Aspen forecast: Snow, more snow
December 16, 2008
ASPEN ” Aspen Mountain, Highlands and Snowmass all reported 4 inches of new snow Tuesday morning, but several resorts in southern Colorado were boasting a foot of fresh powder from the latest storm system to move across the state.
Sunlight Mountain Resort outside of Glenwood Springs also reported 4 inches of new snow on Tuesday, while Buttermilk reported 2 inches of fresh stuff.
Snow is expected to continue through Thursday, according to the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. Aspen’s forecast calls for 2 to 4 additional inches on Tuesday, 1 to 3 inches Tuesday night, 1 to 3 inches Wednesday and 2 to 4 inches on Thursday.
A 50 percent chance of snow remains in Friday’s forecast, but temperatures are expected to plunge Friday night, with overnight lows of 5 below to 5 above. Saturday’s forecast calls for highs of 10 to 20 and wind-chill readings of zero to 10 below.
On the heels of a weekend storm that brought close to 2 feet of new snow to local slopes, a new series of disturbances moved into western Colorado on Monday afternoon.
On Tuesday morning, Durango Mountain Resort and Wolf Creek in south/southwest Colorado both reported 12 inches of new snow over the past 24 hours, and Wolf Creek was reporting 21 inches over the past 48 hours. Silverton Mountain reported 14 inches of new snow, but Telluride, also in the southwest, picked up just 5 inches.
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Elsewhere, Crested Butte, to the south of Aspen, reported 8 inches of new snow over the past 24 hours. Beaver Creek reported 4 inches, Vail picked up 3 inches and Breckenridge had 2 inches.
While the local snowfall continued to make for a slow commute between Aspen and Glenwood Springs on Highway 82, which has been snowpacked since the weekend, school was in session for Aspen and Basalt public schools on Tuesday, dashing dreams of a powder day for students.
On Interstate 70, Colorado’s main east-west thoroughfare through the mountains, chain laws were in effect for commercial vehicles at Vail Pass and the Eisenhower Tunnel Tuesday morning. Chains were also required for commercial vehicles on Hwy. 133 over McClure Pass, south of Carbondale, and on U.S. 6 over Loveland Pass.
Check http://www.cotrip.org for updated road conditions around the state.
Avalanche danger remains high around much of western Colorado, including the Aspen region, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Mountain Rescue Aspen issued a press release Monday evening cautioning against backcountry travel.
Mountain Rescue recommended skiing within ski-area boundaries; anyone who must travel in the backcountry should “use extreme caution and avoid traveling on, near or under any slope steeper than 30 degrees.”
Go to http://avalanche.state.co.us/index.php for the statewide avalanche report.