First taste of winter blows through Aspen, Snowmass with bitter cold, wind and snow
The first major cold front of the fall season pushed through the Aspen and Snowmass area early Thursday morning, and the snow and wind started to taper off just past noon.
In a winter weather advisory update sent early Thursday, the National Weather Service said the “strong cold front will continue moving across the region … bringing much colder air and snowfall to much of northern and central Colorado.”
Snow totals are expected between 2 and 6 inches by Thursday afternoon, according to the NWS. Expect difficult driving conditions in the mountains Thursday.
Highway 82 over Independence Pass was open Thursday morning as snowplows made passes on the road, but weather conditions could change that. The Colorado Department of Transportation will make the decision whether to close the pass at any point during the fall storm. Follow @ColoradoDOT or go to cotrip.org for road closure updates.
There have been delays and cancellations Thursday morning at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, and travelers should check with their airlines, or they can go to aspenairport.com for updates.
The NWS office in Grand Junction is predicting a widespread killing freeze overnight Thursday into Friday for much of Colorado.
The NWS forecast for the Aspen area calls for a high of 42 degrees, but that came just after midnight before the main part of the storm pushed through.
The overnight low is expected in single-digits into Friday morning. The sun returns for the weekend, with the high Friday forecast at 50 degrees and then highs into the 60s on Saturday and Sunday.
As of 10 a.m., officials with Aspen Skiing Co. reported six inches of snow at the top of Aspen Mountain. Opening day for Aspen Mountain and Snowmass is scheduled for Nov. 28, and Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk are slated to open Dec. 7.
This is a developing story that will be updated.
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The pass will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. east of Aspen from mile marker 59 to marker 62 to all vehicles, bicyclists and hikers.