The Colorado Department of Transportation wants everyone to be prepared for long travel delays the weekend of February 9 headed into and out of the high country.

Bad weather in Denver and Vail are likely to cause headaches for weekend commuters throughout the mountains around Interstate 70 this weekend, CDOT says.

Motorists going west Friday afternoon and Saturday morning should give themselves at least an extra 30 to 45 minutes just to get from Denver to the Eisenhower Tunnel. Even heading eastbound on I-70, drivers should definitely get ready for serious delays on Saturday and Sunday afternoon as ski traffic returns to the metro.

Weather resources:

Your Colorado forecast

Traffic conditions

2 - 5 inches expected in the metro

But it's not just heavy traffic that will cause headaches - the weather visiting Denver and the foothills will also pose risks.

Cold, wind and - yes - snow are returning to Colorado in force this weekend. Those driving Friday evening need to be prepared for a freezing drizzle in the Denver area, along Interstate 25 north, on Interstate 76 and throughout the Eastern Plains.

HELPFUL | Driving Smart: Winter driving tips

RELATED | Winter weather is here. Get your car ready

Snow accumulations will start to pick up big time Friday night throughout Saturday and into Sunday morning, CDOT says; the central mountains and the I-70 corridor are expected to see the worst of it. Mountain passes throughout the state will also see hefty snowfall.

All this to say visibility will also be an issue for everyone on the roads. It will be worst at the Eisenhower Tunnel and on the Loveland, Vail and Berthoud Passes.

Wind gusts topping 50 mph in the mountains are also expected.