Colorado Weather: A Guide to Preparing for Winter
DENVER (KDVR) — While the metro saw some sunny temperatures in the 70s this week, it won’t be warm for long. Denver nights continue to dip below freezing, and with an October blizzard under the metro belt, more snow is bound to come.
FOX31 has rounded up all the resources you need to prepare for this winter.
Forecast and radar
Stay on top of forecasts with these radars.
If you want all the weather, download FOX31’s Pinpoint Weather app which offers interactive radar, hour-by-hour forecasts and custom alert settings.
Prepare your home for winter
Before it gets too cold, make sure your home is ready for winter. Billy Carson, Angi’s home care expert, shares some tips and recommendations.
Check your heater
It’s time to turn off the air conditioner and test the temperature. Turn your heater on now and make sure it’s working while there are still a few warm days left.
Inspect and seal windows
This is the easiest way to keep more warm air in and cold air out.
Detonating machine guns
Sprinklers should be set off at the first freeze. It’s important to shut off your sprinklers before they cool, because standing water in the pipes will freeze, causing cracks. This can result in hundreds of dollars in repairs.
Add window treatments
Curtains, blinds, and shades can help insulate your home in the winter.
Cover the water heater
If your water heater is in a cold area of the house, such as a basement or unfinished garage, cover your water heater with a blanket so it doesn’t have to work as hard to reheat cold water.
Clogged gutters can lead to snow and ice buildup that can cause cracks in your home’s foundation and water and roof damage. Clear them before it becomes a problem.
Prepare your car
Winter driving is a different beast. Set yourself up for success by following these tips to winterize your car.
For the Denver metro area, the rule of thumb is to switch to snow tires once temperatures consistently drop below 45 degrees, according to Skyler McKinley of AAA Colorado.
You can get away with using all-season tires in the winter if you change your driving behavior and go much slower, which is what you should do with snow tires anyway, McKinley said.
If you don’t have either, you can use chains on your tires, which are required on some highways and mountain roads.
McKinley recommends that you should have at least half a tank of fuel wherever you go. This is because if you get into an accident, you will be able to wait in your warm car while you wait for a car service or tow truck.
Car accidents happen. If your car gets stuck in the snow, you’ll need to bring some emergency supplies in case you’re out there for a long time.
AAA Colorado recommends having these emergency supplies in your car during the winter:
- An emergency kit that contains tire chains, abrasive materials such as sand or cat litter, a small shovel, a flashlight with extra batteries, an ice scraper, rags or paper towels, flares or other warning devices, booster cables, and a first aid kit
- Blankets, jackets, hats and gloves for you and your passengers
- Water and snacks, such as energy bars and pet food if you’re traveling with a pet
- Mobile phone charger
- Jumper cables
The Colorado Department of Transportation provides COtrip, a map that tracks accidents, road conditions, chain and tow laws, and other important road information.
You can watch it online or download the app in the Apple Store or Google Play Store.
If you fail to follow these snow laws, you could face fines of more than $130. If a vehicle closes the road due to its lack of proper equipment, the motorist could face a fine of more than $650.
Law of traction
During active traction law, drivers must have either snow tires, tires marked Mud/Snow (M+S), or a 4WD/4WD vehicle. Chains are also an option if your vehicle does not have the correct tires.
Passenger vehicle series law
When applicable, every vehicle on the road must have chains or a replacement traction device.
Shoveling snow on the sidewalk
Most areas across the metro have rules when it comes to disinfecting sidewalks. In Denver, property owners must clear sidewalks within 24 hours after the snow stops falling. Meanwhile, business owners only have four hours.
After that time, inspectors give citations.
School closures and delays
FOX31 updates the list of school closures and delays when there are active closures.
Don’t let sunny November fool you, winter is coming. Keep this guide in mind all winter long and prepare now while it’s still warm.