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Aspen weather: overcast with a chance of cloudy

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado
Janet Urquhart The Aspen Times
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ASPEN – Sun-starved Aspenites may feel as though they’ve been shortchanged this spring when it comes to Colorado’s signature bluebird days. And so they have.

While April thus far pretty much matches the first half of April 2010, Aspen has been a cloudy place since March 1, according to data compiled by the city’s Water Department.

This year, seven days in March began under clear skies and there weren’t two back-to-back clear days during the entire month. In March 2010, the Water Department recorded 13 days that dawned under clear skies, including two three-day stretches of sunshine and two other two-day stretches of blue skies.

For the first 14 days of April, the Water Department logged four days that began under clear skies, though other days offered a mix of sun and clouds. Through Thursday morning, 15 inches of new snow had fallen so far for the month, compared to 14.2 inches during the first 14 days of April 2010.

Total snowfall for the entire month of April 2010 measured 36.35 inches – a record, according to the Water Department. The average for April is 15.7 inches.

This year’s April snows follow on the heels of a big snow month in March.

Last month, the department recorded 37.10 inches of snowfall, up considerably from the 26.89-inch average for March. A year ago, March produced 26.50 inches of snowfall at the water plant, located at an elevation of 8,161 feet. On the ski slopes, Snowmass saw 74 inches of snow this year in March, compared to 50 inches for the month last winter.

Overcast skies continue to dominate Aspen’s forecast in the coming days, according to the National Weather Service. Sunny skies Friday will give way to a chance of rain, snow and sun on Saturday. Mostly cloudy conditions are expected Sunday and Monday.

As for the second half of April, it was mostly cloudy last year, with five days of snowfall, including the biggest dump of the month on April 29, when 8.5 inches of new snow was recorded at the water plant.

Anyone hoping for a real start to spring in May will likely see shorts-and-T-shirt weather mixed in with a lingering need for a parka and gloves, if last year’s widely varying conditions is any indication.

May 2010 brought 10.8 inches of new snow, but all of it fell in the first half of the month. The temperature topped 70 degrees on seven days in the latter half of the month, including an 83-degree day on May 28. Twelve days dawned under clear skies a year ago in May, according to the Water Department.

janet@aspentimes.com


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