Winter Storm / Blizzard

winter storm

Did you know that winter storms are referred to as “deceptive killers?”

This is because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm.  Fatalities may occur due to prolonged exposure to the cold, which leads to hypothermia or in traffic accidents on icy roads. Every area in Colorado has the potential to be impacted by severe winter weather. Some winter storms are large enough to affect several states, while others affect only a single community.  Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard that lasts for several days.  Blizzards are severe winter storms that consist of blowing snow and wind resulting in very low visibility.  In Colorado, blizzards may occur anytime from fall to winter, and even into the spring. 

Additionally, familiarizing yourself with the terms below may help with what to expect so you can properly prepare.  

  • Winter Weather Advisory ─ Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
  • Winter Storm Watch ─ A winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for more information.
  • Winter Storm Warning ─ A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area.
  • Blizzard Warning ─ Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow (reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile) are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.
  • Frost/Freeze Warning ─ Below freezing temperatures are expected.

Despite the risks of winter weather, there are several measures you can take so you aren't left unprepared ─ read the information below to learn about what you can do during Colorado's winter months.

Cover photo courtesy of FEMA.