PARTY IF AN AVALANCHE IS ACCIDENTLY RELEASED.

IN AVALANCHE COUNTRY...ALL MEMBERS OF YOUR PARTY SHOULD CARRY AVALANCHE RESCUE EQUIPMENT INCLUDING AN AVALANCHE BEACON...SHOVEL AND PROBE POLE. THIS INCREASES YOUR CHANCES OF EFFECTING A SUCCESSFUL RESCUE AND FINDING YOUR FRIENDS ALIVE.

AVALANCHE CONDITIONS IN COLORADO ARE MONITORED AND FORECAST BY THE COLORADO AVALANCHE INFORMATION CENTER...CAIC. YOU CAN GET MORE INFORMATION ON AVALANCHES AND AVALANCHE SAFETY FROM CAIC. THEIR NUMBER IS 303-499-9650.

SATURDAY: WINTER WEATHER AWARENESS WRAPUP

HAVE A SAFE...ENJOYABLE WINTER SEASON IN COLORADO.

ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS IN COLORADO THIS WINTER SEASON...BUT WATCH
THE WEATHER.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES A VARIETY OF WINTER WEATHER...
OUTLOOKS...WATCHES...WARNINGS...AND ADVISORIES...COVERED EARLIER DURING
THIS WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK. SAFETY TIPS WERE ALSO
PASSED ALONG.

AN EXAMPLE OF SEVERE WINTER WEATHER OCCURRED IN MARCH 2003 ACROSS THE
EASTERN FOOTHILLS...ADJACENT PLAINS...AND MOUNTAINS. SNOWFALL AMOUNTS
RANGED FROM 80 TO 110 INCHES...ALONG WITH STRONG WINDS IN SOME AREAS.
THE DENVER METRO AREA AVERAGED NEARLY THREE FEET OF SNOW. THE STORM
WAS WELL FORECAST...AND PEOPLE...FOR THE MOST PART...HEEDED THE
WARNINGS...SO CASUALTIES AND IMPACTS WERE MITIGATED.

MORE RECENT EXAMPLES OF WHAT CAN HAPPEN DURING THE WINTER WEATHER SEASON WERE THE HEAVY SNOW EVENTS OF DECEMBER 2006. BACK TO BACK MAJOR STORMS OCCURRED THE THIRD AND FOURTH WEEKS OF THE MONTH ACROSS EASTERN COLORADO. HEAVY SNOW ACCUMULATED OVER THREE FEET DEEP IN SOME AREAS. STRONG WIND DRIFTED THE SNOW INTO 12 TO 20 FOOT DRIFTS...AND THOUSANDS OF RANCH ANIMALS FELL VICTIM. TRAVEL WAS HAMPERED FOR DAYS IN THE HARDEST HIT AREAS.

LAST YEAR...POWERFUL WINTER STORMS BROUGHT BLIZZARD CONDITIONS TO THE
SOUTHWEST MOUNTAINS ON TWO SEPARATE OCCASIONS...WHICH THREATENED AND
TOOK LIVES...DUE TO AVALANCHES AND SEVERE WINTER CONDITIONS.

BEFORE WINTER WEATHER THREATENS THIS SEASON...YOU SHOULD PREPARE A
WINTER SAFETY KIT FOR YOUR VEHICLE. WHEN PLANNING TRAVEL...CHECK THE
LATEST WEATHER FORECASTS. A VALUABLE COMPANION WHEN HEADING OUT
IS A BATTERY POWERED NOAA ALL HAZARDS WEATHER RADIO...THE VOICE OF THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE. IT PROVIDES YOU WITH THE LATEST WEATHER
CONDITIONS AND FORECASTS. YOU CAN PICK ONE UP AT YOUR LOCAL
ELECTRONICS OR DEPARTMENT STORE.

FINALLY...IF YOU NEED INFORMATION ON WINTER WEATHER SAFETY...
WINTER WEATHER SAFETY BROCHURES...OR NOAA ALL HAZARDS WEATHER RADIO...
PLEASE VISIT THE WEB SITE OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE
RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR AREA...


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