Weekend snowstorm shuts down interstate travel near Denver

Traffic on Interstate 25 was backed up for hours Sunday in the Denver area due to at least two separate multi-vehicle pileups during a snowstorm. Road closures ensued.

Related: Chaining up: 4 pro tips for truckers

Denver police tweeted they were investigating a multiple-vehicle crash around 4 p.m. MT on the northbound side of I-25. According to the Denver Fire Department, at least 50 vehicles were involved. No serious injuries were reported.

The northbound lanes were closed as traffic was diverted onto surface streets. The Denver Police Department issued accident alerts after the crashes.

Hours earlier, another multiple-vehicle crash occurred on the southbound side of I-25, with at least 20 vehicles involved in this accident.

Authorities said five people were injured in the second pileup, but there were no fatalities. They also said the crash was weather-related and lanes were closed.

Another snowstorm will likely hit the Rockies from late Monday through early Thursday, particularly the high elevations. The National Weather Service has issued winter weather advisories and winter storm watches in parts of Montana, southeastern Idaho, western and southeastern Wyoming, as well as western Colorado.

Initial forecasts have snow totals of up to 12 inches in some mountain locations, with just a few inches in lower elevations and in Denver. Gusty winds are possible, producing low visibility and potential whiteout conditions due to blowing and drifting snow. Drivers will have to chain up and be ready for road closures again.

Related: 5 states with toughest chain laws for truckers

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 15 from Salt Lake City to Butte, Montana.
• Interstate 25 from Denver to Buffalo, Wyoming.
• Interstate 70 from Denver to the Interstate 15 junction in Utah.
• Interstate 80 from North Platte, Nebraska, to Salt Lake City.
• Interstate 90 in Montana from Missoula to Butte.

Other notable weather this week

Thunderstorms could produce torrential rain, severe winds and a few isolated tornadoes Monday from the Southeast to the mid-Atlantic. Major cities in the potential risk zone include Atlanta; Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama; Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee; Lexington, Kentucky; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia; Washington; in addition to Baltimore.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Source: https://www.freightwaves.com/news
Editor: Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist