Colorado weather: Snow and frigid temperatures will make Thursday’s evening commute difficult

A snowy day at Washington Park. Nov. 17, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
A snowy day at Washington Park. Nov. 17, 2022.

Updated 2:58 p.m.

A major snowstorm is bringing very cold temperatures and the most snow yet this season to the I-25 corridor, with the heaviest snowfall expected during rush hour.

Meteorologists estimate 5 to 10 inches of snow could fall in the northern Front Range between Fort Collins and Denver. A Winter Storm Warning also includes cities like Longmont, Boulder, Golden, Arvada and Lakewood. The Continental Divide will also see several inches. 

Snow started to accumulate before noon unexpectedly, and it’s just a glimpse of what’s to come later on Thursday. The National Weather Service is warning roads will be slippery and dangerous through Friday morning. 

“Any snow that falls after 3 p.m. is either instantly going to freeze or stick to roads,” NWS meteorologist Paul Schlatter said. “Tonight’s temperatures will be around five degrees for much of the plains of Colorado and even the foothills.”

Commuters are being urged to take it slow, keep headlights on and only drive if necessary. CDOT has deployed more than 100 plows to focus on areas around Denver and along I-70. Crews will be working to treat and clear major interstates through Friday morning. 

The city of Denver will open warming shelters if temperatures reach 10 degrees — a threshold that’s under review after backlash from doctors and activists. Lows there are expected to drop to the single digits on Thursday and Friday nights.

Southern Colorado will see less accumulation, with Colorado Springs expected to get up to 2 inches. 

Vail could see a couple of inches with a bit more expected to fall in Steamboat Springs, while Grand Junction will stay clear.

The Auraria Campus in Denver closed at 3 p.m. due to the weather.