Powder on Wednesday, more snow to follow next week
Wednesday is a powder day at the Aspen Mountains, thanks to the atmospheric rivers moving east from California.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), stronger systems will move in to Aspen around 3 a.m. and are expected to let up around noon. Anywhere from 2 to 4 inches are expected to fall in town.
At the higher elevations, the mountains could see anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of fresh powder, and maybe even 12-18 inches on the absolute highest peaks, said NWS forecaster Tom Renwick.
The storms heading toward the Roaring Fork are a direct result of the Pineapple Express, or atmospheric river, moving through California.
“What doesn’t get wrung out over there is going to be bringing us snow tomorrow; there’s no question,” he said.
Winds are forecasted to be 10-15 miles per hour throughout Tuesday night and will continue throughout the day Wednesday.
Looking ahead, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are expected to be sunny or partly sunny. However, going into next week, snow is consistently in the forecast.
“From Sunday onwards, every couple of days, there are snow systems moving through,” Renwick said.
According to OpenSnow, Snowmass will receive 14 inches of snow in the next six to 10 days. In the same time span, Highlands will get 13 inches, Aspen Mountain will get 12 inches, and Buttermilk will get 10 inches. All four mountains have over 90% of terrain open, and Ajax is 100% open.
Avalanche conditions in Aspen remain “considerable” above, near, and below treeline. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) website states that deeper-buried, weak layers are becoming harder to affect, so they are less likely to trigger an avalanche.
However, according to the CAIC Forecast Discussion issued on Jan. 10 at 4:30 p.m., “closer to the Elk Mountains, the overall depth is less, and affecting the buried weak layers is easier. The additional wind-loaded snow will contribute to tipping the balance of the mid-pack slab and avalanches have a higher chance of being larger and involving the entire snowpack.”
Of the 10 players listed on the varsity roster ahead of Tuesday’s home game with Summit, two were juniors, seven were sophomores and one was a freshman. It’s a far cry from the class of 10 seniors who last season led the Skiers to a perfect 27-0 mark and the Class 3A state championship.