Winter storm could impact Thanksgiving travel in Colorado

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DENVER — A crush of travelers is expected to jam Colorado highways and airports over the Thanksgiving break, and the weather may not be so cooperative in some areas of the state.

A winter storm is expected to hit the state Monday night into Tuesday, bringing up to a foot of snow in some areas and below-freezing temperatures. The storm could impact travel along Interstate 70 and Interstate 25.

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Beginning early Monday, snow is forecasted to fall across the northern mountains and spread south and southeast across the central mountains through the day, according to the National Weather Service.

Snow should develop in Denver Monday evening with several inches possible and a foot or more in the mountains.

The snow should dissipate reasonably quickly by Tuesday afternoon, according to the NWS. Low temperatures overnight into Wednesday will be much colder with values into the single digits across the plains.

Another storm system may impact Colorado around Thanksgiving.

Flying out?

Transportation officials expect a 4% increase in the number air travelers nationwide from this time last year, a record number.

Denver International Airport is expecting more than 2-million travelers over the holiday break. The busiest days will be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after the holiday, which is projected to be both the busiest day of the week and the entire holiday season with over 211,000 travelers passing through DIA.

Here are some tips for dealing with the crowds:

— Check FlyDenver.com and digital monitors inside the terminal for information on TSA security wait times.

— Get to the airport early. TSA says it will use overtime and move screeners around to make sure checkpoints are adequately staffed, and that mostly worked over the summer.

— Check TSA’s website to make sure you’re not carrying prohibited items. “You wouldn’t believe some of the things that we see at our checkpoints each and every day, and the No. 1 thing we hear from passengers is, ‘I forgot it was there,’” said Patricia Cogswell, TSA’s acting deputy administrator.

— Sign up for a trusted-traveler programs like Precheck. It might not always save you that much time — Precheck lines can get long too — but at least you won’t have to take off shoes, belts and light jackets, and you can leave that tablet or laptop in your bag.

— Be patient, and get used to it. Travel demand is booming, so “passengers will continue to experience holiday-level travel volumes throughout the year, but this is our busiest time of the year,” said Kevin Burke, CEO of Airports Council International-North America, an airport trade group.