Cold pushes out snow in Aspen
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” After a week of storms that piled three feet of new snow at Snowmass, frigid temperatures moved into the Aspen area Thursday night and clear skies finally replaced the clouds.
Skiers found freshies yet again Friday morning, but bundling up was the order of the day. Snowmass reported a foot of new snow early Friday. Aspen Mountain had 7 inches over the past 24 hours and Aspen Highlands picked up 6 inches. Buttermilk had 8 inches.
Over the past 48-hour period, the numbers were 19 inches at Snowmass, 13 inches on Aspen Mountain and 12 inches at both Highlands and Buttermilk.
Over the past seven days, the Aspen Skiing Co. reported 3 feet of fresh snow at Snowmass, 34 inches at Highlands, 27 inches on Aspen Mountain and 22 inches at Buttermilk.
March, as the old adage says, is going out like a lion.
After temperatures dropped into the brrr zone overnight Thursday, highs of 15 to 25 are expected Friday in Aspen, inching upward from the single-digit temperatures that started the day. A 30 percent chance for lingering snow remains in the forecast. Mostly cloudy skies and lows of 5 below to 5 above are forecast Friday night.
Saturday’s forecast calls for mostly sunny skies in the morning, becoming partly sunny by afternoon, with highs of 25 to 35, according to the National Weather Service. Lows of 15 to 25 are expected Saturday night.
On Sunday, the weather service is calling for snow by afternoon, though no accumulation is expected. Highs of 35 to 45 and strong southwest winds, gusting to 40 mph in the afternoon, are forecast. Snow is likely Sunday night, with lows of 5 to 15.
On Monday, partly sunny skies with highs of 25 to 35 are expected, along with a 20 percent chance of snow, according to the weather service.
Thursday’s storm resulted in a slew of canceled airline flights in Aspen and Denver, while icy roads resulted in pileups around the state, including two that shut down Interstate 70 in both directions in Glenwood Canyon on Thursday evening. No serious injuries were reported in the canyon accidents.
Snow fell furiously in Aspen Thursday morning then tapered off for much of the day before falling again in the evening, prompting a warning of winter driving conditions on Highway 82 at about 7 p.m. from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
The avalanche danger in the mountains around Aspen was rated considerable on Friday. Human-triggered slides are probably in the fresh snow, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
Ski resorts around the state benefited from the storm. Powderhorn near Grand Junction reported a foot of fresh snow Friday morning, and 16 inches over the past 48 hours. Sunlight Mountain Resort outside of Glenwood Springs reported 6 inches over the past 24 hours and 22 inches over the past 48.
Wolf Creek and Silverton Mountain both had 14 inches of new snow Friday morning and Steamboat had a foot. Crested Butte and Breckenridge both reported 8 inches. Vail reported just 3 inches of new snow Friday morning, but had a foot of new snow early Thursday. Beaver Creek reported 6 inches of new snow Friday, and 17 inches over the past two days.
On the other side of the mountains, fog, wind and drifting snow made travel difficult on the Colorado plains on Friday as the storm plodded eastward into Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
The storm dumped up to 17 inches of snow in the Denver area Thursday, and airlines canceled at least 475 flights at Denver International Airport.
Between 300 and 400 stranded travelers spent Thursday night at airport, but flights were returning to normal Friday morning, airport spokesman Chuck Cannon said.
Southwest Airlines said its was operating on a regular schedule. Denver’s two biggest carriers, United and Frontier, didn’t immediately return calls.
Scores of Front Range school districts canceled classes for a second day Friday. Others were closed for spring break. Many government offices and courts remained closed.
The National Weather Service said fog was blanketing parts of eastern Colorado, where 20-mph winds pushed snow into drifts of up to 5 feet deep.
A blizzard warning remained in effect for much of southeastern Colorado, including Pueblo, where winds were clocked at 43 mph.
The wind was strongest near the Colorado-Kansas border, said Randy Gray of the National Weather Service in Pueblo.
Snow was tapering off in Denver but continued to fall on the Eastern Plains on top of a foot that accumulated Thursday.
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