Wrap up for Severe Weather Winter Awareness Week in Colorado 
   
    ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS IN COLORADO THIS SEASON...BUT
    WATCH THE WEATHER.

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES A VARIETY OF WINTER 
    WEATHER WATCHES...WARNINGS...AND ADVISORIES...COVERED
    EARLIER DURING THIS WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK.
    SAFETY TIPS WERE ALSO PASSED ALONG.  ALWAYS CHECK THE
    LATEST WEATHER FORECAST BEFORE HEADING OUT AND TAKE THE
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE'S WARNINGS SERIOUSLY.

    A TRAGIC EXAMPLE OF WHAT CAN HAPPEN DURING THE COLD
    SEASON WAS THE BLIZZARD OF 1997.  WITH MILD TEMPERATURES
    JUST BEFORE THE BLIZZARD IN OCTOBER...MANY RESIDENTS AND
    VISITORS TO COLORADO HAD A HARD TIME BELIEVING THAT A
    WIDESPREAD BLIZZARD COULD BE POSSIBLE OVER EASTERN
    COLORADO.

    WINTER STORM WATCHES WERE ISSUED EARLY...ON THURSDAY.  A
    WINTER STORM WARNING WAS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER
    SERVICE OFFICES IN BOULDER AND PUEBLO EARLY FRIDAY
    MORNING FOR PARTS OF EASTERN COLORADO FOR HEAVY SNOW, 
    AND NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS BY LATE AFTERNOON.
    THOUSANDS OF VEHICLES WERE OUT ON THE ROADS FRIDAY
    EVENING...WHEN TRAVEL CONDITIONS TURNED FROM VERY BAD TO
    IMPOSSIBLE. THE WINTER STORM WARNINGS WERE UPGRADED TO
    BLIZZARD WARNINGS IN THE EVENING.  HUNDREDS OF VEHICLES
    BECAME STRANDED IN THE DEEP SNOW AND HIGH DRIFTS ON MAJOR
    TWO LANE HIGHWAYS, AND THE INTERSTATES.   SEVERAL PEOPLE
    EITHER FROZE TO DEATH OR SUCCUMBED TO CARBON MONOXIDE
    POISONING AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE BLIZZARD.  
    THANKFULLY...SCORES OF PEOPLE WERE RESCUED BY HEROES FROM
    A VARIETY OF ORGANIZATIONS.

    THE BLIZZARD OF 1997 IS AN EXAMPLE OF NATIONAL WEATHER
    SERVICE WEATHER WARNINGS GOING UNHEEDED BY THOUSANDS OF
    PEOPLE.  PHRASES WITHIN WARNINGS READ...TRAVEL IS HIGHLY
    DISCOURAGED, OR EVEN MAJOR ROADWAYS WILL BECOME
    IMPASSIBLE.  THE MAIN REASON GIVEN  FOR VENTURING OUT
    FRIDAY NIGHT WAS...IT WILL NEVER BE THAT BAD.  

    BEFORE WINTER WEATHER THREATENS THIS SEASON...YOU SHOULD
    PREPARE A WINTER SAFETY KIT FOR YOUR VEHICLES.   IF YOU
    BECOME STRANDED WITH YOUR VEHICLE...RUN THE MOTOR ABOUT
    TEN MINUTES EACH HOUR FOR HEAT...BUT KEEP THE WINDOW OPEN
    A LITTLE...AND KEEP THE EXHAUST PIPE CLEAR TO AVOID CARBON 
    MONOXIDE POISONING.  FOUR DEATHS IN THE BLIZZARD OF 97
    OCCURRED WITH SNOW-CLOGGED TAIL PIPES AND RESULTANT
    CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING.  MAKE YOURSELF VISIBLE TO
    RESCUERS BY TURNING ON YOUR DOME LIGHT AT NIGHT WHILE 
    RUNNING THE MOTOR.  TIE A COLORED CLOTH TO THE DOOR
    HANDLE AND RAISE THE HOOD AFTER SNOW HAS STOPPED FALLING
    AND BLOWING TO INDICATE YOU ARE IN TROUBLE.  DURING THE
    BLIZZARD OF 97...THOUGH...CONDITIONS WERE SO BAD VEHICLES
    WERE BURIED IN 10 TO 15 FOOT SNOW DRIFTS. 

    AVOID OVEREXERTION WHEN OUTDOORS.  HEART ATTACKS CAN
    KILL DURING AND AFTER STORMS...BECAUSE SHOVELING SNOW OR
    FREEING STUCK VEHICLES CAN BE VERY STRESSFUL.  AT LEAST TWO
    MEN DIED OF HEART ATTACKS AFTER THE BLIZZARD OF 97 WHILE
    SHOVELING SNOW.

    ANOTHER MORE RECENT EXAMPLE OF SEVERE WINTER WEATHER
    OCCURRED LAST MARCH ACROSS THE EASTERN FOOTHILLS...
    ADJACENT PLAINS...AND MOUNTAINS. A VERY SLOW
    MOVING STORM BROUHG FROM 80 TO 110 INCHES OF SNOW...
    ALONG WITH HIGH WINDS IN SOME AREAS. THE DENVER
    METRO AREA AVERAGE NEARLY 3 FEET OF SNOWFALL.
    POWER OUTAGES AND STRANDED RESIDENTS WERE
    COMMONPLACE IN THE AREAS WHERE THE HEAVIEST ACCUMULATIONS
    OCCURRED. THE STORM WAS WELL FORECAST...AND PEOPLE...
    FOR THE MOST PART...HEEDED THE WARNINGS...SO CASUALTIES
    AND IMPACT WERE LESSENED.

    A VALUABLE COMPANION WHEN HEADING OUT THIS COLD SEASON
    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 MORE INFORMATION ON WINTER WEATHER
    SAFETY...OR WINTER WEATHER BROCHURES...OR MORE NFORMATION
    ON NOAA WEATHER RADIO...PLEASE CALL THE NATIONAL WEATHER
    SERVICE OFFICE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR AREA.

    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.

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


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