Aspen area in winter storm warning until Thursday; avalanche warning for backcountry |

Aspen area in winter storm warning until Thursday; avalanche warning for backcountry

A winter storm warning has been issued for much of the Colorado mountains including the Aspen and Snowmass area, the National Weather Service said in an advisory late Tuesday night.

The warning calls for snow accumulations up to 2 feet and winds gust near 60 mph through Thursday morning.

“Heavy snow rates and blowing snow will reduce visibility to less than a half of a mile at times,” the warning states. “Icy to snow packed roadways will significantly reduce traction.”

As well, avalanche warnings are in effect and backcountry travel is highly discouraged. The avalanche level is listed as high (level 4 of 5) for the Aspen zone and much of the central mountains.

The NWS said Wednesday morning that “scattered to widespread showers will persist today before decreasing in coverage this evening. The snow may be moderate to heavy at times and strong winds may causing blowing snow. Isolated lightning is possible especially in the afternoon as a cold front sweeps across the area. The snow showers become confined to the higher elevations tonight.”

As the storm moves out later Thursday, temperatures are expected to drop with highs Thursday in the teen and lows overnight below zero. Friday and Saturday, highs are expected to be at or above freezing and mostly sunny skies.

This is a developing story that will be updated.

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