It’s coming our way |

It’s coming our way

Allyn Harvey

The warm temperatures today began the painful process (from the snow sports enthusiast’s perspective) of turning the light fluffy powder into crud.

Whether it becomes the knee-wrenching, heavy crud that can ruin even the most optimistic snow sports enthusiast’s day remains to be seen.

But at least yesterday the snow remained remarkably soft, in spite of the added moisture that comes with warmer temps.

Roch Run on Ajax, for instance, was filled with broken powder that looked quite difficult to ski, but in fact proved to be a soft ride. In fact, the warmer weather allowed the moguls on Roch to round out nicely, making the trip down a little less jarring than usual.

But unlike last season or the season before, a change in temperature (it was in the 20s on Aspen Mountain yesterday afternoon) doesn’t portend disaster. (Remember that January heat wave that melted all the snow?)

In fact, it was snowing on Aspen Mountain yesterday afternoon. If enough of it falls, it will make meaningless whatever’s happening to the crud from an atmospheric and hydrological point of view. Because, as we snow sports enthusiasts know, fresh snow has dramatic effects on the moisture content and, as a result, composition of the snow that’s already on the ground.

Unfortunately, the National Weather Service was predicting only 1 to 3 inches of snow last night. Today the chance of precipitation drops to 30 percent, with “snow showers possible.” And tomorrow threatens to be downright balmy with a high of 37 degrees.

But, as one Aspen Skiing Co. executive pointed out recently, every single storm that’s come through this part of the state has made Aspen its bullseye. That explains why we’ve gotten so much more snow than predicted by the nation’s weather gurus.

And, by the way, the radar looks great from a powder hound’s perspective, with three storms coming out of the Pacific into Washington, central California and Baja California. It looks like everything is coming our way.