Heavy Snowstorm Shuts Down Highway 285 in Colorado, Disrupting Mother's Day Travel

A powerful spring snowstorm has closed State Highway 285 over Kenosha Pass in Colorado, with snow falling at 2-3 inches per hour and accumulating over a foot in some areas. The storm has caused power outages, treacherous driving conditions, and disrupted Mother's Day travel plans.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Heavy Snowstorm Shuts Down Highway 285 in Colorado, Disrupting Mother's Day Travel

Heavy Snowstorm Shuts Down Highway 285 in Colorado, Disrupting Mother's Day Travel

A powerful spring snowstorm has wreaked havoc in Colorado's Park and Teller counties, forcing the closure of State Highway 285 over Kenosha Pass. The National Weather Service reported snow falling at an intense rate of 2-3 inches per hour in the affected areas, accumulating to over a foot in the town of Alma near the Continental Divide.

Why this matters: The sudden and intense snowstorm highlights the unpredictability of spring weather in Colorado, which can have significant impacts on transportation and daily life. The disruption to Mother's Day travel also underscores the importance of staying informed about weather conditions and road closures to ensure safety.

The Colorado Department of Transportation announced the closure of both directions of Highway 285 at 7:30 a.m. due to a stalled vehicle. The heavy, wet snow has created treacherous driving conditions, prompting the National Weather Service's Boulder office to advise against travel over central mountain highways.

The unsettled Mother's Day weather is the result of a low-pressure system that has brought significant moisture to the state. While the mountains are blanketed in snow, lower elevations are experiencing rain showers. CBS News Colorado Meteorologist Joe Ruch expects the precipitation to continue until late Sunday night.

The storm has also caused power outages, with Xcel Energy reporting up to 3,700 customers without electricity, mainly in the Breckenridge, Fairplay, and Leadville areas. 9NEWS Meteorologist Chris Bianchi described the storm as "serious" in higher elevations, with some parts of the mountains receiving over "a foot of snow."

Despite the current weather disruptions, temperatures are expected to rebound into the mid-70s on Monday and Tuesday. Motorists are advised to check the latest travel information at cotrip.org and ensure their vehicles are equipped with necessary safety gear in case of road closures. The Colorado Department of Transportation may implement additional closures if spinouts or other incidents occur along the highways.

The heavy snowfall has significantly impacted travel plans for many on this Mother's Day weekend. With snow accumulating at over a foot in some areas and falling at rates of 2-3 inches per hour, the storm has demonstrated the unpredictable nature of spring weather in the Colorado mountains.

Key Takeaways

  • Spring snowstorm closes State Highway 285 over Kenosha Pass in CO.
  • Snow falls at 2-3 inches/hour, accumulating over a foot in some areas.
  • Heavy snow causes treacherous driving conditions and power outages.
  • Travel disruptions expected until late Sunday night, rebounding to 70s on Monday.
  • Motorists advised to check cotrip.org for latest travel info and safety gear.