snow on mountains by Highway 115, Colorado Springs

Severe winter weather will bring a foot or more of snow to much of Colorado through Tuesday night, at the same time that nearly a million Thanksgiving travelers will begin to mix with people commuting to and from work.

The National Weather Service warned that travel may become “impossible” across the I-25 urban corridor and north of I-70 across the Eastern Plains, according to a news release from AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley.

Thanksgiving travelers headed to or through Denver International Airport through Tuesday evening should expect delays and cancellations, according to AAA, and motorists should adjust their trips to avoid driving until the storm has passed.

“If you can’t wait out the entire storm, Thanksgiving travelers should at least stay off the roads during the Tuesday morning and evening commutes, when traffic will be at its worst,” the news release states.

Coloradans traveling Wednesday should plan for lengthy delays, as those with earlier travel plans will instead join them on the roads and at the airport on what was already the single busiest travel day of the period, McKinley said.

AAA Colorado will be fully staffed with essential personnel, and its emergency roadside assistance fleet will be out in full force — but high call volume, treacherous conditions, heavy traffic and road closures will lead to longer response times, McKinley said.

- Advertisement -

Moreover, emergency assistance vehicles are only able to rescue stranded motorists on open, maintained roads — meaning if a roadway is closed by an authority, AAA vehicles cannot legally and will not traverse it to provide emergency roadside assistance, according to the release.