Aspen’s Christmas forecast: snow |

Aspen’s Christmas forecast: snow

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Skiers hit the slopes Saturday afternoon at the summit of a sunny Buttermilk, enjoying what was left from Friday's dumping of snow. More powder is in the forecast for Christmas Day, according to the National Weather Service. (Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times)

ASPEN ” Christmas Eve may bring the present every Aspenite is hoping for ” a powder day.

Heavy snow is expected to spread into the Aspen area Monday night and Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. Accumulations of 5 to 10 inches are possible.

Strong northwest winds with gusts of 35 ” and 50 mph above 10,000 feet ” will mean blowing and drifting snow and reduced visibility, the weather service warned.

The new snow could also boost avalanche danger. The Aspen zone had stabilized until Friday’s snow boosted the danger to considerable on north, northeast and east aspects. Danger is moderate overall at treeline, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s Monday report. Below treeline, the danger is moderate on west, northwest, north, northeast and east aspects and low on other aspects. Unstable wind slabs and drifts are likely on many steep slopes above treeline, and possible on steep slopes near treeline, according to the CAIC.

Light snow on Sunday and Sunday night brought 1 to 3 inches to local slopes. Snowmass picked up 3 inches over the past 24 hours, according to the Aspen Skiing Co.’s Monday morning report. Aspen Mountain and Buttermilk got 2 inches and 1 inch fell at Aspen Highlands.

Friday’s all-day snowfall left 11 inches of new snow at Snowmass, while Buttermilk picked up 10 inches, Aspen Mountain got 9 and Highlands received 7 inches.

Over the past seven days, Snowmass has seen 17 inches of new snow and sports a 49-inch base up top, according to the Skico. Aspen Mountain has received 15 inches in the past week and has a 49-inch base on top. At Highlands, a foot of new snow has fallen in the past week and there are 55 inches at the top of Loge Peak. Buttermilk has received 13 inches and now boasts a 40-inch base at the summit.

Sunlight Mountain Resort outside Glenwood Springs reported 2 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours on Monday morning, and 5 inches in the past 48 hours. Its mid-mountain base depth was 31 inches.

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