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Thanksgiving Snowstorm

Colorado Braces for Thanksgiving Snowstorm: Safety Tips for Holiday Travelers

DENVER, COLORADO – Colorado residents and holiday travelers are advised to brace for a moderate snowstorm expected to hit the state starting late Thursday, continuing through early Saturday. The National Weather Service has issued a weather briefing highlighting key messages about the upcoming weather event, which is set to impact Thanksgiving return travel.

Moderate Snowfall Expected

Beginning Thursday evening, moderate snowfall is anticipated across various parts of Colorado. The forecast suggests that the northern foothills could experience locally heavy snow. Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing on both Friday and Saturday, adding to the travel challenges.

Winter Weather Highlights

  • Winter Storm Warning: Areas including the Northern Foothills, Fort Collins, Boulder, and Western Denver Metro suburbs should expect total snow accumulations of 4-10 inches, with higher totals possible in the foothills. The warning is in effect from 4 PM Thursday to 5 AM Saturday.

  • Winter Weather Advisory:

    • For the I-70 Mountains, the advisory is in effect from midnight Thursday night until noon Saturday, predicting 3-7 inches of snow, heaviest east of the divide.
    • The Southern Foothills and eastern Plains are also under an advisory from 8 PM Thursday until 5 AM Saturday, expecting 2-5 inches of snow.

Forecast Confidence

  • Timing: High confidence that snowfall will start Thursday evening, with the heaviest snowfall expected through sunrise on Friday, and light snow lingering into Saturday.
  • Snowfall Amounts: There is medium confidence in the forecasted snowfall amounts. While moderate snowfall is expected for most areas, the foothills may experience heavier amounts. Forecast amounts may change in the coming hours.
  • Impact: Widespread minor travel impacts are expected, with the possibility of locally moderate impacts.

Travel Safety Tips

With the forecasted snowstorm, it’s crucial for those traveling during the holiday period to take extra precautions. Here are some essential safety tips:

  1. Plan Ahead: Check the weather forecast and road conditions before setting out. Allow extra travel time to reach your destination safely.

  2. Vehicle Preparedness: Ensure your vehicle is winter-ready. This includes checking tire tread, battery, brakes, windshield wipers, and antifreeze levels. Carry chains if required.

  3. Emergency Kit: Keep an emergency kit in your car that includes items like blankets, water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, a first aid kit, and a fully charged power bank.

  4. Drive Cautiously: Reduce speed and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Be aware of potentially icy conditions, especially on bridges and overpasses.

  5. Stay Informed: Listen to local news or a weather app for updates on road conditions and possible road closures.

  6. If Stranded: Stay with your vehicle and wait for help. Keep the interior dome light on if it’s dark, and run the engine and heater sparingly to conserve fuel.

By following these guidelines, travelers can ensure their safety while navigating through the snowy conditions expected over the Thanksgiving weekend. Stay safe and warm, Colorado!

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

Learn more about how we protect public lands and prevent SAR calls through education & advocacy.

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