Thanksgiving travelers may battle high winds, snow today
summit daily news
A blizzard forecast to hit the mountain region overnight, bringing snow, wind and very cold conditions, could throw a wrench into holiday travel plans to and from the Front Range today.
The storm could drop as much as 4 inches of new snow on Summit County by midnight tonight, but will also bring arctic temperatures and strong winds that could mean dangerous roads awaiting Thanksgiving travelers today.
At press time, snow was expected to begin late Tuesday night with winds at the peaks gusting up to 40 to 50 miles per hour.
“That, combined with the snow will definitely make for hazardous driving conditions,” National Weather Service meteorologist Lisa Kriederman said.
Summit County will likely stay cold today, with highs barely in the teens at lower elevations and not warming above the single digits at higher elevations. The wind-chill factor could make it feel as cold as -10 degrees.
Roads could also be icy after overnight temperatures froze water on the roads left behind by snow melted by Tuesday’s warmer weather.
The Colorado Department of Transportation will have its snow and ice removal services out in full force as the storm progresses to keep roads as clear as possible, but CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson still recommended travelers be prepared for a tough trip before leaving home.
“Give yourself plenty of time to travel,” Wilson said. “Watch the weather forecasts and make sure you’re aware of the road conditions up ahead.”
Wilson suggested drivers bring emergency supplies including water and blankets and plan for the normally 90-minute drive between Summit County and Denver to take longer.
CDOT is set to launch its heavy-tow program today, which can cut the time it takes to reopen lanes blocked by large vehicles down to 27 minutes. Still, delays caused by accidents or road closures as a result of winter weather conditions are possible.
Weather conditions are expected to clear up by Thanksgiving, but remain cold with Turkey Day temperatures between zero and 10 degrees.
SDN reporter Caddie Nath can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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