Forecast promises cold gift of fresh snow for Christmas skiers

Audrey Ryan
The Aspen Times
Skiers and riders will get a bit of fresh snow for Christmas morning turns.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

A major winter storm is coming through Aspen, triggering winter-storm and wind-chill watches and promising to deliver fresh snow just in time for Christmas.

Snow showers were forecasted to start as early as Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service, but the majority of the snow will fall during the day Wednesday and through the night.

OpenSnow predicts all four mountains will get about six inches of snow over the course of the storm.

Wednesday is predicted to have a low of -1 and a high of 11. Thursday will have a low of -6 and high of 11. NWS forecasts it will warm up on Friday, with a high of 29 and a low of 11. However, there is still a chance of snow going into the weekend.

The winter-storm watch goes into effect mid-day Wednesday and will remain through Thursday morning. The wind-chill watch will be in effect from Wednesday night through mid-day Friday. Winds could gust as high as 60 mph, with dangerously cold wind chills that may reach up to 50 degrees below zero, the Weather Service said said.

The Forecast Discussion states: “The good news, if you can call it that, is these strong winds will only persist for about 9-12 hours.”

The Weather Services advises planning for slippery road conditions during the winter-storm and wind-chill watches. Strong winds can blow snow and reduce visibility for drivers. They also have the potential to cause tree damage.

According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), there is considerable avalanche danger for above, near, and below tree lines. Chances of human-triggered avalanches are likely and can easily be triggered from a distance.

“Observers reported seeing collapses so large they would shake trees 50 feet away from them. When you see these obvious signs of instability, it is a clear indicator of dangerous avalanche conditions,” CAIC’s website states.

To reach Audrey Ryan, email her at

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