Holiday travelers in central and eastern Colorado, along with neighboring states, should brace for challenging conditions characterized by heavy snow, high winds, limited visibility, and potential road closures.
At approximately 9 p.m. on December 25, a significant incident unfolded on westbound Interstate 70 in Burlington, as a semi-truck jackknifed, leading to a subsequent collision with another vehicle. This resulted in the closure of all lanes on the highway.
While the Colorado State Patrol confirmed injuries, details regarding the number and severity of these injuries were not immediately available.
Situated about 170 miles east of Denver and 15 miles west of the Colorado-Kansas state line, Burlington became a focal point of weather-related disruptions.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Boulder issued a warning, advising individuals to stay informed about forecasts and consider alternate routes or adjustments to travel plans.
The NWS highlighted the escalation of snow and wind in western Nebraska and northwest Kansas, predicting worsening conditions as the evening progressed.
"There's a little snow and blowing snow in western Nebraska and northwest Kansas now, but it will get worse by this evening, as snow and wind increase," NWS Boulder said. "Blizzard conditions will develop from South Dakota across western Nebraska to east central Colorado and northwest Kansas tonight, and continue through Tuesday. Very difficult and dangerous travel, and road closures, are likely in these areas."
In addition, Blizzard conditions were anticipated to unfold from South Dakota across western Nebraska to east-central Colorado and northwest Kansas, persisting through Tuesday. The NWS also emphasized the likelihood of very challenging and hazardous travel, coupled with potential road closures in these regions.
These adverse impacts were expected to endure through Tuesday, prompting officials to caution against undertaking travel in these areas without adequate preparation.
“A look at expected snowfall and intensity as it spreads southwest overnight. Note how most accumulating snow sticks to the higher ridges favored by strong NNW flow. Snow rates not all that high, but in combination with strong winds means Blizzard in those snowier areas.” NWS Boulder reported.
Colorado State Patrol took to Twitter to announce a blizzard warning in effect for I-70 in eastern Colorado, signaling rapidly deteriorating road conditions. Travel was deemed highly dangerous and strongly discouraged as conditions were anticipated to worsen throughout the day and into the following day.
"A blizzard warning is now in effect in eastern Colorado on I-70," Colorado State Patrol tweeted Monday afternoon. "Road conditions are rapidly deteriorating and conditions will continue to worsen throughout today and tomorrow. Travel will be very dangerous and is highly discouraged!"