DENVER (KDVR) — While the metro saw some sunny 70s this week, it won’t be warm for long. Denver nights continue to dip below freezing, and with an October snowstorm already under the metro’s belt, more snow is bound to come.
FOX31 put together all the resources you need to prepare for this winter.
Forecast and radar
Stay on top of the forecast with these radars.
- Interactive Radar
- Colorado Radar
- Denver Metro Radar
- Mountain Radar
- Northeast Plains Radar
- National Radar
If you want the full weather rundown, download FOX31’s Pinpoint Weather App which provides an interactive radar, hour-by-hour forecast and customized alert settings.
Winterize your home
Check your heater
It’s time to turn the AC off and test out the heat. Turn on the heat now and make sure it works while there are still a few warm days left.
Check and seal windows
This is the easiest way to keep more warm air in and cold air out.
Blow out sprinklers
Sprinklers should be blown out by the first freeze. Shutting down your sprinklers before it gets cold is important because the standing water in the pipes will freeze, causing cracks. This can lead to hundreds of dollars in repairs.
Add window treatments
Blinds, curtains and shades can help insulate your home in the winter.
Cover water heater
If your water heater is in a cold area of the house, like the basement or an unfinished garage, cover your water heater with a blanket so it doesn’t have to work as hard reheating cold water.
Clogged gutters can lead to a buildup of snow and ice that can cause cracks in your home’s foundation, water and roof damage. Clear them out before it becomes a problem.
Prepare your car
Driving in the winter is a different beast. Set yourself up for success with these tips to get your car winter ready.
For the Denver metro area, the rule of thumb is to switch to snow tires once temperatures drop consistently below 45 degrees, according to Skyler McKinley with AAA Colorado.
McKinley said you can get away with all-season tires in the winter if you change your driving behavior and operate much slower, which you should be doing with snow tires anyway.
If you don’t have either, you can use chains on your tires, which are required on some highways and mountain roads.
McKinley recommends you should have at least half a tank of gas wherever you go. This is because if you get in a crash, you’ll be able to wait in your warm car while waiting for a car service or tow truck.
Car accidents happen. If your car gets stuck in the snow, you’re going to want to bring some emergency supplies just in case you’re stuck there for a long period.
- An emergency kit with tire chains, abrasive material such as sand or kitty 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
- Portable phone charger
- Jumper cables
The Colorado Department of Transportation provides COtrip, a map that tracks accidents, road conditions, chain and traction laws and other important road information.
If you fail to follow these snow laws, you could face fines of more than $130. If a vehicle blocks the road because it lacks proper equipment, the motorist could face a fine of more than $650.
During an active traction law, drivers must have either snow tires, tires with the mud/snow (M+S) designation or a four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicle. Chains are also an option if your car doesn’t have the correct tires.
Passenger Vehicle Chain Law
When in effect, every vehicle on the roadway must have chains or an alternative traction device.
Sidewalk snow shoveling
Most areas across the metro have rules when it comes to clearing 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 closings and delays
FOX31 updates this list of school closings and delays when there are active closures.
Don’t let this sunny November fool you, winter is coming. Keep this guide in mind throughout the winter and get ready now while it’s still warm.