Storm lightens up, leaves wet, slushy roads across Denver area

Posted at 11:39 PM, May 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-19 23:53:14-04

DENVER -- The worst of the late spring snowstorm may be over, but the cold temperatures have created slushy roads across the Denver metro area Friday morning, making for a slow commute as Coloradans anxiously prepare for the weekend. 

Winter Storm Warnings are still in effect for the Denver metro and the central and northern mountains along and east of the Continental Divide. 

Total snow will accumulate to nearly 4 feet above 10,000 feet with 1-2 feet between 7,000 and 10,000 feet, according to First Alert Weather Chief Meteorologist Mike Nelson.

The downtown Denver area and elevations between 5,000 and 6,000 feet can expect 1 to 3 inches of slushy snow by Friday morning as well, which means the roads will be impacted as you head into work.

Another 3 to 6 inches are possible in Larimer County west of Fort Collins, which will bring some totals up to 4 feet of snow. In the Fort Collins area, expect to see 2 to 4 inches of snow by Friday morning, Nelson said. 

Allow extra time as you get out the door

Temperatures dropped to around 30 to 32 degrees overnight, which created icy spots in some areas. Give yourself at least an extra 30 minutes to get to where you need to go. 

Interstate 25 will be bad north of Denver in the morning and Interstate 70 will be a little treacherous going up the canyon. Highway 287 from Fort Collins to the Wyoming border will also be bad, Nelson said. 

Friday will stay very cool and unsettled with the slushy snow turning mostly back to lighter rain showers in the metro area. Snow will continue in the foothills and mountains - mainly above 7,000 feet.  Highs will stay in the low to mid 40s -- about 30 degrees colder than average for mid-May. 

Don't plan on going to Rocky Mountain National Park 

As the storm moved from across the state, Rocky Mountain National Park officials announced Thursday evening that due to "deteriorating road conditions," all roads on the east side of RMNP were closed to vehicle traffic until further notice.

That changed Friday afternoon, when officials announced several roads were back open. 

"Trail Ridge Road has reopened to Many Parks Curve. Access to the park from the Fall River Entrance and the Beaver Meadows Entrance has reopened. Bear Lake Road has reopened to Sprague Lake. The upper portion of Bear Lake Road above Sprague Lake, as well as the Bear Lake parking lot, are expected to reopen sometime tomorrow," RMNP officials said in a press release Friday.  

But there are still some closures. 

"Roads still closed include the Endovalley Road from the US 34 junction, Moraine Park Road from the Bear Lake Road junction to the Fern Lake Trailhead, Wild Basin Road at the Sandbeach Trailhead, and Upper Beaver Meadows Road," officials said. 

Trail Ridge Road on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park is open to the Colorado River Trailhead. 


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