What? Snow in May? - One more time for winter weather, expected to visit the Front Range and the I-70 Mountain Corridor this weekend!

Travel Advisory

May 19, 2022 - Central/Eastern Colorado - Stash the flip-flops and be ready for snowy conditions

Denver — Just when we’re getting settled into summer-time weather, a blast of winter is headed our way. Some of us may have summer-induced amnesia, forgetting all about wintry road conditions and the need to prepare for snow. CDOT urges motorists to remember the basics - watch the weather, prepare for snow and drive safely for the conditions. We have all the critical safety tips at the bottom of this release should you have forgotten.

image of snow-covered CDOT maintenance vehicle

We’re not done yet!

Rain followed by heavy wet snow is expected to impact much of the Denver region, the I-70 Mountain Corridor and the Colorado Springs region beginning Friday morning and lasting through Saturday.

CDOT crews will go into full snow-shift in advance of the storm on Friday. Roads will not be pre-treated. Since the storm is starting out as rain, the wet conditions would wash away materials. Much of the snow is expected to melt at first due to warm pavement temperatures and then turn to heavy slush particularly on the I-70 Mountain Corridor Friday morning through Saturday. Wet pavement followed by slushy conditions are expected in lower elevations along the Front Range Friday afternoon through Saturday. Another challenging area is expected to be I-25 between Denver and Monument, where the heavy wet snow can make for hazardous driving conditions. Motorists should be prepared for slick conditions and avoid driving during the worst of the storm.

Crews will focus first on the interstates and other major state-maintained roadways with the highest traffic volumes. Once the storm subsides, crews will plow other state routes

Motorists often believe that CDOT maintains local and residential roads, including neighborhood streets. However, cities and counties are responsible for local and residential roads—not CDOT.

What Motorists Should Know:

  • Monitor weather conditions and plan ahead - avoid or limit driving during the worst of the storm which is expected to be Friday through Saturday.
  • Monitor road conditions by visiting COtrip.org.
  • When out on the roads, have the appropriate tires for the weather with at least 3/16 inch of tread (need the winter tires one more time!).
  • Take it slow and leave plenty of space behind the vehicle ahead.
  • Leave plenty of space behind plows.
  • Most crashes are caused by driving too fast, following too closely and not having the appropriate tires for the weather.
  • Don’t forget to give plows plenty of room and avoid passing them. Also remember that it’s illegal to pass a snowplow when it is operating in a tandem formation with one or more snowplows. CDOT experienced an increase in struck plows throughout the 2021-22 winter season, which limits our ability to snow clearing activities.

Know Before You Go

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:

Chain and Traction Laws

When weather conditions warrant, CDOT will activate the Traction Law. If weather conditions deteriorate, CDOT will activate Chain Laws for passenger and commercial vehicles. Motorists will be alerted to an active Traction or Chain Law by highway signage, COtrip.org and traffic/roadway condition alerts. For more information on the Traction Law and Passenger Vehicle Chain Law requirements, visit codot.gov/travel/winter-driving/tractionlaw. For more information on the Commercial Vehicle Chain Law requirements, visit codot.gov/travel/colorado-chain-law. To learn more and view helpful tips for winter driving, visit winter.codot.gov.