Significant spring storm this week will bring big snow (April 24-26)

Travel Advisory

April 24, 2023 - Statewide News - Motorists need to be prepared when driving on I-70 in the mountains and I-25 foothills

Statewide - A strong spring storm is expected to bring up to 20 inches of snow in some areas of the high country with the bulk of the snow anticipated from Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning. Rain and snow are anticipated to impact most of eastern Colorado Tuesday into Wednesday. Road conditions in the mountains will create difficult driving conditions during this storm and motorists are urged to avoid traveling in the high country, if possible.

National Weather Service expected snowfall accumulation map for April 24 to 26, 2023 across Colorado
National Weather Service expected snowfall accumulation map for April 24 to 26, 2023 across Colorado

Snow accumulations will mostly stay within the mountains and foothills and will be accompanied by strong wind gusts. The Palmer Divide (I-25 between Castle Rock and Colorado Springs) is anticipated to be impacted Tuesday evening. There is a potential for a flash freeze Wednesday morning across I-25 in Denver heading north making travel in the metro area difficult. The public can also expect bursts of heavy snow across the Denver/Fort Collins corridor and northeast plains.

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s snowfighting crews will be out in full force ahead of the storm and will remain on the roads clearing them of snow and ice until the storm is out of the area and the roads are safe. Motorists are urged to be mindful when driving near snowplows. It is always better to be traveling behind them rather than passing them. Motorists should never pass snowplows on the right.

Road closures are extremely likely, especially in areas that will see heavy snow and wind gusts. Motorists should always be prepared for the potential of being stopped due to adverse conditions or a crash. Items every motorist should have in their vehicle include water, snacks, phone charger, games (if traveling with children), sand, shovel and a full tank of gas. Motorists need to ensure they are traveling in a 4WD or AWD vehicle with 3/16” of tread depth and are carrying chains or approved alternative traction devices in the high likelihood a Passenger Vehicle Chain Law is activated in the high country.

If travel is unavoidable, motorists should visit or the COtrip Planner app to check on road closures and conditions as well as checking to see if there is a Traction or Chain Law in place. Motorists need to know what road conditions are like before traveling in order to make informed decisions.

What Motorists Should Know

  • Avoid or limit driving during the brunt of the storm. Many areas of the state will experience pavement impacts.
  • If you plan to travel, know before you go by checking out the latest weather conditions and visiting for road conditions (resources below).
  • Make sure your vehicle is winter ready with the appropriate tires for the weather and have a snow emergency kit.
  • Once you are out on the road, take it slow, no sudden stops and leave plenty of following distance.
  • Give plows space! Stay back three to four car lengths from snowplows.

Safety Closures

A safety closure is a precaution taken during inclement weather to reduce the probability of traffic incidents, increased congestion or other safety-related factors. During a safety closure, traffic may be stopped on the interstate, turned around or directed to an exit. Safety closures help decrease delay times, and, above all, keep travelers safe.

Chain & 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, and traffic/roadway condition alerts. For more information on the Traction Law and Passenger Vehicle Chain Law requirements, visit For more information on the Commercial Vehicle Chain Law requirements, visit To learn more and view helpful tips for winter driving, visit & COtrip Planner App

If motorists must head out during this winter storm, they are urged to visit and download the COtrip Planner app ahead of time. Motorists are now able to sign up for travel alerts through to see if there are any highway closures or impacts along their favorite routes. The COtrip Planner app also offers a “Trip Planner” feature that allows motorists to map out their routes and receive updates about road closures or incidents along the way. Motorists can turn on the “Hands-Free, Eyes Free” feature to receive these alerts via voice notifications and avoid routes with impacts.

The free COtrip Planner mobile app was designed to meet the growing trend of information on mobile and tablet devices for the traveling public. The COtrip Planner app provides statewide, real-time traffic information, and works on mobile devices that operate on the iOS and Android platforms. Visit the Google Play Store (Android devices) or the Apple Store (iOS devices) to download!

CDOT is also pleased to offer motorists the opportunity to track CDOT snow plows on the app and website, and can even follow some of our celebrity plows that were named by elementary school students last year. Using the snow plow tracker allows motorists to see where our plows have been and even see what the road conditions look like by viewing the cameras in the area of the plows. CDOT plows have thousands of miles of roadway to maintain, so motorists are asked to please be patient and are reminded to never pass a plow on the right or while in echelon formation. It is always safer to stay behind a plow.

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: