Storm a lot of cold air, so far |

Storm a lot of cold air, so far

ASPEN ” A winter storm warning remains in effect until Thursday morning for the mountains surrounding Aspen and Snowmass, but the big wallop predicted by the National Weather Service has yet to materialize.

The warning was issued Tuesday afternoon by the weather service’s Grand Junction office, which predicted gusty winds and snow starting after midnight, with 8 to 14 inches of possible accumulation by Thursday morning. Hopeful skiers awoke Wednesday to blustery, chilly conditions but just 3 inches of new snow on Aspen Mountain and at Snowmass, with lesser amounts at Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk.

On Wednesday afternoon, the weather service forecast called for 7 to 14 inches by early Thursday, with more snow in the mountains expected to fall Thursday night and Friday. The heaviest snowfall is expected at over 9,000 feet. However, the service noted, “snow accumulation will be quite variable due to the showery nature of the precipitation pattern.”

That would appear to be the case. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reported 9 inches of new snow atop McClure Pass, south of Carbondale ” far more than the Aspen Skiing Co. was reporting on local ski slopes Wednesday morning. Additional snow has fallen off and on in Aspen throughout the day.

Vail and Copper Mountain both reported 2 inches of new snow Wednesday morning, while Crested Butte picked up an inch. Telluride, in the San Jan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, reported 4 inches of fresh stuff.

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