The first snow of the season usually hits the floor of the Grand Valley on November 17th, which means it's never too early to get prepared.
This week is winter weather preparedness week in the state of Colorado and city street officials have already begun the task of getting the fleet of plows ready to go.
Dave VanWagoner is a street maintenance official for Grand Junction. He says, "For the most part we usually like to do about 4 to 6 weeks, to go through all of the equipment, and so we start fairly early and we're about 75% through. So we're looking pretty good this year."
And if last winter is any indication VanWagoner may be a busy man. But the long range weather models tell a different tale. Jim Pringle is the weather warnings coordinator for the National Weather Service and he says this winter may be different. Pringle says, "This winter looks initially near normal on temperatures, but the long range forecasts are indicating, odds favoring, near to above normal temperatures for the rest of the winter."
Which would be good news for VanWagoner. He says normally they have to fill their salt storage facility three times a winter, but last winter they filled it 8 or 9 times.
But Pringle also wants to stress that it should not only be city crews getting ready but all Colorado drivers. He says having a winter weather kit in your car can be a lifesaver. Pringle says, "A well equipped vehicle is really important here in this part of the country during the winter time. You never know when you might get stranded."
Pringle says even if the long range forecasts say it won't be like last winter, he says its best to be prepared.
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