Winter storm warning set for Aspen, western mountains starting late Tuesday

Staff report
National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a winter storm warning for the western Colorado mountains for Wednesday and early Thursday.

A winter storm warning has been issued for much of western Colorado as a storm is expected to move in late Tuesday night and last into Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The warning, which starts at midnight Tuesday, was issued early Tuesday morning and covers Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. The weather service predicts snow accumulations of “8 to 16 inches, with locally higher amounts” and wind gusts near 30 mph which will cause “patchy blowing and drifting snow.” The area includes the Elkhead, Gore and Park mountains, as well as central mountain valleys.

The storm is moving in from the west-southwest and will bring “significant mountain snow for all of western Colorado,” according to the NWS office in Grand Junction. Snow is expected to start above 9,000 feet then move down to about 7,000 feet by early Wednesday. The heaviest snow is expected during the Wednesday morning commute.

Forecasts in the southwestern Colorado mountains, including the West Elk and San Juan mountains, call for up to 2 feet of snow by Thursday morning along with 30 mph winds.

The Aspen and Snowmass forecast calls for a warm day Tuesday with a high near 46 degrees because of a southwesterly flow, then rain turning into snow early Wednesday morning, the NWS predicts.