Southern Idaho Winters
Winter in Idaho is on its way. Right now, the weather is transitioning from somewhat warm days to cold days, but the time is not too far distant when the temperature will drop below freezing on a regular basis and leave you trudging along through piles of snow. If you are a longtime Idaho resident than you are perfectly aware of what is coming but if you are new to the state and to the region than you might not have lived through an Idaho winter. Maybe you moved to the state sometime during the summer or maybe you will be moving to the area this coming winter. In any case, if you have not been through an Idaho winter than you probably want to know what to expect and what things will be like. Unfortunately, that is somewhat of a complex topic and you may only fully understand the Idaho winter if you have experienced it yourself, but I can do my best to introduce you to some of what you might be facing. Luckily, since it became a state (And long before), the people of Idaho have gotten really good at making it through the winter without experiencing too much in the way of disturbance. Most likely your first winter in Southern Idaho will be fun and easy and you may get the chance to do some of the exciting winter activities that make Idaho so great during that time of year.
Probably the most important thing to have down before you get to Idaho (Or to get down quickly once you get to Idaho) is snow driving. For the most part, snow is not a dangerous thing. It just sits there and is cold. When ice comes into the equation (As it almost does) there is the chance that you will slip and fall and hurt yourself, but snow is not a dangerous thing for anyone in a civilized society. That is until you get on the road and you drive in conditions where old snow is on the ground or new snow is falling. There are a couple of rules for driving in snow. In fact, there are hundreds of things you can do but they generally come down to one or two basic principles. First, take things slowly. There is no need to go over the speed limit in icy and snowy conditions and there is frequently no reason to even get up to the limit at all. Faster speeds mean less control when you hit ice and less time to react and make a change so that you do not hit someone or something. Accelerate slowly, keep your top speed low, and give yourself plenty of time to stop. You do the latter by creating space between you and the car in front of you (Or between you and everything else on and around the road). The thing I would most suggest to you is to practice driving on ice and snow. You can do this on a day where the snow has been light. Find an empty parking lot and motor around in it for a while, getting up to moderate speeds and then stopping to see how your car reacts to snow and ice. Consider throwing a coat or jacket in the car in case of an unexpected breakdown.
You also want to keep your home in mind whenever you are preparing for the winter to arrive. There is not so much you can do if you live in an apartment as your landlord very well would be doing most of the prep work for winter but if you are living in a house, there are a couple of things to be careful of. First, how is your air conditioning system going to hold up when the winter comes along? The highs of summer and the lows of winter tend to really hit your air conditioning and heating hard and those are the things you do not want to have give out on you when the weather starts to get bad. If you suspect anything is wrong with your heater, get it looked at before winter comes. On the outside of your house, you need to be on the lookout for old and dying trees that might fall on your car or your home and for telephone or electrical poles that might have seen too much wind. If someone is amiss, you can call the right people to come out and take a look or take care of the tree yourself. If there is nothing you can do, you should at least move your car to a safer place and be aware that something could happen. If you live in an apartment, you should also be as aware of these things as possible and try and get your landlord to make changes if they will listen to you.
To finish, I want to remind you that Idaho is a big state and that weather patterns are going to vary wildly across its height and length. One part of the state might be covered in snow while the other part is experiencing sunny days without much worry about driving or even putting on a jacket. Anyone in the southern part of Idaho is probably going to be experiencing a lot of warmer weather and a general lack of need for snowplows and similar things while anyone further north (Where the mountains start to get really interesting and where the terrain starts to go up) is going to be inundated with snow and a whole lot of chilling wind. In general, Idaho is a cold place through and through. The south is warmer, and the north is colder but the whole picture is going to be colder than Texas or many other states, even some of those that share a latitudinal region with Idaho. Basically, be aware that Idaho is going to be covered in a variety of different kinds of weather and if you live in one place you might not see as bad of weather as you might in another. Do a little research to figure out what part of Idaho might be best for you or what your specific part of the state is going to experience on a regular basis.