Winter storm rolls into Aspen area, warning has snowfall totals nearing 2-3 feet by Saturday

Staff reports
Snow cats groom the superpipe at Buttermilk as the mountain prepares to close for the day in Aspen on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the Aspen, Snowmass area until Saturday morning.(Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Snowfall totals of nearly 3 feet by Saturday morning are in the latest winter storm warning, which includes the Aspen and Snowmass area, as the storm cycle continues to hit the Colorado high country.

In addition to feet of snow, bitter cold temperatures and high winds are in the forecast through Saturday morning as the next major winter storm rolls through, according to the National Weather Service.

The winter storm warning started at 11 p.m. Wednesday and by the time it is forecast to end at 5 a.m. Saturday, snow totals of 1 to 2 feet “with localized amounts up to 3 feet” are possible, making travel “very difficult to impossible,” according to the NWS update Friday morning.

“Total snow accumulations of 12 to 25 inches, with localized amounts up to 3 feet. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph,” the NWS warns.

The NWS said Friday snow squalls associated with the cold front will lead to enhanced rates and reduced visibility in blowing snow through the day.

“Activity will begin to wind down across the north (Friday night) with heavy snow continuing in the southern mountains and valleys,” the NWS said.

With the slow-moving storm, temperatures are expected to drop significantly with wind chills nearing minus-25 degrees in the next few days and overnight lows near or below zero. The high temperature Saturday in Aspen is forecast at 15 degrees and the overnight low at minus-1.

Snowfall forecasted totals into Saturday evening, according to the National Weather Service on Thursday evening.

Avalanche danger remains high (level 4 of 5) in most of the Colorado mountains, and likely into Sunday. Backcountry travel is being discouraged according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

After more than a week of snowfall to end December, the storm cycle is expected to end over the weekend with clear skies in the forecast starting Saturday afternoon and into early next week.