Aspen snowstorm puts the winter into autumn
A storm dropped about 6 inches of fresh snow atop Aspen Mountain on Wednesday, with an inch or two more expected overnight, sources said.
In addition, the second half of the storm — which was expected to kick in Wednesday night — was to usher in much lower temperatures, allowing Aspen Skiing Co. to begin making snow, said company spokesman Jeff Hanle.
“It’s nice to get some snow,” Hanle said. “It gets everyone excited. But really what’s going to happen is it’s going to get cold and we can make snow.”
Ryan Boudreau, a weather forecaster at aspenweather.net, agreed that it was good snowmaking weather because temperatures were likely to be between 9 and 12 degrees on top of Aspen Mountain on Wednesday night.
“It’s going to be pretty cold up there,” he said.
The second half of the storm was likely to last from Wednesday night into this afternoon, with a total of between 7 and 10 inches expected on the peaks and at higher elevations, Boudreau said.
Expect sunny skies this weekend, though prepare for another storm the afternoon of Nov. 10 through the morning of Nov. 11 that will likely deposit another few inches, he said.
“That looks like a very cold storm,” Boudreau said. “After that, the jury’s out. It’s probably going to keep coming. November is looking good.”
Wednesday’s storm also prompted the Colorado Department of Transportation to close Highway 82 over Independence Pass for the season earlier than planned. CDOT had previously said the road over the 12,095 foot pass would close Friday for the winter.
Otherwise, the weather didn’t foul up much day-to-day business in town and at lower elevations, according to officials from the Aspen Police Department and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
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Kevin Warner started his career with the U.S. Forest Service as a wilderness ranger in 2001. Now he’s taking over the key position as Aspen-Sopris District Ranger.