Snowstorm headed to Colorado mountains; 6-12 inches forecast for Aspen area |

Snowstorm headed to Colorado mountains; 6-12 inches forecast for Aspen area

Staff reports
A winter storm advisory (purple) is in place for much of western Colorado until 9 a.m., the National Weather Service said Wednesday morning. The area’s in blue, including Pitkin County, are for an avalanche warning into Friday morning

Weather forecasters are calling for a quickly moving snowstorm to roll through the Aspen and Snowmass Village area and surrounding mountains by Thursday morning, which could develop into a solid powder day.

The snow is expected to continue on and off Wednesday afternoon and get heavier into the evening, with anywhere between 6 to 12 inches falling overnight, according to area meteorologists.

Wednesday morning, The National Weather Service in Grand Junction issued a winter weather advisory that will remain in effect until 9 a.m. Thursday.

“Snow expected with showers increasing throughout the day. Total snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches with locally higher amounts,” according to the winter weather advisory issued Wednesday morning. “Lesser amounts below 8,000 feet. Higher elevations can expect winds gusting as high as 50 mph.

“The primary concern from this system is the potential for banded snowfall and even snow squalls later this afternoon and evening.“

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Included in the advisory are the Elk and West Elk mountains, Aspen, Snowmass, Marble, Vail and Crested Butte.

Also Wednesday morning, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center issued an avalanche warning that will remain in effect through Friday for CAIC Aspen and Gunnison zones, including the Elk, West Elk, Basalt, Hardscrabble, Red Table and Ruby Range mountains.

“It will be very easy to trigger avalanches large enough to bury and kill a person by late Wednesday afternoon,” the warning stated.

The CAIC warning adds that avalanches are inevitable in this period, and that human activity will only exacerbate the situation.

“Avalanches will run naturally. You can trigger large, dangerous avalanches from the bottom of slopes or from a distance. If you trigger an avalanche, it will be large and very dangerous,” the CAIC warns.

Snow around the Aspen area could continue throughout the weekend with scattered showers of lesser accumulation.

“Another fast moving system will clip the northern Colorado mountains Friday and Friday night bringing additional snowfall to the Elkhead, Park, Flat Tops and central Colorado mountains,” according to the NWS outlook.

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