A cold, blustery storm passing through central, eastern and southern Colorado is expected to impact travels on the road and in the air Thursday into Friday, meteorologists and the state Department of Transportation warned.
The National Weather Service in Pueblo predicted a high of 30 degrees and low of 6 Thursday in Colorado Springs, dropping to a high of 20 degrees and a low of 4 Friday. Though flurries are possible through the day Thursday, notable snow is expected to start about 10 p.m. and last through 11 p.m. Friday.
The Pikes Peak region won’t see much accumulation, though overnight snow has closed the Pikes Peak Highway beyond mile 6. The heaviest amounts in the forecast (1 to 4 inches) should fall across the eastern San Juan mountains and western side of the San Luis valley, the weather service said.
Winds are expected to blow between 15 and 20 mph. Wind chill values could plummet as low as -5 degrees Thursday night into Friday, and -10 degrees Friday night.
In the eastern plains, winds could gust up to 50 mph and with an additional inch of snow through Thursday morning. Road conditions near the Kansas border will “rapidly deteriorate” with the incoming blizzard.
Already traffic is building on Interstate 70, with heavy traffic reported between westbound mile markers 259 and 215 and a full closure between exits 87 (U.S. 6) and 75 (Rifle).
Elsewhere in the state, CDOT predicted lesser impacts:
• Light snow was expected in the Denver metro area, with minimal accumulation. CDOT crews pre-treated elevated roads, including I-25 along Monument Hill and high bridges and overpasses.
• Heavy accumulation isn’t expected along the I-70 mountain corridor from Vail Pass over to Eisenhower Tunnel, but light snow might fall and cold temperatures could create icy conditions.
• More “significant snowfall” is expected on mountain passes in southwest Colorado. Avalanche control work might cause delays along higher mountain passes “while operations are taking place and then plows clear the roads.” Avalanche control work started on U.S. 550 near Ouray early Thursday.
CDOT reported icy conditions on portions of I-25 Thursday morning, including between Colorado Springs and Douglas County, mile markers 141 through 193.
The commercial chain law on Raton Pass on I-25 between mile markers 11 and 0 was lifted just after 5:30 a.m. Thursday, though CDOT warned of very icy roads and slowed traffic.
All flights out of the Colorado Springs Airport to Dallas-Fort Worth have been canceled, except flight 2788, which was delayed from 5:45 a.m. to 10:55 a.m.
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