Winter storm forecast to hit Aspen area early Sunday; 4-8 inches of snow at higher elevations | AspenTimes.com

Winter storm forecast to hit Aspen area early Sunday; 4-8 inches of snow at higher elevations

Staff reports

A winter storm expected to roll through Aspen and Snowmass Village late Saturday into Sunday morning is forecast to drop 4 to 8 inches of snow at higher elevations, the National Weather Service said in an update Saturday.

A winter weather advisory has been issued starting at midnight Saturday and lasting until noon Sunday with up to 8 inches predicted as an “unseasonably cold disturbance” moves across northern and central Colorado late Saturday.

“This system will bring much colder air and snowfall to most of the northern and central mountains of Colorado beginning Saturday evening and continuing through Sunday morning. Four to 8 inches of snow are expected on the higher peaks,” the advisory states. “Snowfall will impact all roads through the northern and central Colorado mountains, most notably Vail and Rabbit Ears Passes.”

Aspen, Snowmass and the Elk Mountains are in the advisory area. Wind gusts are expected to hit 40 to 50 mph during the storm, according to an update Saturday morning, and roads could become snow-packed and icy with poor visibility.

After a rainy morning in the Roaring Fork Valley, snow started in Aspen around 10 a.m. Friday and continued on and off through the day. Saturday brought clear, bluebird skies ahead of the next system.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is the agency that decides if Highway 82 over Independence Pass closes at any point. The agency sends out information via its Twitter account @ColoradoDOT and online at cotrip.org.

Independence Pass typically closes for the season within the first two weeks of November. Last year, the pass closed Nov. 5 after a storm dropped a foot of snow at the summit, which is 12,095 feet. It closed Nov. 17 in both 2016 and 2017, according to CDOT. In 2015, it closed for the season Nov. 4. The pass typically reopens the Thursday before Memorial Day, weather permitting.

There were a number of delays and some cancellations Friday at the Aspen airport as the cloud ceiling dropped and visibility was down to a mile in the early afternoon, according to NWS and the airport website. For those traveling this weekend, the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport website updates arrival and departure times at aspenairport.com.


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