Weekend snowstorm will hit Aspen, Colorado mountains but Front Range to see biggest snow totals
Travel is being discouraged through Sunday along I-70, I-25 corridors
With a major snowstorm zeroing in on Denver and the Front Range, forecasters are predicting Aspen and Snowmass Village could see a foot of snow or more by Monday morning.
The bulk of this storm is tracking toward north-central Colorado, but ski resorts west of the Continental Divide should get a second round of snow this week, according to a National Weather Service’s winter storm watch issued Thursday by the Grand Junction office.
The watch, which starts at 5 p.m. Friday and goes through Sunday night, covers parts of western Colorado and ski communities including Aspen, Snowmass, Vail, Crested Butte and Telluride.
“Total snow accumulations of 10 to 20 inches possible with amounts up to 2 feet for some locations above 9,500 feet,” the NWS said in an update Thursday afternoon. “Winds could gust as high as 40 mph.”
State officials are asking people to avoid traveling in the Colorado mountains and around Denver and the Front Range. Updates Thursday are calling for 2 feet of snow or more for areas around Boulder and the foothills.
The NWS Boulder office said Thursday that 15 to 25 inches of snow is expected across the Denver area with “up to 30 inches in Boulder and Fort Collins (and) 2 to 4 feet of snow in the foothills.”
In a news conference Thursday afternoon, Gov. Jared Polis said he is making available about 50 members of the Colorado National Guard to help with search and rescues as needed.
“I encourage you to be in a relatively safe location from shortly after sunrise Saturday through Sunday afternoon if it’s snowing in your area,” the governor said Thursday.
A number of Front Range events are being canceled or postponed this weekend. The Aspen High girls swim team will wait until next week to travel to the Class 3A girls swimming state championship, which was moved to Monday in the northern Denver suburb of Thornton.
Most airlines are canceling flights in and out of Denver International Airport this weekend and waiving change fees. Travelers in Aspen should call their airlines and check aspenairport.com for updates.
Those taking to the roads can check for closures and road conditions at cotrip.org and locally sign up for alerts from Pitkin and Eagle counties.
Those who are thinking about going into the backcountry can check conditions at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center website. The state agency is forecast dangerous conditions into the weekend and for the start of next week.
“Saturday into Sunday’s snow and wind forecast look to increase the avalanche danger if expected accumulations of a foot or more, most places, materialize,” CAIC’s Thursday update said.