A winter storm warning? What does that mean to you?
Unlike winter storms in the “Winter” early fall storms will most likely be completely gone by the end of the snow possibly even before depending on which area of Denver you live in. The Denver metro areas like Aurora, Parker, Centennial, Englewood, Highlands Ranch won’t get as much snow as those communities in or close to the Palmer Divide or the foothills.
Photo Credit: Spencer Platt
A few tips for those new residents of Colorado
- Do not drive if you don’t know how to drive in snow! It doesn’t matter if you have a four wheel drive vehicle or not, if you are going too fast or don’t know how to use your breaks on snow and ice you WILL get in an accident and possible hurt yourself, others and property. Take advantage of one of your Colorado native friends or neighbors and have them teach you to drive here.
- If you have deciduous tree’s, do go outside and gently tap off heavy snow from tree limbs before they break. Tree’s are a precious commodity in the high plains.
- Always unhook your garden hoses from the house, even if you don’t think it’s going to get that cold.
- Do dress in layers in Colorado pretty much year round. The temperatures can and do vary drastically from when you leave your house for work and when you get home. It’s always a good idea to keep at least a jacket, hat and gloves in your car year round.
- You don’t need to run to the grocery store to stock up for the storm, it really will be melted with 24 hours maximum.
The tips below were taking from the State of Colorado Emergency Management site.
- Store drinking water, first aid kit, canned/no-cook food, non-electric can opener, radio, flashlight and extra batteries where you can get them easily, even in the dark. Have questions about kits? Check out READYColorado for some great checklists and tips!
- Keep cars and other vehicles fueled and in good repair, with a winter emergency kit in each.
- Get a NOAA Weather Radio to monitor severe weather.
- Know how the public is warned (siren, radio, TV, etc.) and the warning terms for each kind of disaster in your community:
Winter Weather Terminology in Colorado
- “winter storm watch” — Be alert, a storm is likely
- “winter storm warning” — Take action, the storm is in or entering the area
- “blizzard warning” — Snow and strong winds combined will produce blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill–seek refuge immediately!
- “winter weather advisory” — Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially to motorists
- “frost/freeze warning” — Below freezing temperatures are expected and may cause damage to plants, crops, or fruit trees
- “flash flood or flood watch” — Be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate on a moment’s notice
- “flash flood warning” — A flash flood is imminent–act quickly to save yourself because you may have only seconds
- “flood warning” — Flooding has been reported or is imminent–take necessary precautions at once. Know safe routes from home, work and school to high ground.
- Know how to contact other household members through a common out-of-state contact in the event you and have to evacuate and become separated.
- Know how to turn off gas, electric power and water before evacuating.
- Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees.
- Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Install storm shutters, doors and windows; clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks; and check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow–or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.
- If you think you might want to volunteer in case of a disaster, now is the time to let voluntary organizations or the emergency services office know–beforehand.
Snow Plowing in Denver CO
In general snow plows follow this priority in all area’s of the Denver Metro area
- Priority 1 – Arterials
- Priority 2 – Collector Streets
- Priority 3 – Local Roads
- State Highways
Castle Rock has an online snowplow tracking system and you can checkout at CRgov.com/plowtracker, will be updated once snow-removal operations begin
Do make snow angels, snowmen, snow forts and have fun!
We’d love to see your pictures of you frolicking in the snow so post them on the Facebook page here if you’d like to share how you spent Winter 2011′s first snow storm. Facebook.com/DenverBucketList