More snow on the way after lull in Colorado storm
December 22, 2010
DENVER – A storm system that’s been socking parts of Colorado’s mountains with snow isn’t over yet.
There was a lull in the system Wednesday, but snow was expected to intensify again later in the day into Thursday.
The National Weather Service says the heaviest snow is expected from the top of the Grand Mesa to the Elk and West Elk Mountains, including the area near Crested Butte.
An avalanche warning for those areas, including Aspen, as well as for the mountains around Steamboat Springs, remains in effect. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said 1 to 2 feet fell in the warning area between Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.
Mike Chamberlin, a forecaster at the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said Gothic near Crested Butte has reported getting over 6 feet of snow since Saturday.
Crested Butte’s ski resort reports it has received nearly 5 feet of snow in the past week from the storm system, which is being fed by moisture from the Pacific Ocean. In town, plowed snow was piled up in heaps taller than pickups. People again shoveled snow off their walkways and roofs while others got around on cross-country skis.
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Longtime Crested Butte resident Brian Fenerty spent more than five hours Wednesday shoveling out his customers’ paths and getting the snow off roofs.
“It’s really heavy, wet snow, very unseasonable,” Fenerty said. “You have to remove it or you’re going to have damage.”
The snow has broken trees and toppled chimneys, said Fenerty, who hasn’t had time to take care of his own house.
“This is my 25th winter. I’m kind of done with it,” he said.
On Thursday, the snow is expected to fall at lower elevations – between 6,000 and 7,000 feet – north of Interstate 70. The snow will mainly fall at elevations above 8,000 feet south of I-70.
Aspen, to the south of I-70, remains under a winter storm watch until 5 p.m. Thursday. After the first sunshine in days on Wednesday, along with spring-like temperatures, clouds moved back over town late Wednesday afternoon, and the weather service was predicting snow Wednesday night and Thursday. A high of 37 is forecast for Aspen on Thursday.
Sunny skies are expected Friday.