Aspen area could see 2 to 6 inches of snow by Wednesday, NWS says

Smoke from Utah, California wildfires pushes in ahead snowstorm

Staff reports

After some dustings of snow on the higher peaks last week around Aspen, Colorado and mountain towns should get the first dose of winter starting Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service said Monday.

A winter weather advisory has been issued starting at noon Tuesday to noon Wednesday and is calling for high winds and snow totals up to 6 inches in the Gore and Elk mountains and the central mountain valleys, the NWS forecasts.

“Travel could be very difficult, especially over higher mountain passes. Heavy early-season snow on top of fully leaved trees could result in tree damage and power outages from Tuesday through Wednesday,” according to the update Monday afternoon.

Ahead of the cold front, the shifting winds have made the smoke even heavier Monday in western Colorado.

The increased smoke in central and western Colorado is due to fires in Utah, the NWS said.

“Gusty winds and dry conditions at the Utah fires will result in high fire activity on Monday and continued periods of moderate to heavy smoke across central and western Colorado through at least Monday evening,” said an air quality alert.

Officials working on the Grizzly Creek Fire near Glenwood Springs said in an update Monday that the “influx of smoke in the area is NOT a result of increased fire activity at the #GrizzlyCreekFire. A change in wind direction associated with the incoming cold front is bringing smoke from fires in states to the west of Colorado, namely Utah and California.”

The Colorado Smoke Outlook is available at, and the AirNow interactive air quality map at

After the storm moves in Tuesday, freeze watches and warnings have been issued to account for the cold temperatures expected Tuesday night and by Wednesday morning, according to the NWS.

The Aspen forecast calls for approximately 2 inches in town by Wednesday morning and an overnight low of 29 degrees and a high of 47 degrees Wednesday.