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Here's why CDOT is warning you about slick roads tonight, despite a low snow forecast

Even a little snow can really disrupt traffic.

DENVER — Sure, the snowfall forecast is far from impressive tonight. But remember last Tuesday morning?  

CDOT signs around the metro area warned of the potential for slick roadways after dark tonight, despite a relatively unimpressive snowfall forecast. Most of the metro area will likely see less than an inch of snowfall overnight and into early Thanksgiving morning, though some locally higher amounts are possible along the Palmer Divide.   

VIDEO ABOVE: Tips to help prepare your car for winter weather

But as commuters last Tuesday morning (Nov. 15) and last Thursday (Nov. 17) might remember, it only takes a little bit of snow to cause a major headache on the roads. Traffic snarled parts of the metro area twice last week, despite relatively low snowfall totals on both occasions.   

Credit: Chris Bianchi

Tonight's snow will fall after dark and in temperatures in the 20s, meaning anything that falls will stick quickly. Conditions are ripe for a quick accumulation of light snow and ice on roadways, particularly between 8 p.m. on Wednesday night and 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.   

As a meteorologist, I think it’s extra important that people don’t just look at the snowfall totals forecast. If there’s any snow in the forecast – even if it’s ‘just’ a dusting or an inch – but if it’s going to fall during a commute or busy travel time, it can really disrupt traffic. With extra travel due to Thanksgiving and tonight’s snow falling after dark and likely to stick to roads quickly, please keep in mind that travel will probably be slow.  

If you're planning on traveling tonight (especially in the foothills or over the Palmer Divide), give yourself plenty of time - even though the snow forecast might not wow you. 


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