So where’s the snow?
December 29, 2006
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” Sunshine in Aspen Friday morning produced more than a few scowls among Aspenites who were crossing their fingers for a powder day.
The second storm to pound Denver and the Front Range in a week skipped Aspen/Snowmass entirely, though the National Weather Service in Grand Junction was still forecasting snow in Aspen by late Friday.
The low-pressure system producing all the moisture in Denver dropped southward too far to the west, and then went too far south to dump snow in Aspen, according to Ellen Heffernan at the National Weather Service.
Air flow around the low is circulating counter-clockwise from near the New Mexico-Mexico border, meaning easterly winds are dumping the moisture on the Front Range.
“What happens is any moisture in the storm gets blocked by the mountains,” Heffernan explained.
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Denver and the Front Range also took the brunt of last week’s storm, but Aspen also saw some accumulation, and ski resorts in southern Colorado ” places like Durango and Wolf Creek ” received a dumping. This time, those resorts are reporting little or no new snowfall out of the storm, as is Aspen.
Last week’s storm also dropped south, but it did so on a more easterly track, and it didn’t drop as far south, according to Heffernan.
So far, this week’s storm has been a boon to Colorado’s Front Range ski areas. Tiny Eldora reported 13 inches of new snow Friday morning. Loveland, just east of the Continental Divide, picked up 9 inches and Winter Park reported 4 inches. Breckenridge was also reporting 4 inches, Arapahoe Basin had 6 inches and Copper Mountain recorded 5 inches by Friday morning.
Vail, if it’s any consolation, received just an inch, according to the morning snow report.
The storm system is moving northeast and Aspen may still pick up some fresh snowfall as the winds come out of the north, Heffernan said.
“Aspen usually does well in that flow. You can cross your fingers,” she said.
Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org