DENVER (CBS4) – May snow is nothing unusual in Colorado but for those visiting or passing through from other parts of the country it can be a huge surprise. Heavy snow was falling along Interstate 70 near the Continental Divide early Monday and it was already causing accidents and slow travel.

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The snow will become moderate to heavy at times by late Monday into the morning hours on Tuesday and it could really pile up along heavily traveled mountains roads, including Interstate 70 and U.S. Highways 40 and 285.

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The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the area with a snow forecast ranging from 8-16 inches. Because the snow will be heavy and wet and temperatures will hover around freezing some melting will occur during the day.

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(credit: CBS)

Once the sun sets Monday night we expect widespread travel issues to develop through the mountains. Those conditions will persist into the mid-morning hours on Tuesday. As a reminder it is Colorado state law for commercial vehicles to carry chains or approved traction devices along Interstate 70, between mile markers 133-259, from September 1 to May 31.

(credit: CBS)

Chris Spears