Originally Posted by cantunamunch
It's a trick - he's in one of the top-10 driest-in-winter states in the US. He's not beating you on temps - he's beating you on low moisture. The only black ice he's ever likely to encounter is refrozen spring melt, measured in feet or tens of feet not miles and miles of (and months after we've already put summer tires on). Even compressed-snow ice on roadways will barely last to the next snowfall.
This. Thank you.
Even well into the mountains, Ice and snow on roadways are no match for blue skies, sun, and in many cases above freezing temps. On the front range corridor where something like 90&+ of the population lives, it is a rare storm that leaves snowpack on roads past 10 AM.
Temps in CO tend to be warmer than one would expect in the frozen north too. Below 9,000 feet, most days will get above freezing through most of winter.
The black ice that is encountered almost all happens from storms that start as heavy rain, and then see sudden temp drops to a full freeze- fast enough to freeze the rain before it can drain off the road surface. On the East side of the divide, storms like that are rare (maybe 1 a year), because from November to end of Feb almost all December precipitation comes down as snow- cooled from transiting the mountains. It is a bit more common on the Western Slope, but rare.
If roads really are black ice skating rink slick, they get closed.
Bottom line- if I encountered 6 days in a winter where I needed snows to be confident that I could keep the car on the road, I would get snows. I got my first Subaru in 2003, which happens to be the last year I 1) Worried seriously about getting anywhere in the winter regardless of road condition, and 2) bought snows.