Snowplows were out in force in Colorado Springs on Monday night, and police went on accident alert just before 7 p.m. - a status expected to remain through the Tuesday morning commute.
Icy, snowpacked roads caused some schools - including Falcon District 49, Academy District 20, Colorado Springs District 11 and Cheyenne Mountain District 12 - to announce delayed starts for Tuesday. Colorado Springs Christian Schools, the Monument Academy and St. Mary's High School were also among schools announcing delays.
Icy roads on Fort Carson prompted Army officials to delay reporting for non-essential personnel until 9:30 a.m. Air Forces bases in the Colorado Springs area also are on delays.
Some flights have been delayed or canceled at Colorado Springs Airport and Denver International Airport as the Midwest deals with severe winter weather, affecting thousands of flights around the country.
More than 30 plows were deployed across the city as of 9 p.m. Monday night.
"The storm came in and dropped more than we expected. We were expecting 1.7 inches." said Jack Ladley, the city's snow manger on duty. "Somewhere between 6 and 8 p.m. we got between 2 and 3 inches."
Drivers traveling on Interstate 25 between Pueblo and Fort Collins faced a slower-than-usual commute Monday evening because of slick roads and snow.
Motorists on I-25 south from Denver to Colorado Springs were seeing speeds 20 miles below the posted limit around 6 p.m., said Tanya Bowen, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation's traffic center. While the Denver metro area had seen some accidents as the snow began to stick, no major accidents had been reported south of Denver, Bowen said.
"Latest indications show that snow should continue through midnight, with lighter activity continuing possibly until sunrise," said National Weather Service meteorologist John Kalina. The area between Colorado Springs and Monument could see a total nighttime accumulation of between 1 to 4 inches of snow, he said.
"It's cold out there; you'll have to be careful on the roadways," Kalina said, adding that drivers will have to remain careful for the next 12 hours.
Kalina predicted a slight chance of morning snow Tuesday, and warmer temperatures expected by Wednesday. "This looks like the main event for the week." Kalina said.