Here it comes: Storms forecast to drop nearly 2 feet of snow around Aspen, Colorado mountains | AspenTimes.com

Here it comes: Storms forecast to drop nearly 2 feet of snow around Aspen, Colorado mountains

Winter storm warnings, watches issued through the weekend

Staff reports
WEATHER INFO Keep up with the conditions: • Forecast and recent weather stories: aspentimes.com/news/weather. • Local storm warnings and advisories: noaa.gov • Aspen Snowmass ski area forecasts: aspensnowmass.com • Road conditions, closures and traffic cameras: cotrip.org. • Travel information by phone: 511 (in Colorado) or 303-639-1111. • Avalanche danger and conditions: avalanche.state.co.us. • Aspen airport flight information: aspenairport.com

Moisture coming from the Pacific Ocean and streaming into the West will have Aspen and other Colorado ski areas measuring snow accumulations in feet by the end of the weekend, according to forecast models.

A winter storm warning runs from 11 a.m. Thursday until 5 p.m. Friday, then after a lull, the storm will pick up through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

“Onshore flow off the Pacific Ocean will accompany the upper-level energy aiding in producing rain and higher elevation snow from the Pacific Northwest/Northern California eastward to the Northern/Central Rockies through Saturday,” the NWS said in an update Thursday morning.

There are winter weather warnings and advisories for the Colorado mountains through Sunday and travel is expected to be difficult with wind gusts nearing 50 mph.

The winter storm warning for the central and northern Colorado mountains — including Aspen, Snowmass Village and Pitkin County — calls for 6 to 12 inches of snow above 8,500 feet and locally higher amounts through Friday afternoon.

A winter storm watch is in effect from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. Additional accumulations of 8 to 14 inches are possible for the central and southern mountains from early Saturday morning through Sunday.

“While light snow showers will continue Friday evening, snow intensity will not pick up again until toward midnight Friday night. All the mountains of western Colorado … will see periods of moderate snow through Sunday before showers taper off from north to south,” the warning states.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued a “special avalanche advisory” warning through the weekend with conditions expected to change quickly.

“Danger will increase through Friday and into the weekend as a potent storm will drop 1 to 2 feet of snow and 1 to 2 inches of water on a weak snowpack,” according to the state agency’s warning. “Avalanche activity will increase and natural avalanches are likely as the storm progresses. We could see HIGH (Level 4) avalanche danger as we move into the weekend.”

Those traveling through the Aspen airport should expect delays and should check with their airlines or aspenairport.com for updates.

This is a developing story that will be updated.


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