Potent winter storm prompts warning for Aspen area; up to 2 feet of snow forecast through Friday

Winter storm warnings (pink) and watches (purple) have been issued through Friday for the northern and central Colorado mountains, the NWS said Wednesday.
National Weather Service

Coming off a couple of days of bitter cold, the Aspen area is expected to get hit with a major snowstorm starting Thursday morning and lasting until Friday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

A winter storm warning will be in effect from 5 a.m. Thursday to 8 p.m. Friday, the National Weather Service in Grand Junction said in an update Wednesday evening. The warning covers most of the northern and central Colorado mountains and includes Aspen, Snowmass and Marble.

Heavy snow is expected throughout this period, with “total snow accumulations of 8 to 18 inches with locally higher amounts up to 2 feet,” the NWS warning forecasts.

As well, winds gusting as fast as 40 mph will make travel “very difficult to impossible at times, especially on the mountain passes.”

Those venturing out of the valley and to the east should expect delays on I-70 and be prepared for potential closures of Vail Pass into the weekend. Blowing snow will reduce visibility, and wind chills as low as minus-20 degrees are forecast. Officials advise travelers to keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

For those going through the Aspen airport, fliers should check with their airlines or go to for updates.

Anyone considering venturing into the backcountry through the weekend should check the conditions through the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. The Aspen region forecast for Thursday moves to considerable (level 3 of 5) near and above treeline, but the potent storm likely will raise the danger level into the weekend, the state agency said Wednesday.

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