Powder Predictor

Weather roars into Colorado high country; more on the way

Saluting soldiers and ski pioneers

By Reid Griebling
Real AspenNovember 12, 2010
VAIL — A solid start to the 2010-11 ski season, and Aspen and Snowmass haven't even opened yet. Just one week ago, temps were in the 50s and 60s and very little snow graced the ground.

However, one system swept through earlier this week, and Thursday the mountain tops were in cloud cover for most of the day, including Vail and Beaver Creek (it was a perfect example of orographic snowfall). The Rockies never seem to disappoint! Six inches reported in the past 48 hours at Vail, seven at the Beav'.

A recent view of Aspen Mountain.
Troy Hooper

Another light dusting this morning in the valleys as very cold air moved over the area last night giving us some light champagne powder and perfect conditions for snowmaking. Forecasts for the weekend look pleasant as high pressure takes over under northwest flow.

We have another disturbance that moves through early Monday; moisture looks limited, but dynamics are favorable with the jet stream just over Wyoming and Idaho. This will bring another shot at orographic snowfall, which leaves the valley floor relatively dry and the mountains in the clouds. Snow totals look light but we can't rule out some brief squalls of moderate snowfall at times. Expect on-mountain totals in the three to five inch range by late Monday evening.

Temps for the next three days will be below average as cold, dry air remains, limiting daytime heating. Expect on-mountain highs in the 20s with overnight lows in the single digits. Temps will be slightly higher in the valleys, with highs in the 30s. Winds will be out of the northwest ranging from 10-15 mph with gusts in the 30 mph range over ridge tops.

Aspen and Snowmass look to have the same forecast, with lower snow totals as northern mountains will plunder the already limited moisture. Expect temps in 20s and 30s, with overnight lows also in the single digits for Aspen, Snowmass, and Buttermilk.

Overall, it looks like we should have more than man-made snow to entertain us next Friday, as opening day at Vail is only six days away

Finally, a belated Veterans Day "hoo wah" to all the men and women who have served and are serving in our armed forces. We are all lucky enough to live here in "Happy Valley," yet none of us would be here if it weren't for the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division, veterans of the war and pioneers of skiing.

Many of the resorts in Colorado, including Aspen and Vail, were founded by these men. We also thank our current neighbors of the National Guard who reside at the High Altitude Army Aviation Training Site (HAATS), just a short distance away in Gypsum.

It's easy to get wrapped up in all of the fun and excitement of the mountains, to live the fantasy life of the prodigal ski bum, with few of the worlds problems affecting our small town. Reality is, we have these people to thank -- not only for our freedom to choose but for protecting areas in which we choose to be free. Enjoy!


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Snow Report

  24hr snow mid dpth snow cond.
A-Basin n/a n/a
Aspen n/a n/a closed
BC n/a n/a closed
Breckenridge n/a n/a closed
Buttermilk n/a n/a closed
Copper n/a n/a closed
Crest. Butte n/a n/a closed
Eldora n/a n/a closed
Heavenly n/a n/a closed
Highlands n/a n/a
Howelsen n/a n/a closed
Keystone n/a n/a closed
Kirkwood n/a n/a closed
Loveland n/a n/a
Monarch n/a n/a closed
Northstar n/a n/a closed
Powderhorn n/a n/a closed
Purgatory n/a n/a closed
Silverton n/a n/a closed
Ski Cooper n/a n/a closed
Ski Granby n/a n/a closed
Snowmass n/a n/a closed
Steamboat n/a n/a closed
Sunlight n/a n/a closed
Telluride n/a n/a closed
Vail n/a n/a closed
WinterPark n/a n/a closed
Wolf Creek n/a n/a closed
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