With a major winter snow storm pounding the central Colorado Rockies, heavy snow will continue to cause extremely difficult travel in the Colorado mountains, at least through Friday night, Feb. 7.

CDOT conducted avalanche work on Monarch Pass in late winter 2019. Photo courtesy of CDOT.

The National Weather Service has continued its winter storm warning for the mountains including Interstate 70 between Avon and Georgetown for eight to 18 inches of additional snow east of Vail Pass and 5 to 10 inches of additional snow west of Vail Pass.

Bands of heavy snow combined with blowing and drifting snow are expected to continue through Friday evening, making for extremely difficult travel in the Colorado mountains through Friday night.

Commercial chain laws are in effect for most major mountain roads including I-70, U.S. 40, U.S. 24, U.S. 285 and U.S. 550. At the moment I-70 is closed both directions at the Eisenhower Tunnel for avalanche mitigation.

Several road closures are in effect, with the latest information available on Cotrip.org

The Colorado Department of Transportation has intermittently closed I-70 in several slide-prone areas, while conducting avalanche mitigation. That work late Thursday evening, stopping hundreds of motorists in Summit County. Overnight, a civil emergency was declared in Summit County.

Avalanche Warnings have been expanded in the mountains; now including nearly every mountain area north of U.S. 50. Officials are warning that no back country skiing is advised, adding that avalanches “large enough to bury and kill a person are likely” through Saturday morning.

A second front is expected to move into the mountains late Saturday evening into Sunday, Feb. 9, dropping several inches of more snow.