There are several ways to mitigate winter risk factors like sliding roofs, buried hydrants and dangerous driving conditions. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

JACKSON Wyo. — It’s only the beginning of the 2022-2023 winter season, but Teton County has already experienced harsh winter conditions.

November 2022 was tied for the snowiest November since November 2000, and December hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down either. While this strong early season has been a treat for winter recreationists, it also presents hazards and Teton County Emergency Management wants locals to “know before they go” this winter. This means to plan ahead, be aware of potential hazards and take responsibility for your own safety during outdoor pursuits.

Check the forecast

Always check the forecast from the National Weather Service, local forecasters and the weather app of choice before you head outside. Remember to also check the daily avalanche forecast from the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center at www.jhavalanche.org.

Understand winter weather terminology

  • A Winter Storm Warning means that heavy snow, sleet, an ice storm, and/or blowing snow is expected in the next 12-24 hours. These warnings are issued when confidence is high that a winter storm will occur and cause significant impacts. 
  • A Winter Storm Watch means that snow, sleet, ice, and/or blowing snow is possible in the next 12-48 hours and you should be prepared. These watches are issued when confidence is medium that a winter storm will occur and cause impacts
  • A Winter Weather Advisory means that wintry weather is expected and you should be prepared for impacts, especially to travel. Light amounts of wintry precipitation or patchy blowing snow will cause slick conditions. 

Prepare for the unexpected

Dress for the outdoors even when not planning on being outside. When traveling, avoid going alone when possible and let someone know a likely timetable and route(s). Carry  items in your vehicle to handle common winter driving-related tasks and emergencies, including:

  • Snow shovel and ice scraper
  • Extra windshield wiper fluid with de-icer
  • Abrasive material (sand or kitty litter)
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight and warning devices (flares and emergency markers)
  • Blankets and/or layers of warm clothing  
  • Cell phone and battery pack/charger 
  • Water, food, and any necessary medicine 
  • A full tank of gas 

Resources

Buckrail @ Toby

Toby Koekkoek is a Community News Reporter, and a recent resident of Teton Valley. He enjoys writing about our region's community events and the movers and shakers that make up the culture of this unique mountain town. He enjoys deep powder, and deep thoughts, skateboarding, playing racquet sports, riding his bike, and nerding out on music. Toby also coaches freeride skiing for the Jackson Hole Ski Club and runs skateboard camps in the summer.