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Motorists don’t be fooled! 70 degree weather to be met by snow-packed and icy commutes Monday and Tuesday

February 2, 2020 - Statewide News - Potential closures and Chain and Traction Laws likely

COLORADO - An approaching winter storm will bring an abrupt return to cold and wintry precipitation across Colorado starting Monday morning. The Colorado Department of Transportation reminds drivers to heed weather forecasts and anticipate snow-packed and icy roads. Light freezing drizzle and/or light snow will likely hit first along the Front Range, I-25 Corridor north of Monument and the northeast Colorado plains starting later this evening through the Monday morning commute. It is important that motorists drive slowly and avoid slamming on brakes over bridges and overpasses as these will ice up first. 

Before winter weather arrives, motorists leaving Super Bowl parties should never drink and drive. May the best team win — but more importantly, CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol hope everyone gets home safely. Sober rides, including Uber, Lyft, taxis and public transit, are all cheaper than a DUI. CDOT and CSP would like to remind motorists that the “Heat is On” and there will be Super Bowl DUI Enforcement taking place this evening. 

The storm will begin to grow in intensity early Monday morning starting in western Colorado moving quickly towards eastern Colorado. The heaviest snow totals are expected to occur in the mountains and Front Range Foothills. Motorists are encouraged to consider leaving work early tomorrow afternoon or working from home to avoid a snow-packed and icy commute.  

Stronger southwesterly winds on the leading edge of this storm will lead to some blowing and drifting snow in the mountains, but then winds will become lighter by Monday night. Snow will taper off to light snow by Tuesday, before ending in all areas Tuesday night.

The greatest impacts will be associated with blowing snow and poor visibility in the high country Monday afternoon into the evening. 

WEATHER FORECASTS (as of Sun., Feb. 2)

NORTHEAST COLORADO: 

If precipitation starts late tonight or Monday morning, there will likely be light freezing drizzle with icing considerations mainly on bridges and overpasses. Interstate 76, I-270 and I-70 east are expected to be the most impacted. There may be a lull Monday afternoon before snow develops Monday evening.

I-25 & FRONT RANGE: 

Freezing drizzle expected to start tonight through Monday morning’s commute. The 285 corridor from C-470 to Conifer may see up to 12 inches of snow starting Monday afternoon, greatly impacting the commute through that area and posing hazardous conditions. Commuters should consider leaving early on Monday or teleworking if it is an option.

I-25 SOUTH GAP: 

Chance that precipitation starts earlier Monday morning as light freezing drizzle. Road temps should be initially warm enough to allow melting, but bridges and overpasses would be more susceptible to icing if freezing drizzle developed. Storm total snow is expected to be 5 to 7 inches of snow. Safety patrol will be out to help during this storm. 

WESTERN SLOPE, NORTHWEST, SOUTHWEST & CENTRAL COLORADO:

Hazardous travel will start Monday morning through Monday evening. Snow-packed, icy and blowing snow (with gusts up to 45 mph) conditions are likely. Motorists should anticipate an implementation of the Chain and Traction Laws and should not head up the mountains without the proper tire tread depth (3/16”) or chains. CSP will be helping enforce Chain and Traction Laws.

SOUTHEAST COLORADO: 

Patchy freezing drizzle possible Monday morning north of Highway 50. Initial warm roads should limit ice accumulation. Anticipated total snow amount is between one and three inches over the interstate with around four to eight inches across the West and Sangre De Cristo Mountains.

WHAT CDOT IS DOING 

STATEWIDE:

Across the state, where roads and highways are being impacted by accumulating snow, maintenance crews have been assigned to around-the-clock snow shifts beginning Monday morning. All available resources will be utilized. As snowfall rates increase, crews will focus on primary roads and reduce levels of service on secondary roads in an effort to reduce impacts to the main highways. Road closures for safety reasons are possible depending on conditions. 

WHAT MOTORISTS SHOULD DO

Due to colder temperatures throughout the duration of the storm, expect slick and icy conditions. Impacts are expected through the Tuesday morning to afternoon commute. Conditions can be treacherous during the brunt of the storm, and CDOT urges motorists to limit driving while it is snowing. However, if you must drive during the storm, keep these tips in mind:

  • Drive slowly and reduce your speed. 

  • Do not follow the car in front of you too closely. 

  • Do not pass the plows. 

  • Know before you go and take responsibility for your own safety. Check cotrip.org for the latest road conditions before heading out.

  • Make sure your car is prepared for winter conditions with the proper tires, a snow scraper, and other necessary items. Utilize this winter driving preparedness checklist for everything you need to have in your vehicle. 

  • Avoid peak weather periods and consider leaving work earlier than normal on Monday.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

 

REGIONAL PIO CONTACTS

For Denver Metro Region, and I-25 South Gap

Tamara Rollison, Region 1 Communications Manager

720.663.9552 | [email protected]

 

For Southeast Colorado 

Michelle Peulen, Region 2 Communications Manager
719.225.0667 Ι  [email protected] 

 

For Northwest/Western Slope 

Elise Thatcher, Region 3 Communications Manager
303.927.8299 Ι  [email protected]

 

For Northeast Colorado 

Jared Fiel, Region 4 Communications Manager
970.302.2846 Ι  [email protected]

 

For Southwest Colorado 

Lisa Schwantes, Region 5 Communications Manager
970.749-2015 Ι  [email protected]

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