The light snow expected to fall in Colorado on Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day, may not bring traffic to a standstill, but travelers can expect long lines at the airport, and far more vehicles on the roads than usual.
In Cortez, the National Weather Service is forecasting a slight chance of snow on Thanksgiving, with a high near 40 and a low about 19. Friday is expected to be mostly sunny, with a high near 38.
Highs in Cortez on Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to reach about 50. Lows are expected to be about 31 on Tuesday and 26 on Wednesday.
Skies over Colorado are expected to be sunny or mostly sunny.
There is a chance of light snow over the Front Range, Central Rockies and Northern Colorado beginning on Wednesday and continuing into Thursday.
Front Range temperatures will sink into the low 20s on Wednesday night and it will remain cold through Friday, before climbing to 38 degrees or so on Saturday.
The cold could cause icy conditions on some roads, and lead to some airline delays, said David Barjenbruch, a meteorologist with the weather service in Boulder.
“There are no big storms lurking, this will be more a nuisance snow, light snow, but a lot colder. Allow for some extra time,” Barjenbruch said.
Wednesday through Sunday, about 766,000 Coloradans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, with 87 percent of them traveling by car, said Wave Dreher, AAA-Colorado spokeswoman.
Dreher recommends that travelers get a good night’s sleep rather than start long trips after work. “Don’t drive drowsy, instead of leaving work Tuesday and hitting the road in the middle of the night, wait until Wednesday. And always leave plenty of time to get where you are going, because if you do get into snowy and icy conditions it is the speed that is going to get you into trouble.”
Drivers will find it cheaper to drive during the weekend than they have since 2008, Dreher said. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in Colorado was $1.98 on Sunday, compared to $2.94 a gallon during the same period last year.
Thanksgiving Day typically brings the lowest number of travelers during the long holiday weekend to Colorado’s roads, said Bob Wilson, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Most people should have reached their destinations when the snow is heaviest, Wilson said.
“What is good is that is historically our lowest travel day, every year is the same pattern,” Wilson said.