ASPEN - The mountains surrounding Aspen and Snowmass are under a winter storm warning until 6 p.m. Wednesday, but Wednesday morning is shaping up as the best bet for a powder day, forecasters agree.
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction, forecasting for a broad region that encompasses the Gore and Elk mountains, including Aspen, Vail, Snowmass, Crested Butte, Taylor Park and Marble, was predicting 10 to 20 inches in the mountains and as much as 30 inches on southwest- to west-facing aspects above 9,000 feet.
High winds and hazardous travel conditions will accompany the storm, the weather service said Monday. The heaviest snowfall is expected to occur Tuesday night.
The weather service's forecast for Aspen called for 7 to 13 inches Tuesday and Tuesday night and more snow Wednesday.
The aspenweather.net blog, which provides a much more localized forecast, said "nice accumulations" were likely Tuesday night and a few more inches could fall Wednesday morning.
Aspen and Snowmass came up on the short end of weekend snows. While Aspen Mountain reported 2 inches of new snow Saturday morning and 1 inch Sunday, Sunlight Mountain Resort near Glenwood Springs picked up 11 inches over the same period.
On Monday, Aspen was reporting a 19-inch base on top, while Sunlight posted a 30-inch base up top.
Early Monday, Aspen Mountain reported 2 inches of new snow over the previous 24 hours.
Other resorts were all over the map accumulation-wise. Sunlight reported 4 inches Monday morning, but Monarch, west of Salida, reported 10 inches. Crested Butte, over the Elk Mountains to the south of Aspen, picked up 6 inches. So did Powderhorn and Vail. Steamboat reported 8 inches Monday morning. Snow magnet Wolf Creek in southwest Colorado had 9 inches in its report Monday morning and 30 inches over the previous 48 hours.