Heavy snow expected in Colorado as NWS issues winter weather advisory

May 20, 2022

Ryan Witkowski

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A storm headed for northeastern Colorado is expected to bring heavy snowfall totals to the region.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory and freeze warning for multiple counties in the northeastern part of the state. The snow advisory began at noon on May 20 and was scheduled to last until 6 a.m. on May 21.

The Mountains of Summit County, the Mosquito Range, the Indian Peaks, and The Southern Front Range Foothills are expected to be hit the hardest, with snowfall estimates between 12-24 inches. The highest accumulation totals are expected at elevations of 7,000 feet or higher.

Heavy snow is expected over the northern mountains and foothills, spreading south and east through the day. The heaviest accumulating snow in the Denver metro area is expected to begin late Friday afternoon, continuing into Saturday morning. The possibility of heavy snow accumulating on trees and power lines are raising concerns about power outages in the area.

Currently, the state’s chain laws are still in effect.

The Colorado chain law requires, “commercial vehicles to have tire chains or an approved traction device in the vehicle from Sept. 1 to May 31 while on the I-70 corridor, from Dotsero (MM 133) to Golden (MM 259).”

For drivers who don’t want to chain up, or if conditions become impassible, waiting the storm out before entering the corridor is recommended.

“There is no truck parking east of milepost 133 or in the Vail Valley. Trucks waiting out a chain law or Vail Pass closure should not proceed past Dotsero – Exit 133,” the Colorado State Patrol’s website states. “If you have already passed milepost 133, you will need to chain up, if required. There is no long-term parking until you reach Denver. If you are traveling westbound, you will need to find parking in the metro Denver area before heading up the first grade near Morrison.”

At this time, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has not issued an emergency declaration regarding the forecasted storm. Updates to FMCSA emergency declarations can be found here. LL

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