FRISCO — For those of you dreaming of a white Christmas, the Colorado high country is about to get plenty of the magical white stuff for the earlier fall holiday coming up this week — Thanksgiving. National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Schlatter reported predictions of two major storms and a week of cold temperatures.
According to Schlatter, the first snowstorm will begin Monday afternoon and will continue until Tuesday, Nov. 26, around noon. The storm is predicted to bring 4–8 inches of snow, with the lower end of the prediction being in towns and the higher end being up at the ski areas.
While this potentially big dump of snow on the mountains will be great for those already in Summit and Eagle counties who plan to stay, those attempting to drive up for the week — or down from the area into Denver — for the holidays are going to have a bit of a problem on I-70. The storm is going to be larger near the Denver/Boulder area and Schlatter reported that the east side of Interstate 70 may see up to a foot of snow on Monday night into Tuesday.
“I-70 could be a major problem Monday night into Tuesday,” Schlatter said.
Not surprisingly, it will also be cold.
“Tuesday, the snow is wrapping up,” Schlatter said. “It’s going to be in the upper teens to low 20s. I don’t see any good warm-ups this week.”
Schlatter added that temperatures will be in the 30s on Wednesday and Thursday.
The next storm, which comes in on Friday, Nov. 29, will potentially hit Summit and Eagle counties even harder. While Schlatter said the meteorology team isn’t as confident in how much snow will fall yet, he said that snow will cover the area for most of the day Friday into Saturday night. Schlatter reported that Summit County may see as much as a foot of snow and that temperatures will drop into the 20s.
With the second storm being on both a weekend and following Thanksgiving, this also poses a traffic problem. Margaret Bowes, executive director of the I-70 Mountain Corridor Coalition, advised that travelers visit goi70.com/travel to take a look at traffic volumes.
“Folks can plan around a high volume of traffic time,” Bowes said.
Bowes also recommended checking cotrip.org to find details about the current road conditions. Bowes added that with the weather and the holiday this week, it’s important for travelers to gather good information before getting into their cars.
“Good tire tread and all season or snow tires are very important,” Bowes said.
Although the weather may come at an inconvenient time for travelers, Bowes pointed out that Thanksgiving isn’t like Memorial Day weekend where everyone is likely traveling at the same time.
“One positive thing about the Thanksgiving holiday is the traffic volumes tend to be a little more spread out than other holidays,” Bowes said. “There’s a lot of people on the road, but they’re traveling on different times and days so that’s a positive.”
After Saturday, the National Weather Service sees things looking a bit drier with no more storms currently on their radar, according to Schlatter.