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CDOT warns of continuing tricky travel Sunday as more snow returns to state ski resorts, Front Range

 I-70 near Loveland Ski Area 2/7/20. Photo courtesy CDOT.
I-70 near Loveland Ski Area 2/7/20. Photo courtesy CDOT. (KKTV)
Published: Feb. 7, 2020 at 10:02 PM MST
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It was a banner weekend for Colorado ski resorts after a snowstorm dumped as much as 3 feet in the mountains Thursday into Friday.

Snow totals as of Saturday evening:

Skiers flocked to the mountains to enjoy all the fresh powder, with lines on some of the runs stretching so long, the wait was described as something out of Disney World.

Did you hear? Vail was just a liiiiittle busy today. Jamie Leary is among those brave souls.

Posted by CBS Denver on Saturday, February 8, 2020

It wasn't all fun and games: the storm wreaked havoc on the roads, shutting down a long section of I-70 leading into the mountains Friday, causing numerous crashes, and triggering snowslides along the interstate.

With another storm in the region Sunday, Colorado Department of Transportation has warned drivers to expect "slow and heavy traffic from the mountains towards the Front Range, and ... brace themselves for a very long Sunday trip home."

Better yet, CDOT urges people to consider staying put until Monday.

"CDOT crews have worked statewide, 24/7 to clear the snow and ice left behind from the latest storm. But Mother Nature is not done yet! Another storm will bring moderate to heavy snow to the northern mountains along I-70 this evening," the department wrote on Facebook Saturday night. "Along with snow expect gusting winds which will reduce visibility. Central mountains will see snow in the early morning hours Sunday and Monarch Pass will see wind gusts around 60 mph.

What do you need to know?

- If you made it to the mountains today, consider staying though Monday. Sunday return travel will be challenging due to extreme weather AND high volume of traffic.

- If you choose to travel be prepared for EXTENDED delays and CLOSURES."

for the latest travel alerts from CDOT.

CDOT provided an updated outlook for certain parts of the state Sunday into Tuesday:

Mountain snow and adverse conditions continue: A pattern of unsettled weather is expected through Tuesday. Today’s snowfall is associated with a cold front arriving from the north with snowfall ranging from 3” – 12” throughout the northern, central, southwestern mountains and passes (Cumbres/La Manga, Eisenhower Tunnel, Vail Pass, Berthoud Pass, Wolf Creek Pass, Hoosier Pass, La Veta Pass, Monarch Pass, McClure Pass, Coal Bank & Molas Pass) . By Monday, another weather disturbance is expected to drop out of Wyoming with the best period for snowfall favoring the southern half of Colorado. Snowfall through Tuesday will primarily be over the mountains, but lower elevations along and west of the I-25 Corridor will also see periods of light snow. Here in the Denver Metro area and some portions of the eastern Colorado plains, snowfall will continue until this evening creating icy conditions and snow packed areas of roadway. Use caution and slower speeds when traveling. Heavier snowfall is possible through Raton Mesa and southern plains on Monday and Tuesday if the tracks far enough north.

Mountain/Ski Traffic: Expect traction laws to be in place, your tires are your responsibility. DRIVERS MUST BE PREPARED FOR EXTENDED CLOSURES, EXTREME WEATHER AND HEAVY TRAFFIC ON I-70, US 285 AND OTHER MOUNTAIN ROUTES THROUGHOUT THE REMAINDER OF THE WEEKEND.

THERE WILL BE POTENTIAL FOR CLOSURES AND ADDITIONAL AVALANCHE CONTROL THROUGH THE WEEKEND.

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