Wind gusts could hit highway speeds amid a Sunday snowstorm in Colorado Springs, prompting a blizzard warning in parts of the Pikes Peak region.
The heaviest snow is expected to hit in northern El Paso and Teller counties, where some places could get a foot of powder. Most of Colorado Springs will see less than 3 inches of snow, but heavy winds will make driving treacherous, forecasters with the National Weather Service predict.
Some gusts might reach as high as 50 mph, forecaster Kathy Torgerson said.
She said the snow will start about 5 a.m. Sunday with 1 to 3 inches of snow expected downtown, and northern El Paso and Teller counties might get 5 to 10 inches and, in some places, a foot.
Blowing snow will tangle traffic on I-25 north of Colorado Springs into Denver, and Colorado 94 and U.S. 24 east will be very dangerous, Torgerson said.
El Paso County spokesman Dave Rose said plow crews will be ready to act if snow starts.
“The trucks are loaded with sand and gassed up, and the crews are on standby,” Rose said.
In Colorado Springs, snow plows hit the road at 4:30 a.m. Sunday. The city said the most-traveled streets will be cleared first.
Several churches moved to cancel Sunday services in advance of the storm including Tri-Lakes Chapel, which called off an 8:30 a.m. service.
The Colorado Department of Transportation will have more than 300 plows removing snow and salting or de-icing roads. CDOT issued a statement Saturday night that road closures are possible, and motorists should check road closure information before traveling.
The snow is expected to slow down around 2 p.m. Sunday in Colorado Springs, but a blizzard warning was expected to remain in place until 11 p.m. for northern El Paso and Teller counties.
In Denver, airport officials told the Associated Press that dozens of flights have been cancelled ahead of a snowstorm expected to dump nearly a foot of snow in the area.
Denver International Airport said Saturday that airlines have reported about 80 cancellations for flights arriving or leaving before noon Sunday. Heavy snow and high wind gusts are expected in Denver and northeastern Colorado starting Saturday night.