Winter storm to last into Thursday; snow predictions in Aspen area at 12-18 inches |

Winter storm to last into Thursday; snow predictions in Aspen area at 12-18 inches

Pacific storm rolling across western U.S. also packs high winds

National Weather Service snow total predictions through Thursday.
National Weather Service

The winter storm barreling across the West will bring heavy snow to the Aspen and Roaring Fork Valley areas into Thursday, according to the National Weather Service’s update Monday night.

The heaviest precipitation is expected to hit the western Colorado mountains starting Tuesday afternoon with nearly a foot-and-a-half of snow by late Wednesday night, the NWS’s Grand Junction office said in a winter storm watch Monday. Aspen, Snowmass and the valley are included in the advisory.

“Total snow accumulations of 12 to 18 inches with higher amounts up to 2 feet on southwest facing slopes will be possible,” the NWS said. “Winds gusting as high as 55 mph in exposed areas will also be possible.”

The Grand Junction office said it will expand warnings and advisories as details are clarified in later model runs.

The avalanche danger in the area after Sunday’s storm is listed as considerable (level 3 of 5) by the Colorado Avalanche Center, and that is expected to rise later in the week as the snow and wind picks up.

The Pacific storm is rolling across the west and areas around Lake Tahoe were slammed Monday with wind gusts near 100 mph. Officials were telling people to stay indoors and warned of a “life-threatening situation.” Some resorts have picked up 2 to 4 feet of snow with more expected, and snow drifts reaching 10 feet.

As the storm rolls out, temperatures are predicted to drop dramatically. The low overnight Wednesday is forecast at minus-4 degrees. The high Thursday is 12 degrees, with temperatures dropping to near minus-10 degrees into Friday morning.

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